Book Recommendation: Plate to Pixel

Plate to Pixel by Helen Dujardin, Wiley Publishing

If you read The Pioneer Woman’s website, you’ll know that she recently posted another “visit to the ranch” giveaway weekend. This one features a late July weekend of macaron baking and food photography tutorials. Did I enter the contest? You betcha. Why? Because I just bought the food photography book published by her special guest, Helene Dujardin. If you’re a food blog junkie, you’ll know her work from her lovely Tartlette blog. I love Helene’s blog for her gorgeous food photography. Yes, her recipes are also stellar. She is a trained pastry chef, after all. But her luscious photographs are like no other. They’re food art. And since I have a new Canon EOS Rebel T2i (my first “big girl” camera) and absolutely no photography experience, I was thrilled to discover that Helene had published a digital food photography and styling guide. I immediately went to Amazon and ordered it, and couldn’t wait to dig in.

What I love most about Helene’s book is that it’s laid out in a start-to-finish manner, beginning with food photography basics and ending with an “after the capture” chapter on photo transfer, editing, storage and copyright tips.

In between, she shares tips for lighting, food staging/styling and composition. Helene shares her knowledge in a straight forward, easy to understand manner. And while I may never have a career as a professional food photographer, I am certain her guide will help me become a better overall photographer.

On that note, I would like to share some news. I was recently contacted by a graphic design company about the use of a photograph that appeared in my blog. It was a photo I took for my carnitas recipe. After exchanging a few e-mails, I agreed to allow them to use the photograph for a marketing campaign if the client chose to include my photo. Well, weeks later, the client did indeed select my photo for inclusion in their campaign, and I received a small check for the limited royalty-free use of my photo. That’s right. In the loosest possible use of the term, I am officially a professional photographer. It may be the world’s shortest lived career, but I was excited none the less. For now, I’m framing the final letter, the check and the photo for posterity’s sake. Even if this turns out to be a one hit wonder, I can at least look at it, smile and remember when.

Note: I’d like to thank Michelle at Brown Eyed Baker blog for introducing me to Plate to Pixel through a recent post. Proof positive, in my opinion, that you can always learn more by reading other bloggers. Thanks, Michelle!



Filed under Miscellaneous Thoughts, Technical Stuff

16 responses to “Book Recommendation: Plate to Pixel

  1. Pat Counts

    As I have said numerous times, you are a jack of all trades! My hero……. Pat

  2. Hooray!!! Congratulations, Jeanne–you are PUBLISHED! That is so cool. As you can see, I am gushingly thrilled for you!

  3. Big Sis

    Congratulations!!! I can truely say I knew you when you were in diapers – before your pants got so big!!! Just don’t forget us little folk when you become the big star!! ;) love ya & congrats again!

    • Thanks, Sis. I appreciate the support, but I don’t think one photo is going to launch me to stardom! I love your enthusiasm, though. It’s great to always have you in my corner.

  4. How exciting! That is quite an accomplishment!

  5. The Baby

    How cool is that! Does that mean that we can have professional family photos taken at Thanksmas now? We’ll have food stuffed in our faces so the same methods should apply. Congrats on the first check, I’m sure it won’t be the last!

    • Thanks, Baby Sis. I’m happy to take family photos this Thanksmas – candid and otherwise. We need good head shots of everyone. Mom’s talking about making a Family Tree quilt and mentioned she needed photos of everyone to make it work. Sounds like we’ll be setting up a family photo booth this year!

  6. cindy

    That’s wonderful, congratulations! Just one more feather to put in that hat of yours. Proud to know ya!

  7. Woohoo!!
    How totally cool!
    Also, Plate to Pixel is going on my birthday wishlist. Thanks

    • Woohoo!! Thanks for your enthusiasm, Mads! You’re going to really enjoy Plate to Pixel. Helene did a great job of making it easy to read and easy to follow. It’s a keeper.

  8. Congratulations on your photo and new professional photographer status :) I feel so out of things… I haven’t been keeping up with the blogging world these past two weeks and feel so out of touch from everyone! Love that book… I need to pick it up and learn a thing or two. I prepared several meals over the the past few weeks and tried photographing the final product… let’s just say, food photography is NOT my thing. My house does not have good lighting in the evening. Photographs look too grainy. Looking forward to your future food posts now to check out the pictures :)

    • Thanks, Katie, but you’ll need to give me some time. I’m going to need a lot of practice using Helene’s techniques before we see any improvement! I have the same problem with natural light. I have great light in the morning, but only one window in my kitchen so I usually try to photograph food early in the day when I can. If it’s late in the day, I usually just carry the plate out into the back yard for better light. What I really need to do is practice the lamp & aluminum foil reflection trick and see if that helps. I’ll let you know how it works out.

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