Monday, December 26, 2011

30 Days of Gratitude Day 26 - Useful Gifts

It's just amazing what a little light can do. My wonderful husband has been a huge supporter in all the crazy things I've tried over the years. Whether jumping out of an airplane, glass blowing, or starting a hundred craft ideas only to keep finding out that crafting is really not my specialty. Every time I come to him with a new idea or desire he listens to me and asks me questions and then next thing I know he is figuring out a way to get me started.

One thing I do love and have always tried to learn more about is food. Whether it's cooking, prepping, catering or teaching, I love all aspects of it. A few years ago after working on a television set, I told my husband that I thought I wanted to try taking my food styling skills to a higher level. That meant getting a new DLSR camera and I fully expected him to say "Hun, we just can't afford that right now." Luckily for me, this conversation took place right before receiving our tax refund as well as his annual company bonus. He must have felt I was worth investing some money in a good camera because we bought one not long after. Since then, I have taken more photos than I had in my entire lifetime, trying to learn what works and what doesn't while trying to get the picture I wanted. Without any photography classes - something I still need to invest in - I have fumbled my way through and gotten a couple great shots along the way. More importantly, I feel confident that my photos are getting better and not worse.

One thing that I have started to get tired of is having to wait to take my photos during the day because taking them outside is the only way I can really ensure good lighting. This is where my gratitude comes in. As part of being a huge supporter of my ambitions and ALWAYS pushing me to do better, my husband also tries to get me the tools needed to do the job right. For Christmas this last week, he got me a soft-box lighting kit and some lens filters. Now I can start working on my shots indoors while waiting to take that photography class. And if it's dark and rainy outside or super late at night, well, now I don't have to worry about waiting for that morning light... i'm jus' sayin'!

And if you don't believe me, the photos below are ones I just took and while I still have a lot to learn, I can already see the difference. The photos on the top are without the soft-box and filters and the ones on the bottom are with them...

"Photograph: a picture painted by the sun without instruction in art."
~ Ambrose Bierce

"You don't take a photograph. You ask, quietly, to borrow it."
~ Author Unknown

"The camera can photograph thought."
~ Dirk Bogarde


  1. I would love to take a food styling class. I probably need to take a basic photography class first. I have a Rebel Ti1 from Canon and still have no idea how to use it. You have a wonderful hubby:)

  2. Steph, years ago I started looking at all my favorite food magazines and when I saw a recipe I liked I made it and then did my best to style the dish the same way as the stylist did in the magazine, it helped me to concentrate on all the little details-that was how I started food styling. 2 Years ago I was worried that I just could not get past taking photos the "same" way all the time. When a local food photographer told me to stop trying to do so many different things but rather to stick with the style I feel good at and make it my signature. It was some of the best advise I have ever received. Your RebelTi1 is a Great camera keep playing with it. (PS.I've seen some of your photos on your blog and I think your selling yourself short they are good. Oh and yes he is wonderful!