What kind of camera do you use?

I use a Canon Rebel T3 with a Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Lens and I only shoot in natural light. Some of the very first photos were shot with my iPhone 5s (because I couldn’t find my camera cord!) and then with the kit lens that came with my DSLR. I bought the new lens in April of 2014 and I have used it exclusively since. I am a complete amateur when it comes to photography – I’ve never taken classes (though I would love to one of these days!) and am self-taught through the magic that is Google :).

How about the light?

I’m super lucky in that the place I just moved to has walls of windows that receive indirect sunlight. When I first started I had a couple of french doors that got great indirect sunlight as well, although not nearly as much of it. Because of the indirect sunlight, I don’t use a diffuser. I use a simple set-up; light source on the left, table with the food parallel to that, and a white card (just a big piece of white foam board) leaning towards the food and windows. I only shoot in natural light and prefer the light from about 1pm-4pm giving me a few hours to play around with, although during winter months it shifts up a little, and sometimes in the summer I may have an even broader time range.

What setting(s) do you use?

I only shoot in manual, and I don’t have a tripod (which is why my set-up is fairly straight-forward), although I’d love one – it would probably help with my blurry photos! I usually start with an f-stop, shutter speed, and ISO of f/2.0 1/200 ISO 300 – and then tweak it from there. Sometimes the ISO is too high or low and that’s usually the first thing that I change (and most important since I don’t have a tripod – I hate photographs with a lot of noise). I also use auto white balance, but am trying to move away from that because I know photos can look so much better with a correct white balance; I’m just impatient.

What kind of photo editing software do you use?

I use iPhoto on my MacBook – I tweak a few things like contrast and sharpness (and blur out the occasional ill-placed crumb), but pretty much what you see is what came out of the camera. I probably should invest in Photoshop or at the very least, Lightroom, but haven’t quite pulled the trigger yet.

Where are some of the best places to eat in Charleston, SC/ Charlotte, NC?

I’m working on a couple of guides, promise!

My recipe didn’t turn out quite right, what went wrong?

Since I’m not physically cooking with you, I may not be able to pin-point the problem. One thing I will say is that, especially with seasoning, taste as you go. If something doesn’t have enough flavor, add a little more here and there. I try to get my seasonings measured for recipes, but sometimes it’s more of a guess (except for baking, of course). Some days I’ll add more or less of a seasoning or ingredient based on how I’m feeling, so use your best judgement (and taste buds!). If it’s not the seasoning, please email me or leave me a comment in the recipe and hopefully I can help you figure out what went wrong.


If you have any other questions, comments, or concerns, please contact me!