Food Blogging: Ten Things I've Learned in Five Years


It's challenging for me to remember exactly when I wrote my first post five years ago, but I'm fairly certain it was sometime late this month. If web years are anything like that of dog years, then that is quite a good length of time. I searched the archives but knew before I began that I'd long ago deleted the first few posts because they were only worthy of being the best examples of aimless wandering. I was testing the water, wondering what might come from a seemingly simple decision to write about food.

Funfetti Cake

There's more to it than that, and I realize it when I sort through the posts and photos, recipes and stories. It's difficult to separate my life and that of my family from what I've written here because it has happened simultaneously, confirming that my life is truly food-centric in all its crazy glory—or often, the lack thereof, and thankfully so.

So much has changed in the five years while I've shared my "fat-free opinions on a food-centric life." Although I've certainly changed as a result of the experience, the web and general status of food blogging is radically different. When I created Sass & Veracity, it was to provide an outlet for myself to write about my efforts to lose weight, thinking it would hold me accountable. That didn't last long because I soon discovered that to write a food blog, one actually has to write more than stories. At some point, there must be photos and recipes.

So before I launch my list of what I've learned in five years food blogging, let me say cheers to Sass & Veracity—who knows where it will be in the next five years, but I'd enjoy your opinion about a few things I'm considering that I've posed toward the end of this very long piece if you're interested in sharing. I hope you are. And while you're at it, perhaps you can let others know something you've learned in the time you've been blogging. Thanks for reading!

1. It's all about the photos.

Okay, so maybe not 100 percent, but close. And the most expensive camera and lens, or fancy lighting and equipment aren't necessary as long as you learn how to use your camera. It will save time with post-processing as well, because no matter what kind of photo editor you use, your shot is only as good as what you originally captured. I struggle with this often, because of my stubborn lack of patience. I prefer to shoot without a tripod so I can move quickly around the table working from many angles and perspectives. The tripod is cumbersome to me, often feels like an additional thing to contend with and doesn't always help me capture what I see without it. Sometimes the natural light I use changes so quickly, fussing with a piece of equipment is more than I care to do, instead preferring to move whatever I'm shooting to a different place. The light will be different, so adjustments will have to be made, but it's still natural light. I have worked to learn how to shoot in artificial light, and although I've much to learn, practicing has helped.

Kitchen Lighting

Artificial Light—Taken March 2007

Roasted Tomato Soup

Artificial Light—Taken October 2011

2. Stay true to your own perspective.

I should have made this number one because it pertains to everything—the food you make, shoot, and write about, the stories you tell, the voice you create, the effect you work toward. It becomes your signature—what others expect from you. And because learning occurs with experience, from time to time, that influence will have an effect on all of the above. Embrace it, but also remember what you set out to do. For me, that is connecting food with my life in some way, and sharing what I've learned in the process. In writing, there are memories and stories shared.


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