Do you have a food blog and you want to share your food images to food sharing sites like foodgawker? Have you encountered a situation where you suddenly received an email from the foodgawker that your pictures are rejected?
I remember when I just created my food blog- The Odehlicious, I was excited because It can help me gain traffic. Furthermore, this food sharing site is recommended by most food bloggers. But, what I did not know that foodgawker is very strict with pictures. And they usually reject images if it did not follow their guidelines.
For example, in my experience, I submitted 4 pictures of my food recipes, and they were all rejected. Most of the reasons were white/balance issues, and composition- awkward angle or tight composition.
What's worst is that I don't even have a DSLR camera, and I am just using my ordinary Samsung Galaxy cellphone. It was very frustrating for me, and I thought that maybe I need an expensive camera just to get accepted in foodgawker.
However, I did not give up. After doing much research and practice, I managed to get my food pictures accepted in foodgawker using a cellphone. I was excited, and I noticed there is sudden increase traffic in my blog.
Currently, I am not using any cameras, and all the pictures you see in my blog all come from my Samsung galaxy phone. As a matter of fact, since then my food pictures are all accepted. As you can see in the screenshot below, the latest picture that is recently accepted is my mini pizza recipe.
Based on my experience, there are 4 effective tips how to get accepted in foodgawker using mobile phone camera.
Use Overhead Camera Angle for Beginners
For beginners like me, it is important to take your food pictures using an overhead camera angle. This is much easier and straight forward since you are just positioning the camera above the food. What I like about this shot is that you don't have to be an expert or figuring out what angle you need to take the picture. The picture I posted below is an example of an overhead shot. This is my recipe for Cauliflower Fritters with Dill Herbs.
Please take note that not all food picture is suitable using overhead shot. For example, if you are taking a picture of your favorite chicken burger or fruit juice, using an overhead shot doesn't work since you will not be able to see everything. To resolve this, you will need to take a shot using a Straight-On Angle.
Note: If you recently have a food blog, and you want to share in foodgawker, start prioritizing food pictures that fits well using overhead shot angle. Example includes Pasta, Rice, Soup, Seafood or Meat recipes.
Picture should be taken in Natural Light
When taking food pictures, it must be taken using natural light. When I said a natural light, I am referring to the light from the sun.
It is not recommended to take a camera of your food picture using artificial light in your house. In my experience, artificial light, whether white or yellow light, makes the picture blurry and causes a white balance issue. This is one of the reasons why I was rejected by foodgawker when I submitted my food pictures.
For example, below are the two pictures of my sweet version spaghetti that I cooked in my kitchen. On the left side, this picture is taken inside in the kitchen in artificial yellow light. On the other hand, on the right side, I took this picture outside in my balcony using natural light.
If you were to judge, which picture you think looks better? Of course, the right side is more beautiful since it looks realistic and it is taken in natural light.
Meanwhile, the picture on the left side is more blurry, dull, and it has a white balance issue. You can notice the yellow light from my kitchen kinda ruin the picture of my spaghetti. Specifically, there is a bit yellow light on my bowl plate which is a red flag for photographers. If I were to send this picture to the foodgawker, they will surely reject it because of the white balance issue.
For this reason, I will highly recommend getting your favorite food picture in your balcony or other spots where it has a lot of natural light. Because I am living in an apartment, taking a picture in a balcony in daylight using a mobile phone is very feasible for me.
Must have correct composition
When I am taking the picture of the food using my mobile phone, I have to make sure the image has a correct composition. The list of composition to remember includes:
- Must not have a background that could distract you from looking at the food
- Must not have an awkward angle (it does not look like an overhead shot or 45 degree angle shot)
- It should not be too tight or too wide (the food picture is either too close or to far within the frame)
An example above is the picture of a Filipino dish called Chicken Pancit Canton. When I submitted my food picture to foodgawker, I started with the right picture, and guess what happened? It was rejected! That is because the composition of my picture has an awkward angle, and it does not look like an overhead shot.
However, the second time I submitted to foodgawker using the left side picture of my food recipe, it is approved. I used an overhead shot angle; there is no distracting background, and the composition is not too tight or wide.
Use Photo editor to optimize the quality of your mobile phone image
Lastly, after taking pictures using your mobile phone, it is important to enhance the quality of the image before submitting it to the foodgawker or sharing in your Pinterest or blog post. Out of all the 4 tips, this is the most important tip to have a high-quality picture.
Since I am relying on A Samsung Galaxy mobile phone for taking food pictures, I need to use a photo editor to have a similar quality as to DSLR camera. Most professional photographers when they have a raw photo, they optimize their pictures using photo editors such as Photoshop. I don't use Photoshop since you have to adjust several settings, and it is a bit complex. For an amateur photographer like me, I rather use another photo editor that is much simpler than photoshop. I am using a photo editor called Movavi Photo Editor.
Every picture I posted on the internet, I use the movavi photo editor to optimize the quality of my image. It makes my food picture more beautiful and realistic.
The example below is a picture of my food recipe the Kimchi Fried Rice. To help you understand this software, this is what Movavi Photo editor looks like, and it is easy to use.
The Left picture is a raw photo that comes directly from my mobile phone. Before I post in my blog or other food sharing site like foodgawker, I edited my picture using Movavi Photo Editor. The right side is what looks like after the picture is edited and optimized. The picture looks more realistic and appealing to viewers.
Note: If you want to understand how Movavi Photo Editor works, I will be writing a separate post about my honest full review of Movavi Photo editor and how to use it.
For beginners, it is best to take pictures using an overhead angle in natural light with correct composition, and use photo editors such as Movavi Photo editor. If you prefer using Photoshop, that's fine for me.
Please take note these tips may not work if you are using an old cellphone. For the Samsung brand, I recommend using Samsung s7 and the newer generation. On the other hand, for the iPhone brand, these tips work on iPhone 7/8 and newer generation.
Have you submit your food pictures using mobile phone camera? Do you have any questions or comments to share? I will love to hear from you