Essentials for Pro Quality Photos

Image Map

I’ve always been interested in photography. Have I always been great at it? Certainly not. I have always loved taking zillions of photos with my friends and family here, there, and everywhere. When I first started taking pictures of my food for the web back in 2009, I used a point and shoot in an apartment with zero lighting, taking pictures mostly at night using the florescent kitchen overhead lighting and the flash of my camera. I’ve learned a few things since then and it’s fun to look at the transformation and how far I’ve come! Want to see some examples? Check out my ‘Before & After‘ album on Facebook. Some of the before photos surely make me cringe. 

1. First things first. You may not think you need a tripod. I’m here to tell you, you do. If you are a food photographer FOR SURE. Even if you aren’t a food photographer – no one. I repeat. No one can be as steady as this Pistol Grip Tripod can make you. Even just the slightest movement can make your photo blurry. If there’s one thing you want to avoid it’s a blurry photo. I’ve only had mine since the beginning of 2015, but already I feel like its helped me take my photography to the next level. It helps you get the crisp clean shot that you are looking for. If nothing else, you’ll want to save up a few bucks for this.

2. I know there are lots of free photo editing software options out there, but I have loved Adobe Photoshop Elements for the last few years. Up until a year or so ago, the hubs was re-sizing and watermarking my images for me. I loved him for it, but we both knew that it was something I needed to take over (especially with the growing site and increased recipe posts). It only took a short while of learning a few steps and I was on my way. I love elements for the basic edits, but it’s nice enough to help you with even more advanced edits.

3. I’m the type of person that when I get comfortable I have a hard time changing. Aren’t more people that way? It can’t just be me. Steve (my husband) who is also really into photography (more of nature and scenery) has been using and loving Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5. I was happy with my Elements and didn’t really feel the need to change. After some begging and pleading I gave it a try. Heeelllooooo game changer. My wordy it’s amazing for editing. Don’t get me wrong, my goal is to have the picture that I want straight out of the camera with only a *few* minor edits. I am not the type that like to edit the crap out of a photo so that it’s hardly recognizable from what you originally shot.. not my thing. Lightroom is the bread, and Elements is the butter. I still use both of them and love them both as well!

4. Now I realize this doesn’t have anything to do with ‘pro quality photos. However, I feel like the photos and the video go hand in hand, so I’m throwing this on my list. I am a huge fan of video, if you’re new to the site you MUST ‘Meet The Cook‘, it’s a little taste of my personality for you to enjoy. I wanted a way for you to connect on a deeper level to Tried and Tasty and almost feel like you’ve known me for years. Sooooo… back to the audio for my videos. I have been using this Sony UWPD11/30 Wireless Microphone System for about half of my videos (wait.. you haven’t seen my videos? You have to follow me on YouTube!)

5. Here’s the meat of this post. What camera do I shoot with? I’m the proud owner of a Canon EOS 6D and to say that I love this baby would be an understatement. Not only am I able to get the high quality photos that I shoot, it’s also what I use to film my high definition video (tired of me talking about it yet?). Two in one baby! What could be better? I come from a family of really great photographers: my dad, my husband, and my father-in-law. So I’ve got a pretty sweet set up as far as learning the tips and tricks of how to use my camera. If you are going to make an investment in this baby, I highly recommend you find either a local photography class or online. Get the most out of your camera. Manual mode or bust!

6. So the camera isn’t anything without the lens. While we do own the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Camera Lens and it’s great (and affordable), what I primarily shoot with is our Tamron SP 24-70mm. It’s a beast and I LOVE the results I get from it. I know a lot of people are loyal to Canon, I have been 110% satisfied with the Tamron. It uses the highest quality glass and components, the aperture can go to 2.8 which is great for “bokeh” (when the background is blurred and your subject is sharp). I also love that it zooms from 24mm-70mm which lets me frame my shots just right without having to move the camera a whole lot.

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