Hey friends! Can you believe it’s the first day of September? This year has literally flown by for me, but I’m so ready for Fall. While I love summer weather in Minneapolis (hello outdoor patio season), Fall is definitely my favorite season. Growing up, I loved the crunch of the leaves underneath my feet as I walked home from school. Now, I’m probably more excited about the scarf wearing, bike rides in long sleeves, and quite literally sweater weather, but I love it all the same. Fun fact – my intramural ultimate frisbee team in college was called Sweater Weather and we won the championship senior year. No shame in the intramural game.
Anyways, if you read the blog – you know I have a full time job on top of trying to make this little blog grow. Over the last two years, I have made small improvements gradually to both my photography as well as the look of my site. I’ve switched my site host from Squarespace to WordPress and then over to SiteGround with a WordPress plugin over the last year. Do I recommend doing that? Probably not. It was a very time consuming process and I wish I had done some more research up front because I probably would have landed on WordPress or SiteGround in the first place. I also know essentially nothing about how the internet works, so switching domains and all that other URL language was really frustrating for me. Long story short, I could have spent that time developing content for you guys and creating fun recipes in my kitchen.
So why am I telling you all this? Because I’m very much so in the development process of building and growing this little baby I call Dana’s Edible Affair and I know a lot of other people with side hustles are too. I’m starting a new series called Free Resource Fridays, focused on sharing (FREE) resources I have used, or am currently using to try and grow my blog!
The first resource I want to share is these free photoshop actions from Sarah AKA Broma Bakery. If you have an Instagram, you’ve seen Sarah’s photos. She has her own blog, which is filled with her beautiful food, and also photographs for other bloggers. If you’re interested in hearing her story, I suggest listening to this episode of the Healthy Maven’s podcast. On her blog, Sarah walks you through the install and application of these filters. The filters, which are specifically designed for food photography, are super easy to install and use. You’ll have to make sure you have Adobe Photoshop (obviously) before downloading. If you don’t have Photoshop yet, I would recommend getting a Creative Cloud membership for $9.99/month which gives you access to Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom on your desktop. It sure beats paying for your own license of Photoshop, which seems to get upgraded even more than iPhones these days.
While I said my photography has come a long way, I still have a long way to go. I usually end up with about 5 or 6 photos out of 50+ shots that I actually like when I shoot my recipes. Below is a comparison of an ice cream photo from my most recent blog post, and an image of a delicious summer pie from my FIRST blog post. Which one would you rather make? I’d say the ice cream if the decision was based just off the image.
I shot the ice cream photo in Manual on my DSLR and used Lightroom as an editing tool. The pie photo was definitely shot in Automatic on my DSLR and I probably used some free Mac photo editing tool set to “auto” to edit it. Shooting in Manual with my DSLR has been a slow learning curve. I used Minimalist Baker’s Food Photography School Course to develop a background understanding of the functions, but a lot of it has been trial and error. The Minimalist Baker course is not free, but I would say it’s totally worth the price. She also recently updated all the videos and added new content so it would be the perfect time to invest in it if you can do so.
Since I take all my photos on the weekends, I’m also crunched for time with good natural light (god forbid it is raining all weekend). To show you how these filters can be applied, I took a flat image I shot and applied each filter with no other edits to give you an idea of how they can improve a photo. Keep in mind that they won’t all give you the look you want – depending on the shot, lighting, and personal preference. Below, you’ll see each the filtered image next to the original. I like the way that Morning Light and Linen looked with this image best. I felt that Garnish and Perspective brought a little too much saturation into this photo, but that doesn’t mean they wouldn’t look good with another image!
How did I make these side by side images with text? On (another) free resource, Canva. If you don’t want pay for Adobe Illustrator, this is a great site to start building some images for your blog or other social media platforms. You can download directly from the site into JPG, PNG, or PDF files. My only beef with it so far is that you have to decrease your file size to upload images, which might impact the integrity of your photos. I’ve uploaded an original JPG of my starting image as well as one with the “Linen” filter applied to give you an idea of the impact to photo quality in Canva.
No, Canva is not Adobe Illustrator but if you’re looking for a quick way to improve your content I would check it out. One of my goals in the next few months is to refresh my high school Adobe Illustrator skills so I’ll be sure to share what free resources I find for that application as well.
What photo editing resources do you like to use? Please leave a comment below if you’d like to share!
[Disclaimer: This post is not sponsored and all opinions are my own.]