Tuesday, June 16, 2009

20 Proven Tips To Get You Published on Tastespotting

Submitting your photographs to food porn websites like Tastespotting, Food Gawker, and Photo Grazing is an excellent way of drawing traffic and readers to your blog. As many of you know, these sites are curated sites, meaning that your photograph is judged and either accepted to be published, or not.

When I first started blogging, my photos were consistently rejected by these sites, and after feeling the sting of yet another rejection I decided to take action and really work on my food photography skills. These 20 tips are some of the things I learned along the way and now my photos are regularly published...check out my Foodgawker published submission page!

If you haven't had luck getting published then these 20 tips are for you!

20 tips to get published in second part of post...

20 Proven Tips To Get Your Photographs Published On Tastespotting

1. Never use a flash

2. Shoot during the day, next to a window

3. Don't clutter your background

4. Be objective

5. Use garnishes

6. Don't get too close that you can't focus clearly

7. Before you shoot, ask yourself "What is the main point of interest in this shot?"

8. Use simple plates

9. Shoot 3 distinct angles for every recipe. Pick best shot at the end.

10. Arrange food on plate so that it is clearly visible

11. Never shoot indoors with house-hold light bulbs

12. Place main food item in center (these sites have a square format, so keep that in mind when shooting!)

13. Instead of photographing one cupcake, line three up, front to back, and focus on
the first one. Apply this rule to other food items.

14. Use a reflector to fill in dark shadows

15. Use a tripod if shooting indoors in a low light situation

16. Use photoshop, or other software, to correct exposure, contrast, and color saturation

17. Take 2 minutes to make the food look good on the plate before you start to shoot

18. Play with the composition. Use the rule of thirds!

19. Shoot lots and lots of photographs of the same plate of food. The more you shoot the more you'll have to choose from!

20. Have family and friends help you pick their favorite shots before submitting to the food porn sites.

Do you have any other tips to add to this list? Leave a comment and let me know!

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  1. It's always useful to have tips to improve photos so they can enter on these sites.

    I see many photos done with artificial light no only with natural light, but with a correct balance in their shadows. Thanks Danny!



  2. Fabulous tips, all! Such great sites to get inspiration for new recipes, too.


  3. Another good tip - do a search on TS for the food you made, and look at ways other people shot successfully submitted photos and draw upon them for some inspiration! I also try to look at other photos and then think of new and creative ways to shoot my food. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't!

  4. You know what cracks me up? When Tastespotting likes my photo, but Foodgawker doesn't...or the other way around.

    Tastespotting also pays a lot of attention to the content of the blog post. They liked my picture of cherries in a bowl but did not publish it b/c apparently my post wasn't informative enough.

    My mood swings back and forth depending on whether they like my photos or not :)

  5. Very helpful post. Thank you. I frequently run into the rejection comment "dull/unsharp" image even after sharpening and brightening the image considerably. Have you run into this and if so how do you correct for it?

  6. There's nothing better than natural light! Alas, we're nightowls here at HTC so sometimes natural light is a bit hard to come by!

    Great post!

  7. I'm loving your blog. All of your posts are very clever and they really helped me to improve my blog. Thanks.

  8. Great tip Jenncuisine!

    Olga, I find that totally confusing also...just goes to show you how subjective it all is.

    Phoo-D, Many of my photos have gotten rejected with those comments. I think it's just their default answer when they don't like the picture. Also, try making the photo more dynamic with composition and lighting.

    Thanks for the great comments everyone!

  9. Nice post, thanks for the tips. I was thinking of writing a post called Tastespotting Hates Me.

    We have had much better luck with Foodgawker. And I find Foodgawkers submission process easier.

    It also took me a long time to figure out how to track my submissions at Tastespotter. Maybe I needed a tutorial on how to use the Tastespotting website. :)

    I resized my photos, then found out some of my photos were too small and did not fill the square. Rejected, of course!

  10. Great post! I agree with some of the other comments concerning one site accepting and the other rejecting. It is quite confusing.

    I also agree that Foodgawker has an easier submission process.

    Thanks for the tips!

  11. I'm glad I'm not the only one who finds foodgawker is more accepting than Tastespotting! I've only ever been rejected by the latter, and the one time foodgawker didn't like a submission, they told me which other photo in the blog post that they would accept.

    I've definitely been feelin' the love more for FG than TS as of late. They also seem to update their site more frequently than TS.

  12. I dont know what works - I have had a number of photos published and each time its different...

  13. I personally have had more things rejected from Foodgawker than from Tastespotting, oddly enough. I've even done 2 different pizza posts and used pictures that were almost identical in composition just one from one direction and the other from the other direction.

    Funny thing is the one that wasn't accepted was because of "composition". Now if they had said that the issue was contrast/dark/too grainy, I would have understood.

    I'm beginning to think it's random (as in hit their quota for the day and no more past that)or based on what the one viewing the photos is craving :P

  14. Thank you for your great tips! I am excited to share that for the first time two of my photos were published on Tastespotting.com! This is very exciting for me:)

  15. These are some great tips here. My photos are always rejected. I don't think they are so bad, but alas, they do and it's their opinion that counts!

  16. I just found this post, and have had the opposite experience than most of you, TS has published two of my pics, while those exact pics were rejected from FG. Photo grazing has been much easier to get published on!

  17. I know these sights require square cropping and a certain file size and I don't know how to know if it's right. Can you answer that for me?

  18. Hi Danielle,

    Sorry for the late response. Usually the image does not need to be square when you submit it...the site will automatically crop it for you..(tastespotting actually lets you crop it once you submit it). The important thing here is that you have to make sure that the main focus of the photo is in the center, otherwise the picture will look off once the cropping occurs. Checking the file size is a bit more complicated but using Photoshop is always the best way.

  19. Aweeee-some post! I just started my blog and followed all your rules here and your post on angles and I've have been published on both Tastespotting and FoodGawker. In fact only two posts deep and both have been published. I attribute this directly to your tips. A big Thank You to you! My traffic went from 10 visits(all family) to 500+ visits in 24hrs.