Beyond Food Photography


May 13, 2020

Food photography is my thing. I recently got some validation that I am a talented food photographer when I was selected to photograph for one of the largest food corporations in the country. But this blog post is about more than that. I wanted to share some of the extra aspects of that job, and a recipe I developed while doing a foodtography job.

I am a photographer with both a marketing and an art background, so I get product placement and styling. I carefully compose scenes with the elements of art in mind, and shoot with marketing in mind. This means that sometimes your product’s label is not the forefront of the image, because that can be too pushy when your social media feed is plastered with it. Yes, this is true—look at some big brands, like Kellogg’s, and examine their Instagram feed. Being a good food photographer also means knowing how social media works. Instagram is rewarding posts with engagement, that means giving images more time with a pause when scrolling by, and even better—active motions like sliding through a carousel. That is why I like to provide variations on an image, so that your carousel can have a cohesive feel and your caption remains relevant for both images (because the second time a person scrolls past your post, it might be the second photo that the ole ‘gram chooses to show them). 

cookies and milk

But, you know what? I like to eat too. And I like using my creativity. So, I also offer recipe development. This week, I got a box of Bear Naked Granola to shoot. Rather than only shooting it as a cereal, I thought this would make a great cookie. My favorite cookie has Corn Flakes in it, so I knew it would work. I concocted a recipe knowing the crunchy granola would afford itself to a crunchy cookie, as opposed to just using oats. I went with the Cacao & Cashew Butter Granola because the cashews and pepitas give the cookies a bit of protein without taking over the flavor profile, and the fair trade chocolate makes them a feel-good cookie (at least that is what I tell myself). Now I have a new favorite cookie recipe.

The brand Bear Naked is owned by Kellogg’s, the largest breakfast cereal maker and one of the largest food corporations in the United States, with more than 31,000 employees—and I was hired to shoot food photos for them. I was flattered and beyond giddy. My husband was pretty stoked on the granola chip cookies. Since sharing is caring, and I care about my readers, I am sharing the recipe below. I hope you enjoy it.

the best cookie recipe ever

Granola Chip Cookies

  • 1 cup shortening (room temperature)
  • ¾ cup packed brown sugar
  • ¾ cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 ¾ cups Bear Naked Cacao & Cashew Butter Granola
  • 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 375. In a stand mixer (or large bowl suitable for your hand mixer), cream together the shortening and both sugars. Add the vanilla and beat in the egg. Reduce the speed and add the flour, baking soda and salt, stir into the creamed mixture. Finally, stir in the granola and chocolate chips. Drop dough by heaping teaspoonfuls onto cookie sheets (I use a silpat or parchment paper liner).
Bake 12 to 15 minutes at 375. Move cookies to wire racks and allow them to cool enough so that they don’t burn your tongue when you bite into it. Store remaining cookings in the cookie jar, if they survive the day.

To make this recipe vegan, just replace the egg with a flax egg and swap the semi-sweet chips out for dark chocolate chips. Bam—some of my family and one of my besties are vegan. I have got my people covered.  

bear naked cookies

P.S. This was not a sponsored post, the opinion and photos are all mine. I was just sharing what I do so that if you are a food brand, and you need a food photographer or some recipe development,  you can keep me in mind.



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