The Kitchen Pantry Is a Terrible Place to Take a Photo, and Other Things I Learned While Taking Pictures for my Blog

So, while I was home for Christmas I decided to use my brother’s high tech, fancy pants camera to take pictures of the gifts I made. My brother, Andrew, is an artist who does papermaking and photography, amongst other things. Shameless plug for him and his current efforts here and here.

Since I’m new to blogging, I have to try and remind myself to take pictures of what I’m doing so I can write about it. Unfortunately, I’ve always been terrible at taking pictures (remembering to do so and taking decent ones) so I thought my brother could help the cause. Back in the day, when you used to actually develop film at the drugstore, there would inevitably be a TON of photos with my index finger photo-bombing something. I’ve since gotten better, but not by much–until I used Andrew’s camera.

What I thought would take 5 minutes or so to photograph a gold pouch, turned out to be a 45-minute adventure as we set out to find the right lighting in the kitchen. I now have a new appreciation for bloggers who have beautiful pictures featured in their posts. Hopefully,  I can get there, but in the meantime, here are the things I learned about photography for blogs.

1. An item in front of “white” wall does not equal a great picture. 

White Wall 1This was the first photo we took. “Just put it on that bar stool in the corner, it’ll look good there.” No. No it doesn’t. There’s some weird lighting going on and that half green half white wall is distracting. Take two!

2. Moving object to another white wall with “better lighting” still does not equal a good picture. 


“We need something shorter. How about the trash can? No one will know it’s the trash can.” Sigh…This is also a good example of how two metallics can clash. Horribly.

3. A placemat doesn’t always help the cause. 

_MG_2744“It’s too much metallic. Here, add this placemat. I like the green.” We were on to something with the placemat, but still the lighting was off. Too shadowy. Just look at that detail though.


4. Holding objects in the corner makes me feel awkward. 

_MG_2736“Well, just hold it in the corner. I’ve seen a lot of people do that.” I did not want to stand in the corner. We must have forgotten about the bad lighting in the corner too. Try again.

5. Use a cool lens. Or not. 


Andrew thought it would be cool to get out his wiggle lens to try and do something interesting with the focus. This is when things started getting crazy and the photo shoot started to turn into the drunken escapades of the gold pouch. Not working…what’s next?

7. Getting creative with light sources and backdrops could result in failure. 


Clearly we were having an issue trying to find good lighting in the kitchen. What should we do? I know, let’s open the pantry door and take a picture by that light. Don’t you love the doorknob detailing in the back?

This is when my mother got involved. “How about a backdrop? Here, use this picture with French words on it. It’ll look fancy.”


No. Too much going on here. We need to make it simple. I know…

8. Get creative with location. 

IMG_2753This is the pouch on a high shelf. On top of our fancy silverware box. In the pantry. The light was better in there. Right? At this point we couldn’t stop laughing as I yelled for my brother to “get on its level,” Not working. Next.

9. When all else fails, open the fridge. 

Pouch Fridge Lighting 1After 45 minutes of pure buffoonery, we stumbled upon the money shot, and it combined all of the crazy things I learned throughout the shoot. This is the pouch on the bar stool, on top of the placemat, in front of a wooden door, by the ambiant light of the open refrigerator. The final lesson I learned was…

10.  Take pictures during the day, by a window, like a normal person. 

Gold Pouch 2

I’ll post more about the actual making of the pouch later, but I had to share my first attempt at photography for my blog. Thanks for learning with me 🙂


5 thoughts on “The Kitchen Pantry Is a Terrible Place to Take a Photo, and Other Things I Learned While Taking Pictures for my Blog

  1. One day I was watching house hunters, and the lady always had to take pictures in the kitchen, to determine how pictures would look for her blog. She said white kitchens work best. They literally chose a house because of how the pictures look for her blog. I never realized it was that serious! lol

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