Whether you’re hoping to start (or improve) your food blog, craft blog, or just own personal spot on the web, these are my favorite resources that I use and recommend.
Disclaimer: Please note that some of the links below are affiliate links and I will earn a commission if you purchase through those links. I use all of the products listed below and recommend them because they are companies that I trust and enjoy using.
Starting and Hosting your Own Blog
I host both my craft blog, The Artisan Life, and Nibbles and Noshes through DreamHost. Making the transfer from Blogger was painless, and it was easy to import all of my old posts. DreamHost offers easy one-click installs for WordPress as well as domain name hosting, if you don’t already own your own domain name. If you do own your domain, you can either keep your current registration or transfer it to DreamHost. My favorite thing about DreamHost (besides its proven reliability and commitment to green energy) is that you can have unlimited subdomains at no additional charge. That’s how I technically have three different WordPress installations through the same $10/year domain registration!
I recently made the switch to Thesis Theme and I love it! It makes SEO very easy and makes it possible to do nifty things like install a widget space anywhere on your blog you’d like. I also enjoy being able to customize my content and sidebar widths to the exact pixel without any coding. My page load times have decreased and I’ve been receiving more search engine views since I made the switch and I wish I’d done it earlier. The free WordPress themes are fine, but the free products are usually free for a reason, when you compare them to paid options. You can pick the plan that’s right for you (they range from $87-$197 and you can upgrade your plan at any time by simply paying the difference.
There are two things that changed my food photography world: one was my camera and the other was an ebook.
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need the world’s most elaborate camera to take nice pictures, but a DSLR helps. A ‘basic’ DSLR does the job just fine, though. I’ve used a Nikon D3200 for about a year now and I love it. For a slightly smaller investment, the Cannon T3 is another fine place to being your work with a DSLR camera. Of course, any camera will work when you’re just starting out, but both of these camera options are an easy way to learn about DSLRs and improve your photography.
The ebook that changed my food photography is Tasty Food Photography by Pinch of Yum. It is amazing! I know it makes no sense that reading a book improved my photography in the space of a single morning, but it did (and I’ve the pictures to prove it!). I wrote an entire blog post demonstrating how dramatically my photography improved after reading this book. Tasty Food Photography also helps demystify your DSLR camera by showing concrete examples of how features like aperture affect your photography. It also details how to edit photos to improve them and how to take, well, tasty food photos with a point and shoot, non-DSLR camera.
Once you’re starting to get comfortable with your camera and have read up on food photography, you’ll probably want to up your game even more with props and backgrounds. I’d been using a couple painted boards for photography surfaces and a curtain for my backdrop, but then I bought some vinyl backgrounds from Ink and Elm. By the way, that isn’t an affiliate link or anything – I just love their backdrops!