The Camera has to Eat First!

Food3Out of all the things I take pictures of, food photos definitely take the cake. When it comes to social media, I am not a huge selfie girl, but one thing I do snap all the time is pictures of doughnuts, aćai bowls, and pizza. Whether I bake homemade cookies or go out to a restaurant, you can bet my phone camera will be eating first.

I usually will post the picture on my Snapchat story or on my Visco account, but most of the time I just save the photo for myself. Taking pictures of food for me is a way to remember a fun night out with my friends or a delicious homemade meal that my mom cooked for the family.

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My food photo addiction started when I studied abroad in Europe for a semester. Everywhere I went I indulged in amazing food and I would have been crazy not to take a picture to remember it. I’m talking about cheese fondue in Switzerland that had your mouth watering, heart shaped pizzas in Italy that made you fall in love, and hot chocolate in London that brought tears to your eyes.

Some people are against this trend in social media and think it takes away from living in the moment. They also think people will only buy or order a certain food just for the picture. I however think that there are many more positives to this movement than negatives. Taking pictures of your food encourages people to live a little more outside of their comfort zone. For me personally it has inspired me to try different restaurants I have never been to, or order something that might seem a little crazy. It also has allowed me to show off my cooking skills, get a little artsy and creative, and really express how much of a foodie I am.

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Since I am a trained professional (or so I’d like to think) at taking pictures of my food, here the top 5 tips and tricks I have learned along the way.

Find the perfect lighting

Natural lighting is usually the best way to go. Using the flash sometimes shows strange shadows and can make your meal look slightly less appetizing.

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Play with your food

I know this goes against everything your mother taught you, but sometimes the bun will fall off your burger or a French fry will be astray. Before you get the best picture possible move around a few things to makes sure your plate is at perfection.

Get creative with angles

Just like us, food has their good side too. Depending on how you hold your camera can really impact your picture. My go-to trick is getting the camera eye level with your plate and tilting it slightly downwards so everyone can get a better look at all of the delicious ingredients.

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Work with the background

Whether you’re sitting at a cool wooden table or you’re outside at a barbecue, the background adds to the personality of the picture. Get your friend cheesing in the background or show off the freshly squeezed orange juice behind your omelet at brunch.

Tag the location

This is super important so you can remember where you enjoyed that delicious and picture worthy meal, and so your friends and followers can check it out too. If you’re posting on Instagram, tag the restaurant’s name so other followers can click it and see other people’s delicious meals they’ve tagged as well. On Snapchat swipe left until you get the geo filter that shows your location. Your followers will thank you later.

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If you really get the hang of it and don’t want to clutter your Instagram feed with only food pictures you can make your own food account. These accounts are an awesome way to check out cool places to try, and you can brag to your followers when you discovered the most beautiful piece of pizza in all of Boston.

One of my friends started her own food account that is strictly gluten free foods (@gffoodie_boston). She extremely allergic to gluten and wanted to provide a way for other GF foodies to find great places to eat without sacrificing taste. Her account has over one thousand followers and she even gets cool promotions and deals from restaurants to check out their menu and post about it.

Snapping a pic of your perfect Panini is always a good idea, but it is also important to put your phone down after the photo and actually enjoy the food and the conversation.

Whenever my friends and I go out to eat, we have a rule that we all stack our phones in a pile faced down in the middle of the table. If someone reaches for their phone out of habit, they are stuck with the bill at the end- unless of course it’s to take a quick picture.

It sounds a little silly but there is always a time a place for your phone, but checking twitter while you bite into a juicy burger definitely isn’t it.

Happy snapping!

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Mastering the Perfect Selfie

Of all the social media trends out there, selfies has proved to be one of the most long-lasting trends of our time. The first selfie ever was believed to have been taken in October of 1839 by a man named Cornelius.

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This “selfie” is clearly very different from the selfies we see today on social media. Selfies today are taken much closer to the face, and, at least in my case, require a generous amount of makeup to be applied prior. Getting that perfect selfie can be much more difficult than it seems, so I have included several steps that are essential to mastering “selfie-taking.

Find a good background

Finding a good background can be pretty difficult. I always try to stand or sit against a white or nude wall. Using a plain wall brings more attention to you in the selfie and makes your picture look cleaner and more put together. Finding a plain background that also offers some natural light is even better. Natural light brightens your face and makes the picture appear clearer and less grainy.

Decide if you are taking a group selfie or individual selfie

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If you are taking a group selfie versus an individual selfie, how you actually take the picture is going to be different. In taking a group selfie, depending on how many people are in the selfie, you have to decide who is going to take the picture to get the best angle. For three people, the person in the middle should take the picture so everyone’s face is equally shown in the picture. For more than three people, a person on either end should take the picture by extending their arm and angling the camera so everyone is included in the shot. 

Get the perfect angle

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This definitely takes multiple tries. You need to test what angle makes your face look best which differs for everyone. Make sure you get your entire face in the picture, and take the picture from farther away from your face than you want it. You can always zoom in, but you can’t zoom out of the picture. Sometimes when posting on Instagram or Facebook the app may crop the picture weird so you want to make sure your entire face is still in the picture once it’s cropped.

Important tips

When taking your selfie, try to keep your chin parallel with the ground so you appear in your natural state and not stretching your neck upward or tilting your head downward.

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If you are taking group selfies, make sure everyone is close enough to one another so everyone is included in the picture and there are no awkward gaps in between people.

Lastly and most importantly, have fun with it and take a selfie that makes you feel good!! Be sure to post your selfie on your favorite social media site for the world to see!

Happy Selfie-ing!!  

Source: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/05/worlds-first-selfie-1839-robert-cornelius_n_4392804.html

The Quest for the Perfect Family Photo

There are a lot of traditions that come with the holidays; opening Christmas Eve gifts, smashing the Peppermint Pig, Secret Santa, and baking Christmas cookies for Santa. Of all the holiday traditions, taking a decent family picture has definitely proved to be the most difficult one. Every year my mom tries to get a good picture of my brothers, my sister, and me for the Christmas card. If we don’t get a good picture on Thanksgiving, we take one on Christmas instead and our “Merry Christmas!” card turns into a “Happy New Years!” card. So for those of you who struggle with getting the perfect family picture during the holidays, here are steps you can follow:

How to Take the Perfect Family Picture During the Holidays

Use the highest quality camera you have

This doesn’t mean you have to have one of those big digital cameras. Your highest quality camera could even just be on the iPhone 7. With all your relatives over you’ll have plenty of cameras to choose from, and the higher quality the camera the better the picture will look on a Christmas card!

Make sure everyone’s outfits are coordinated (somewhat)

My siblings and I always try to wear red and green for Christmas but if we don’t match colors, just making sure everyone’s outfits look good next to each other will make your pictures look better. Try to avoid wearing graphic shirts or sweaters as this will take away from the picture itself. Solid color sweaters or button down shirts for guys always looks good. Flannels are also a good way to go, but avoid overdoing it; if you have four people in the picture, two people at most can wear flannels.

Find the perfect background

Finding the perfect background can seem pretty difficult depending on what backgrounds your house has to offer. By using the right angles and cropping your pictures, you can make a mediocre background look 10 times better. Fireplaces, couches, in front of the Christmas tree, or even on the front steps of your house can provide good backgrounds for your picture. Whichever background you choose, just make sure to get rid of any clutter that might appear in the background, or crop out the clutter after taking the picture. If you can’t seem to find a good background, make your own background! Hang snowflake cutouts, or hang a sheet over a wall to make a solid color background. Get creative!

Develop a pose for the picture

Depending on how many people are in the picture, getting a pose that gets everyone in the picture can get pretty difficult. Play around with it! It helps to have someone stand in front of everyone and shift people around depending on height, age, and so on. You want the picture to be as symmetrical as you can so balancing each side out with tall and short people is essential to getting that perfect picture.

Have fun with it!!!

The most important part of course is to have fun with your picture-taking! If you still have young kids in the family a photobooth can be a great idea to have some fun and encourage picture-taking. Print some holiday pictures and sayings and glue them to popsicle sticks and have people hold them up in the pictures. This makes picture-taking fun and you can get some cute pictures out of it too!

Check your picture on a computer

This might be the most important part, especially if you are planning on putting your pictures on a holiday card. Always check your pictures on a bigger screen such as a computer. My sister and I are especially picky about our pictures and almost always disagree on the best picture. Checking your picture on a computer immediately after picture-taking allows everyone to make sure they like it, and allows you to retake the picture if needed and still have good lighting. My family had a bit of a mishap with our picture this Thanksgiving because we didn’t check the picture on a computer until nighttime. We attempted to retake it but at this point the daylight was gone and the picture came out terrible, so it’s looking like this year we will be sending out a New Years card.

Use editing apps if needed to fix lighting, flaws, etc.

There may be small things you want to get rid of in the picture, acne, red eye, or maybe even a stain on your clothes.These things can be easily edited out of the picture. If you’re an adult and don’t have those editing apps on your phone, I would suggest handing your picture over to one of the kids and having them edit out anything you need. I personally use “YouCam Makeup” to edit any flaws in our pictures. This app can be downloaded in the Apple AppStore and I guarantee it will get rid of any flaws your picture has.

Once all the finishing touches are in your picture is ready to be sent out to all the relatives!! I guarantee if you follow these 7 steps your holiday card will surpass all others this year! Hopefully this will ease the stress of getting that perfect holiday picture this year.

Finally, be sure to post the family pictures to your social media, to share with your friends and family alike!

Holiday Traditions

One of my favorite traditions around the holidays is smashing the peppermint pig after Christmas dinner. For those of you unfamiliar with the peppermint pig, it’s pretty straightforward; the peppermint pig is a pig made of pink peppermint that comes in a little red velvet bag and a small hammer to smash it with. Everyone gets a piece of the peppermint pig in hopes of receiving good fortune the next year. The peppermint pig can be purchased on Amazon through this link if you would like to share in the tradition this holiday season!

For those of you who are not big peppermint fans, here’s a delicious sangria recipe you can make this holiday! (another personal favorite of our holiday traditions). I hope you have a wonderful time indulging in all of your holiday traditions this year, and maybe even make some new holiday traditions!

Happy Holidays!