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What I learned from blogging without a “proper” camera

Noodle Stir Fry Using New Tracklements Plum Sauce

Well, we did it, we went the entirety of March without once leaning on my fancy camera for blog snaps. I guess we should probably talk about how that went. If you feel like this intro is lacklustre, you should know that I’m writing it pretty hungover and I’m probably not going to go back and edit it because this whole month is about quick, one take, low maintenance blogging and I really like it that way.

I have to say straight up, just so that you know which direction this post is heading in, I have loved not using my camera this month. It’s been a real game changer for me in a lot of ways, let us have a look at said ways.

Vegan Garlic Butter

Stuff that got better

Speed

The visual aspect of blog posts have been so much quicker to sort out this month, it’s a dream. I just take a quick snap whilst I’m doing stuff, then another quick snap at the end. Sometimes I’ll edit straight away, sometimes I’ll do it a bit later, but either way when I come to edit that’s just as bloody quick. I’ve been using VSCOcam pretty much religiously, and it takes like seconds for me to be happy with the image using one of the preset filters. This project has been a big old time saver.

Realness

I almost headed this “intimacy” but that’s a step too far. Do you know what I mean though? I feel like removing the fancy camera and try-hard food styling from this equation has brought us closer together into my kitchen, which is 100% what I’m always aiming for with Cate in the Kitchen, having strangers hang out with me in a virtual way through pictures and words. Whether we’re talking about a new recipe or a theory I have about something or whatever, I almost feel like the casual aspect of shooting with the iPhone is just way better suited to my tone and what I actually set out to do around here.

Creativity

I feel a lot less limited when thinking up posts knowing that the pictures aren’t going to need to blow your mind. For example, my post on potato wedges this month was super popular, and I don’t think I would even have written that if I was gonna have to think about how to style the wedges in a really attractive way, you know? As I continue to play with how I shoot and approach blog posts, I’m pretty keen to see what other avenues I might be able to start exploring beyond the rigidity of straight up recipes.

Happy Sunday

Stuff that stayed the same

Traffic and engagement

You guys were clicking on, commenting on and talking to me about my blog posts just as much this month as you have done previously. There was literally zero change beyond the standard fluctuation I’d usually see. Props on being a super loyal and fun and engaged reader, person currently reading this. I hope you continue to hang out here through these weird experimental things I keep doing.

Gousto Recipe Box Review

Tips on taking food pictures with your iPhone

VSCOCam

Sometimes, it really is all in the edit. VSCOCam has been really cool for rescuing low lit pictures or really accentuating those with bright colours and all that nonsense. My favourite preset for a standard adequately lit picture is C2, and that’s what most of the pictures you’ve seen this month have been saved in. I don’t dick about with extra editing after presets because I’m just too lazy, I don’t have time for it, I’ve got a life to live, you know?

Internet advice is total bullsh*t sometimes

Almost every single advice post on shooting food is all like “take pictures from above, don’t you dare even think about that side angle” but this is straight up incorrect. If you look at the featured image on this post of delicious delicious noodles, you can easily acknowledge that the picture would be way less sexy if it was taken from above instead of the blurry fork-featuring side shot that I got. Follow your instinct on what the best angle is for what you’ve created, find what looks good, trust yourself instead of imaginary guidelines.

Embrace the chaos of your kitchen

I’m in love with so many of the shots I got this month for their portrayal of what it’s like to be anywhere near me while I’m cooking. I’m a messy messy girl, it is who I am, and throughout March I haven’t been trying even a little bit to hide it – and I think it makes for some pretty great pictures. But that could be me, everything is subjective, that’s what’s so great about life.

Dairy Free Dark Chocolate, Almond and Cherry Cookies

So, how was it for you?

Did you even notice? Did you hate it? Did you love it? Talk to me!

Twitter // Instagram // Facebook // Bloglovin’ // Vine

 

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10 Comments

  1. I love this! I’m tempted to try it myself – I always freak out about not having professional food-styling type shots for my blog, but that’s not really what I’m about. My food isn’t professional, food-styling type food anyway, so just a nice, clear photo would probably be more than okay! Anything that makes blogging more low maintenance seems like a total winner. I’ve definitely not noticed anything particularly different about your blog – I’m more interested than the content than necessarily about the photos anyway.

  2. I particularly like that fact that it’s very “in” to have a bit of sprinkled mess around whatever food you’re photographing, knowing full well that when you do it, it’s just genuinely that you spilled something! Keep being great, Cate, and go create something we can all relate to, as we’re in a spate of late of wishing we could come on a date and try all the food you so lovingly put on your plate, and I’d hate for this state of food envy to stagnate as you might get irate at the thought of us having to wait for the next post, mate. Ha, ok, I’m weird, soz! It’s been a long day! Alice xx

    http://www.woodenwindowsills.co.uk

  3. Love it. Great work. Gutted yout didn’t take up my ‘shadow save’ tool advice on VSCOcam after adding your own preset filter, but whatever. 😉
    This month on Cate in the Kitchen has rocked and been a pleasure to see and read. I’m all for spontaneous (and hungover) Cate! Xx

  4. Loving your blog. Keeping it real. Think all bloggers should have a month where they zoom out their photos so everyone can see all the shit that they’ve scraped just out of shot (I say they, I mean me).

  5. The quality of the photos (and they’re still great!) really hasn’t changed the quality of your posts… Still as interesting/helpful/funny as ever! I use mobile photos occasionally to save on time, and I think they still do the job!

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