Spiked Guacamole and a Photography Tutorial! | The Daily Dish

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Spiked Guacamole and a Photography Tutorial!

11 Comments | Written on October 4, 2012 at 5:00 am , by

Today I am excited to show you not only how to make this delicioso “Tequila Spiked Guacamole” but I also have a few easy tips for styling and photographing your food at home.  I promise you don’t need a fancy camera or a degree from Le Cordon Bleu!

Keep reading for the recipe and tips! 

As many of you know, our monthly recipe contest requires a photo for entry.  There is no need to be intimidated!  With a few easy tips, you can make your food photos go from drab to fab!  All the photos below were taken with the Nokia Lumia 900 SmartPhone.  Coincidentally, the same model we are giving away this week on the blog!   

Guacamole Photo #1

Here is a shot of the guacamole recipe taken with the cell phone camera.  Not too shabby, right?  An image like this would be great to upload and submit into one of our recipe contests.  I am ready to dive into that bowl of guac right now!

Guacamole Photo #2

This is a photo taken with the exact same camera phone on the same day with the same food.  What?  How is this possible?  The difference between the two photos seems great and yet I only changed a few things.

I have narrowed it down to the “Three Basic Rules of Food Photography” and “Three Basic Rules of Food Styling”

Rules of Food Photography:

1)  Natural light:  The sun is your friend!  The main difference between photo #1 and photo #2 is natural light and artificial light.  One was taken near my patio door the other in the corner of the room with a lamp.

2)  No flash:  Repeat after me…”Don’t ever use the flash…EVER!”  Unless you want your photo to look like #2 please heed this warning.

3)  Something white:  You can use a white poster board from an office supply store, a white bed sheet or even a piece of computer paper.  If you use something white to “bounce” the natural light coming in from a window or door, it will take your photography to the next level.  Something white also makes a nice, neutral backdrop, so your dish really stands out.

Rules of Food Styling:

1)  Wood surface or cutting boards:  A good rule of thumb is to remember that texture on a surface brings out the texture in your food.  That’s why a piece of textured or distressed wood makes a great platform for showcasing a dish.  If you have a wood cutting board in your house, that’s all you need!

2)  Small Plates:  When in doubt, use a smaller plate than you think.  Empty spaces on a plate look bigger on camera than they do in real life.  Photo #2 is just an average dinner plate, but you would think I photographed it on a platter!

3)  Garnish!   Have fun with your food and accessorize the image!  I suggest taking ingredients that are already in the recipe  and use them as garnish as well.  Find fun ways to garnish on top of the food, around the dish or even as background in the image.  In this photo I simply added a jalapeño pepper to fill in some of the “blank” space on the cutting board.

Tequila Spiked Guacamole

2 large avocados

2 tablespoons finely chopped white onion

2 jalapeno chiles, seeded and finely chopped

2 tablespoons finely chopped carrots

1/2 teaspoon finely ground oregano

2 tablespoons silver tequila

salt to taste

Mash the avocados with a fork.  Add the onion, jalapeño chiles, carrots, oregano and tequila and mix.  Salt to taste.


11 Responses to “Spiked Guacamole and a Photography Tutorial!”

  • 1
    Lisa says:

    Thank you for the tutorial, Kristina!! I’ve been doing some things right and some wrong. Often I must take recipe photos in the evening when there is no artificial light . . .

    • Kristina Vanni says:

      Lisa….I hear ya, that’s an ongoing problem, especially in the winter! There are some good artificial lights you can buy for digital photography, but it can be a bit of an investment. I can give you some links if you are interested!

  • 2
    catherine a dempsey says:

    So far every day this week is a party with your recipes! Fun and looks delicious!
    Thank for the photo tips-really helpful!!

  • 3

    [...] I wrote a blog post for Better Recipes outlining a few simple photography and food styling tips for beginners.  Take a look!  http://www.betterrecipes.com/blogs/daily-dish/2012/10/04/spiked-guacamole-and-a-photography-tutorial… [...]

  • 4
    Mary says:

    Kristina, thank you so much! I am soooo weak in the area of photography, but your simple tips will help me greatly.
    I have been thinking of taking a photography class at our local Vo-Tech school, but will try your tutorials first.
    Thanks again!

  • 5

    [...] 2)  Take a great photo of your creation. (Click here for some easy food photography tips) [...]

  • 6

    [...] We all know that you “eat with your eyes first” so a mouth-watering presentation is important when serving your sandwich.  Of course, for this recipe contest you also need to snap a photo of your creation to enter.  Create that perfect shot with a few basic food styling tips and a quick and easy photography tutorial. [...]

  • 7
    Krista says:

    Thank you so much for the ideas and tips! It’s great how you broke down each aspect of it. I have never quite gotten the hang of this, but now I think I might be able to actually take a good photo for my recipes! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  • 8
    Tanya says:

    Good Recipe and the wonderful tips…
    I am new for blogging and food photography… Gathering the tips and trying to implement..I will keep your tips in mind while taking pics next.


  • 9
    Roxie says:

    In reviewing this recipe I believe I will change two ingredients the carrot with tomatoes, the oregano with cilantro. We love guacamole we have an avocado tree and have never thrown any of them out! I have learned that blending two avocados with 1 tablespoon lemon or lime juice then I use my food saver unit to seal them in freezer bags and they are ready for guac at any season!

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