This Gal Cooks

Food Photography Tips: Breakfast Egg Bake Casserole

It’s always fun to take new photos of your old recipes. Here are my latest Food Photography Tips: Breakfast Egg Bake Casserole.

Food Photography Tips: Breakfast Egg Bake Casserole from


Food Photography Tips: Breakfast Egg Bake Casserole. Before and After Photos. From

The photo on the left was taken last year with an iphone. The photo on the right was taken a couple of weeks ago with a Canon Rebel T3 DSLR Camera.

When I first started blogging, I didn’t really care what my photos looked like. Well, I did to a point but I didn’t do too much to make sure they were exceptional. I used my iPhone camera (not knocking the iPhone camera as it can take some great photos) and I didn’t try to take photos in natural light. In fact, I had no idea that I should try to take my photos in natural light. Many of my photos looked like the below pre DSLR shots of my Breakfast Egg Bake Casserole recipe.

Pre DSLR. Looks appetizing, doesn't it? That's sarcasm right there.

Pre DSLR. Looks appetizing, doesn’t it? That’s sarcasm right there.


What the heck is that? Is that edible?

What the heck is that? Is that edible?

What was I doing wrong? A lot of things. As my blogging life continued, I started researching food photography. I found out that I was doing a lot of things wrong. I wasn’t setting up good food displays – my composition was all wrong. I wasn’t shooting in natural light. I was getting too close to the food when I did my shots. I wasn’t editing my photos properly. I wasn’t taking time to plan out my photos and play around with different layouts. It’s amazing what a little research and a good camera can do.

Breakfast Egg Bake Casserole by

Would you rather eat this or the food in the before photos?

You may be asking what I did to snap a photo that looks like this. I took this photo around 9am, inside my front living room next to a window. The light was not filtered. I shot in manual mode however, the white balance was set to auto.

I set my camera to:

  • Shutter speed: 1/60
  • F-stop: f/2.5
  • ISO: 100
  • No flash
  • RAW

I used Photoshop Elements and PicMonkey to edit this photo.

In Photoshop Elements:

  • I auto adjusted the settings in the RAW Image editor. I then adjusted the exposure with the slider because I felt the auto adjust made the photo too bright.
  • I then opened the photo in Elements and removed the color cast and adjusted the lighting levels using auto adjust.
  • I saved the photo as a jpeg file.

In PicMonkey:

  • I resized and cropped the image to 600×750.
  • I used the Unsharp Mask and set the radius to 3.2. I then played around with the strength and clarity until I got the look I wanted.
  • I used the Curves Tool to slightly adjust the lighting a little more.

I know that I can do all of the things I did in PicMonkey while using Elements but I am pretty new to Elements so I haven’t figured out how to use everything yet. When I have more time, I plan on diving into Elements and learning more!

I used the same techniques as listed above to edit the below photo. Camera settings were the same. The only thing different I did was resize it to 600×900.

Breakfast Egg Bake Casserole2

Would you like to make this delicious breakfast recipe? Sure you would! You can find the recipe here.

If you’d like to see some of my other photo redos, visit my Blogging Tips archive. 


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

38 comments on “Food Photography Tips: Breakfast Egg Bake Casserole”

  1. Nice post Julie!!! I have loved watching your photo evolution! Have a great weekend, Deb

  2. Great post – there is definitely an art to food photography! The wrong picture can make the tastiest food look disgusting, but the right picture can make a person drool. hehe. I love egg bake and will have to check out that recipe :) Thanks for sharing your editing tips!

    I found your blog on the “Grow Your Blog” link-up!

  3. Oh thank goodness! I thought I was the only one who had terribly bad pictures at the beginning! I’ve only been blogging for a couple of months, and I have already improved, but I have a long way to go. Looking at your BEAUTIFUL pictures now gives me motivation to keep trying! Thanks Julie!

    • Trust me, there are a lot of us that had bad photos in the beginning! I’m glad that I have given you motivation to keep trying. I know I was motivated by other food bloggers to keep improving mine. I’d look at beautiful photos and tell myself “I want to do that.” :)

  4. I did the same thing early on. Too close to my food while taking photos. I use Elements also, and don’t find it very intuitive. I think I’m going to have to take a class.

    • Hi, Lea Ann. I tried a trial of Elements and thought it was slow and clunky. Julie has me convinced that I should try it again, but I am pretty happy with just iPhoto and Picmonkey!

    • The number one reason I use Elements is because I started shooting in RAW. I needed a program that would allow me to open up RAW images and edit them. I can edit each layer individually with RAW images in Elements. I still have a lot to learn but I was happy enough with it while using my free trial that I decided to purchase it.

      As I learn more I will do a few posts on it. :)

  5. Your re-take photos look great! I think it is so helpful to see original and improved photos side by side. I have A LOT of dishes I’d like to redo from the first year of blogging (and plenty of others more recently taken too). Thanks for sharing the details of the photo, I find that is a great way for me to learn more about my camera settings.

    • Thank you so much, Holly! I still have a lot that I need to redo. I look at some of them and I just think “Wow, people actually looked at these?” Some of them weren’t horrible but most of the ones I took from the first few months of blogging weren’t anything to look at!

      Once I finish with school, I am going to take a photography class. I’ll definitely post updates and do some posts on what I learn. :)

  6. I am doing a lot of these mistakes still so this post is a wake up call!! Thanks for sharing your tips girl :). Once I get a big girl camera I am coming back for these camera settings because I love these photos.

    • Thank you, Zainab! You take some great photos. I think you have good composition. :) I’m glad that this post will be useful for you! Can’t wait until you get your new camera! I know you will be snapping tons of great photos!

  7. Every but helps! Thanks!

  8. Great post, Julie! This breakfast casserole looks delicious. Great photos definitely make food look tastier! I need to learn about the Curves tool. I looked at it briefly but didn’t know how to use it. Otherwise, I think our techniques are similar.

  9. Yes, I would like to have a slice of Breakfast Egg Bake! Love the green in that graphic!

  10. Julie,
    This was soooo helpful! It is amazing to view the evolution of your photography and the incredible difference lighting, and editing do!
    Thank you!
    Happy Saturday~

  11. Taking photos and learning new things about photographing food is my favorite part of blogging! I love to see the comparison of these two photos … You’ve improved so much!

  12. Great tutorial, Julie, and your photos always look fabulous!I have some really hideous photos from my first few months of blogging. I’ve considered doing re-posts for them because they’re so unappealing. Thank heavens for food photography books and tutorials such as this!

    • Thank you, Marcie! I still have a lot of photos that I need to redo. I showed my supervisor my blog and she was looking at newer photos. She said they were great. Then I told her to look at some of my older recipes. She was like eww yuck. I wouldn’t want to eat that!

      I’m happy for the food photography books and for one of my fellow bloggy friends giving me some tips on how to use my camera in manual mode. I still plan on taking a photography course once I finish up my bachelors degree in May. It can’t hurt. I’ll learn a lot more once I do that. :)

  13. What a fantastic tutorial, Julie – thank you. Pinning this one as I could certainly use the tips

    I hope you have had a lovely weekend.

    Kate x
    Kate at Home

  14. Thank you so much for being specific about what you do. I am learning about pretty photographs and sometimes I get luck and it comes out “okay” but mostly, it’s not. This helps!

  15. Thanks so much for the tips! I’ve been trying to improve my food photos too lately – and I totally know what you mean – i cringe when I look back at my earlier photos!

    Thanks for hosting the Monday hop, I’m a new follower!

    Aanie from The Active Mum & Little Haven x

  16. Awesome tips! I’m constantly trying to improve my photos. Thanks for sharing. :)

  17. Julie, I think all our photographic journey starts the same way. For over 2 years I struggled to make my food pictures look great.!! Not realizing that all this while my practice was leading to bettering my composition and understanding of light! Totally agree with you.

  18. Great tips! Thank you for sharing them!!!

  19. I’m going to have to try these tips out for sure as my photos to improve. Do you ever use a tripod for food photography?

    • Hi Chris! Thanks for stopping by. I have used a tripod but I feel that it’s restrictive as to what shots you can take I definitely recommend using one until you are able to steadily hold your camera but once you can do that, I say ditch it. But it really is personal preference. I started having my boyfriend help me with some of the shots I’ve taken of a spoon scooping food out of the dish (such as with my Four Cheese Pumpkin Pasta Bake and my Easy Tortellini Bake.) Let me know if you have any other questions!

  20. Hi, chris thankyou so much for such wonderful information… you explained it so clear, and easy .. Especially for us newbie bloggers… Looking forward to more of your excellent articles.. Naz

  21. Im so sorry for calling you chris.. Julie, I guess I just was paying attention to the comment above lol……….:)

  22. Great tips! I am planning to photograph a casserole this weekend, and it’s one of those tricky dishes that stumps me… this helps!!