This Gal Cooks

Food Photography: BBQ Nachos Revamp

Having a DSLR camera for snapping photos of your food is great once you learn the ins and outs of using the camera. Food photography can be pretty complicated but have no fear, with a little practice, you can take great photos of your food!

As I’ve mentioned before, when I first started taking photos of my food, I was very VERY inexperienced with photography. You could say that I am still inexperienced but you can take the very’s out of the equation. When I first started blogging, I snapped photos with my iPhone and didn’t know a thing about proper lighting. Fast forward a few months, add a Canon Rebel T3 DSLR camera and a little research and you have someone who can take some pretty appetizing photos.

Food Photography: BBQ Nachos Revamp

BBQ Nachos from #BBQrecipes #nachos 2WM

I take all of my photos next to a window. I use props to give the setting some character. I use a reflector (this is pretty simple to make – I just wrapped aluminum foil around a canvas – I got this idea from Dorothy from Crazy for Crust) and usually have my camera set at the following settings: f stop around 2.8, ISO at 100 and shutter speed between s/25 – s/125. It really depends on the level of lighting as to what the exact settings are. I usually have taken close to thirty photos of my food once I’ve adjusted the settings and tried different angles and placement of the food.


So let’s take a look at the pre-DSLR camera photos. Not too appetizing, huh? Which would you rather eat? The food in the above photo or this food?



If you want to see more of the after photos (and you know you do) you can check them out at my original BBQ Nachos post.

What do you think of the new and improved photos?

Do you have any helpful food photography tips?

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24 comments on “Food Photography: BBQ Nachos Revamp”

  1. Your photos are really great Julie! I so need a new camera; but in the mean time I am so going to build me a homemade reflector!

  2. Much better! I love seeing these. I have soooo many of mine I need to redo. I have a T3 now, too. I’d say I’m very (just one very) inexperienced still but at least now I care. haha Before I just used to take it for me, now I care that others look at them.

    • Thank you, Melissa! I still have more that I need to redo. It’s amazing to look at the old photos and see how far you’ve come along. :)

  3. Your photos are always beautiful! I’m still learning on how to take good pictures, it’s a work in progress :)

  4. As long as we have an intention to share the recipe and try to convince people how delicious the food is, good food photography is a must. Although we can take pretty amazing pictures with a point and shoot, I think there is a limit. I really enjoy your before and after DSLR pictures because I have those pictures from pre DSLR days on my blog… Your bbq nachos looks really good (honestly even the old pic!!).

    • I agree with you. I used to have a point and shoot. While I didn’t know all of the ins and outs of using it, it sure didn’t take great photos like my DSLR does.

      I still have some pre DSLR photos on my blog. I am slowing remaking my old recipes and updating the photos. I’m having fun doing these recipe revamps! It’s so nice to see how far I’ve come and I hope I can encourage and inspire those looking to improve their photography skills. Even someone with no formal photography training can practice enough to get some great shots!

  5. Looks amazing, Julie. There is so much to learn in blogging but I enjoy the process as I think you do. You’re so fun to follow! It’s amazing how I think your photos a good, then you do a revamp and the new pic is extraordinary!

    • Thank you, Paula! :) There is so much to learn. You learn one thing and then something else pops up that you have to learn!

  6. Love this, Julie!! So fun seeing the fun food updates. I have to say, however {and maybe it’s because I am such a nachos fan} that I want to dive right into that old picture of yours – low lighting or not – because the cheese looks real and I love the onions and bits of green peppers! YUM.

    • Thank you, Claire! LOL, the cheese turned out a little thicker when I made it this time! And I didn’t have any jalapeno peppers this time. around. Which did kind of suck because I LOVE jalapeno peppers!

  7. Wow…. nice job… and I’m a nacho fan myself! It is fun to see you remake some of your dishes… I would like to do the same one of these days. I can’t wait to see what you do next :-)

  8. It’s amazing how much difference a camera can make! They look awesome Julie :)

  9. Your pictures are so different Julie, wow! That is awesome My dad just gave me his old Canon EOS and I can’t wait to start playing with it. I am working on my photographs too and Food Bloggers Pro ( is awesome! Thanks, Kate

  10. I am so with you! It is crazy the difference once you actually learn how to use your camera and then it is so fun! Now, I just need to go out and get some cute props. :) Great post!

  11. I’m glad I’m not the only one who takes at least 30 pictures whatever food I’m serving. I just got a new camera and its more advanced than my old point and shoot. It’s not a DSLR yet, but I don’t think I have the patience for that upgrade yet.

    • I’ve learned that I kind of have to do that since I am not an expert yet. I think they look ok on the preview on my camera and then when I hook it up to the computer, I realize that they are blurry or just look awful!

      Once you upgrade, you will love it! It’s a lot of practice and patience, but I am sure you will do great with it. :) Let me know when/if you upgrade. I can get you in contact with some posts and people who gave me tips. :)