Photo Fridays: 5 tips for Beautiful Food Photography Composition

Composition1 Photo Fridays: 5 tips for Beautiful Food Photography Composition
I know there has been quite a time gap since my first Photo Friday post, but I was overwhelmed by the positive response to the last one (thank you for your comments and emails!) and I’ve got a notebook full of ideas I want to share with you. I keep putting it off, however, actually because of the big interest I saw in the last one – a couple of things happened: 1) I feel like I inadvertently put myself in a position of authority on the subject, and I’m very much still learning and 2) now I feel like my photos have to be perfect for a photography tips post (which means it was never going to happen).

So today, I am sharing some thoughts on composition, with examples from some favourite bloggers I follow. Smooth cop out, eh?

But there’s more! These particular bloggers fill my reader with stunning visuals of vibrant, healthy, fruit-and-vegetable-dense dishes specifically. I have an ulterior motive for that…

Peach & Bourbon Snow Cones + VITAMIX giveaway!

Peach Bourbon snow cone text Peach & Bourbon Snow Cones + VITAMIX giveaway!

I have a very exciting collaboration happening right now that I am practically beside myself about – and that I’m thrilled to finally share with you.

Bon Appétit magazine has partnered up with Vitamix for several issues, and asked me to collaborate (squeal!) in creating some fabulous recipes to showcase the Vitamix Professional Series 750 blender.

I’ve gotta say, it’s pretty surreal to see my face in my favourite magazine.

instagram Peach & Bourbon Snow Cones + VITAMIX giveaway!

And it gets way more exciting, because with each issue of our partnership, they’re giving away a Vitamix to YOU!

For the August draw, all you have to do to enter is snap a pic of a summer treat you make that was inspired by this recipe (as seen in the issue of Bon Appétit that is currently on the stands), and share it on Instagram with the hastag #VitamixSweepstakes. UPDATE: Winner selection will be conducted by random drawing from all eligible entries on 8/31/14.

The winner of the month (one for each of the August, September, November and December issues) takes home a highly coveted, supremely powerful, dazzlingly beautiful Vitamix Pro 750 (value $749).

If you’re not familiar with it, this beauty is a beast: pulverizing popping corn to fine cornmeal in a heartbeat; whipping hard almonds into buttery submission in seconds; making flour from grains without batting a (mechanical) eyelash; and berries – they just quiver in its presence (why hello there, silky smooth coulis). Not to mention it makes hot soup from cold ingredients.

Peach Bourbon snow cone 1 Peach & Bourbon Snow Cones + VITAMIX giveaway!

And everyone else who enters still gets to enjoy some version of these Peach-Bourbon Snow Cones, so really, everybody wins…

I don’t think you could go wrong serving snow cones at a dinner party – either as a conversation-starting cocktail (in which case, dial up the bourbon in the recipe), or as a fun, refreshing dessert to end the meal – akin to granita, but with way more personality.

Blueberry Pudding Cake

Blueberry Pudding Cake3 Blueberry Pudding Cake

It’s my mama’s birthday today! I celebrated with her in spirit by making a birthday cake that I know she’d love, even though we are too far apart to enjoy it together.

My mom has always preferred fruit desserts to the more decadent options, so I made her a blueberry cake – emphasis on the blueberries (I used six cups!). The blueberry filling bubbles up and thickens as the cake bakes, making a sauce and cake in one – the defining characteristic of a pudding cake.

Blueberry Pudding Cake2 Blueberry Pudding Cake

I even made sure to use wild blueberries – the kind that grow in New Brunswick, where I grew up and where my mama still lives. They’re teeny tiny and unbelievably flavourful. And blue the whole way through! A far cry from the much less sweet, grape-sized (ok, slight exaggeration) high bush blueberries we get on the West coast that are green (GREEN!) inside.

Unfortunately around here we can only buy them frozen. But that’s ok, they’re still delicious!

Blueberry Pudding Cake11 Blueberry Pudding Cake

You can make this cake with fresh or frozen berries – but if you do go with frozen, you’ll need to bake a bit longer and cover the cake with foil about halfway through as it browns quickly. To tell if it’s done

Almond Butter Date Smoothie

Almond butter date shake2 Almond Butter Date Smoothie

This might be my favourite smoothie. It’s so yummy and satisfying.

And it tastes like dessert.

Its sweetness comes from dates and very ripe bananas, so you don’t need to feel guilty that your tastebuds think you’re having a milkshake for breakfast. A delicious chocolate-banana-almond milkshake, yum.

The healthy fat and protein from the almond butter give it true staying power – it’s the one breakfast-with-a-straw that I find will actually keep hunger at bay until lunch.

Watermelon Caprese Salad

Watermelon Caprese2 Watermelon Caprese Salad

Wow, life gets busier. I thought the new baby stage would be busiest, but in retrospect I had a lot of time to spend on my laptop, sleeping baby across my chest. Now, I have a little guy who wakes up, wolfs down breakfast, and is raring to go. So much to do! So much to see! Yesterday, he picked up my purse, slung the strap over his shoulder, blew me kisses and waved bye bye as he headed for the door.

If I take my eyes off him for a second, he’s either eating toothpaste or putting my iPad in the garbage, so snatching a few minutes for email, etc. is not easy.

Theo and Oliver Watermelon Caprese Salad

He’s also adamant that he should be the one to hold poor Oliver’s leash when we go out. Oliver is very patient, but he is obviously wondering what he did to deserve this…

Watermelon Caprese1 Watermelon Caprese Salad

Anyway, it’s only natural, I guess, that I’m favouring simple, fresh summer recipes. This salad shows how when you use good ingredients, they speak for themselves – minimal preparation is needed to make stellar meals in the warm months when produce is at its peak.