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Holiday season is in full swing and you are going to love me – I have the perfect holiday gift idea, either for yourself or for any food blogger you know! You are in for a real treat today because I’m sharing my review of Nancy’s beautiful food photography eBook Yummy Pics!

Have you looked back through my archives at my first posts? Focusing in particular on the pictures? (Ironic that I use the word focus, since it seems like I didn’t know about that feature of the camera back then…true story, lol.) Take a look back, and you’ll be amazed at the evolution of my photos.

In large part I credit this to inspiration from my fellow food bloggers; there is no more talented bunch of people that I know of. Throughout my time blogging, I’ve come across many blogs with photos that are nothing short of captivating. These are the blogs that make me not only want to run into the kitchen and make their food, but first grab a cup of coffee and sit down and really delve into their blog because I just don’t want to leave!

Nancy’s breathtaking blog Spicie Foodie is just that. A never-ending source of beauty and inspiration.

Samples from Yummy Pics by Nancy Lopez-McHugh

I was following Nancy’s blog three years ago and marveling at her photos since that time. Actually, I remember having her site up on my computer screen and time after time Mike happening to glance over and every single time ask me whose site that was because the photos were so good. And I’d tell him again and again – it’s Spicie Foodie! Nancy’s photography has always been truly artful…beautiful composition and use of light along with all of its dynamic qualities.

When Nancy announced she was coming out with a photography eBook Yummy Pics I was thrilled. Through my photography I try to use light, color, and props to evoke a certain mood or scene; however, that being said, I am completely self-taught and have never even taken a basic camera course. I don’t always fully utilize my camera’s capabilities, and this is something I am aware of and know I need to work on. Reading through Nancy’s book was completely insightful.

Table of Contents from Yummy Pics by Nancy Lopez-McHugh

In her beautiful book she covers the following topics:

  • Camera Types
  • Camera Modes
  • Image Size, Quality, and File Format
  • White Balance
  • Exposure
  • EV or Exposure Value and Metering
  • Light
  • Composition
  • Photo Props and Food Styling
  • Basic Photo Editing
  • Practice Tips
  • Of course with gorgeous photos throughout the whole book, and much, much more!

Samples from Yummy Pics by Nancy Lopez-McHugh

Here are just a few of things I really enjoyed:

  • The practical approach to photography that Nancy promotes. She discusses how the kind of camera you use isn’t the most important factor in determining the quality of your photography, and she talks about what factors are important. (So there is hope if you use a point-and-shoot!)

Samples from Yummy Pics by Nancy Lopez-McHugh

  • Her section on shutter speed was very helpful for me. I like playing around with aperture to adjust depth of field, but shutter speed is something I’ve really only played with when taking a couple outdoor night shots. Nancy beautifully demonstrates the use of shutter speed pertaining to food photography when you want to show motion, such as when mashing potatoes or dropping an object into a glass of water. (She also gives an incredibly helpful tip for point-and-shoot cameras in this section!)
  • Nancy’s chapter on light is fantastic. When I first started blogging I thought I needed a bright sunny day to have enough lighting to get good pictures; now, like Nancy, my favorite days to shoot are overcast days – in particular, dark and stormy days! This line of thinking about shooting with hard light (or direct sunlight) is a common misconception among so many food bloggers, and Nancy does a wonderful job of talking about different kinds of light and how to use them to your advantage.
  • I’ll admit it – shooting with artificial light intimidates me more than a little. After reading Nancy’s section on this I was determined to start trying to work with it though. I’m not where I want to be yet but I will continue practicing, and now at least I feel like I have a good resource to turn to for guidance.
  • I loved Nancy’s discussion on the Rule of Thirds and the examples she gives to illustrate the rule. Then it is so helpful to see the example photos she gives to show that sometimes breaking this rule can also result in gorgeous photos.
  • It can be a lot of fun to experiment with different camera shooting angles, and Nancy provides great examples for many different angles. If you’re just starting to get into food photography, this is a lot of fun to explore.
  • Something I don’t often think of is creating visual movement in my photos. Nancy gives a wonderful description of how to do this using lines and points of interest, along with some gorgeous examples.
  • Nancy talks about developing your own personal style for your photography, and looking at Nancy’s photography you can tell she has achieved that perfectly. Nancy says of her photography: “The color schemes and light in my photographs are a bit mysterious, sometimes wacky, experimental, and often times sultry, romantic, moody with splashes of dark and bright colors.” She encourages getting inspiration from other sources but ultimately taking that inspiration and making a unique style that is all your own. Nancy mentions a quote from Ansel Adams, which poignantly describes this: “A great photograph is one that fully expresses what one feels, in the deepest sense, about what is being photographed.”
  • You probably know that the food I photograph for my blog is real food – food that was most likely a meal for my hubby and me not moments after I finished my photo shoot. Nancy is the same way, and it’s because of this that I found her section on food styling so informative. She talks about styling foods that many people often have trouble with, like soups, pastas, and drinks. She also gives a great tip on shooting vegetables – her shots demonstrating her technique are incredible!
  • Through my photos I like to try to evoke an emotion or convey a scene, and Nancy does a beautiful job of explaining how every element of the photo can be used to depict the story you’re trying to tell. Something I really enjoyed was a “walk through” that Nancy did to show the different propping elements of a photo as each prop is added in.

Samples from Yummy Pics by Nancy Lopez-McHugh

Nancy’s expertise really shines through in this lovely book. The way she wrote it is very approachable even for beginner photographers, but it also holds great value for more seasoned food photographers who want to hone in on improving specific photography skills. If you enjoy food photography or are trying to improve your food photography, this book is a wonderful tool. Nancy is a truly talented photographer and a wealth of information.

Nancy’s book can be purchased here, and it will be the best thing you can do for your food photography. And if you’re not a food photographer or blogger, this book would be the perfect holiday gift for any food blogger you know!

Head over to Nancy’s blog Spicie Foodie where you’ll find more of her breathtaking photography along with her tantalizing recipes. While you’re there, be sure to tell her congrats on her beautiful book! 

Photo Courtesy of Nancy Lopez-McHugh

All images in this post are the sole property of Nancy Lopez-McHugh and Spicie Foodie. Please to not use images without prior written consent. Thank you.

Nancy has kindly offered to give away one copy of her beautiful eBook, Yummy Pics: A Food Blogger’s Guide to Better Photos, to one lucky winner! (Note to My Food Blogger Friends: This is like gold! Get ready to be amazed.)

Here are the rules to enter:

1)     Leave a comment on this post telling me you’d like to be entered in the giveaway.

2)     For a second entry, follow Spicie Foodie on Twitter or follow An Edible Mosaic on Twitter.

3)     This giveaway is open until December 5 at 5AM EST.

4)     The winner will be chosen randomly and notified via email.

5)     If you win, you agree to do a review post for Yummy Pics on your blog. The post should include the link to the book’s purchase page; Nancy from Spicie Foodie will provide you with the details.

Good luck to all!

Faith, author of An Edible Mosaic.
About Faith

I’m the writer, recipe developer, photographer, and food stylist behind this blog. I love finding the human connection through something we all do every day: eat! Food is a common ground that we can all relate to, and our tables tell a story. It’s my goal to inspire you to get in the kitchen, try something new, and find a favorite you didn’t know you had.

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  1. I’d love to win a copy! My photos are what I need to work on the most.

  2. Cacahuete says:

    I’m wishing to have a book like this…Where I can learn all the techniques behind food photography.

    Good luck to everyone

  3. My alter ego Aunt Elsie (@ElsiesPantry) follows you on twitter. Plan to follow Spicie Foodie too (already like her on FB).

  4. I agree her pictures are stunning, like yours. Count me in, since my blog will be launching sometime this month!

  5. what a fab & detailed review; love it faith; do count me in for the giveaway. I so adore Nancy’s pictures and this book is a real treasure !

  6. I absolutely adore Nancy’s photos! I am not much of a photographer myself yet, unfortunately, but my best shots were inspired by her.

  7. Fingers crossed …I would like to win this yummy pics :)

  8. would love to win to improve my own photo techniques :)

  9. This book sounds amazing. I’d like to be entered. I just followed you both on Twitter, as well!

  10. Denise Broa. says:

    I’d really love to be entered into this “GIVEAWAY”! I love cooking and trying different and new recipes.
    Thanks for the opportunity!

    Just love Spice Foodie!!!
    Denise B.

  11. I would love to be entered in the giweaway :)

  12. I absolutely love the Spicie Foodie photos and would “gobble” up Nancy’s tips. I have followed on Twitter.

  13. I would love to have this book . Following u

  14. Sarah H.P. says:

    I’d love to be entered in the giveaway!

  15. I would love love this book.

  16. Please enter me in giveaway

  17. Just starting to get up and running…I am sure this book would be amazingly helpful…I have used may recipes from you blog aneddiblemosaic!

  18. Now following you too, Faith, on Twitter!

  19. I have been a follower of Spicie Foodie for some time now.

  20. I love Spicie Foodie and follow her blog. From reading your review, her e-book has to be so wonderful and helpful! Thanks for the giveaway opportunity!

  21. Nancy does beautiful work. I’m always inspired by her images.

  22. Awesome giveaway! Count me in! I’m trying to learn as much as I can about food photography and learning how to use my camera (after too many years of point and click).

    I follow both of you on Twitter, too!

    Thanks for offering this giveaway. You rock. :)

  23. I would love to win it :)

  24. Spicie Foodie’s photography is jaw dropping. The textures, the colours, the mood (not to mention the recipes!). I’m so happy to learn about this inspiring book – thank you for your review Faith.

  25. I would love to win a copy of “Yummy Pics: A Food Blogger’s Guide to Better Photos”. Nancy is very talented and I would learn a lot from this book.

  26. I badly need help with photography so I need this book. Add me to ur list. :)

  27. Patty Jensen says:

    I would love, love, love to win this!! Thanks……

  28. Oh, this book is exactly what I need! What a great giveaway! Since I didn’t win the powerball tonight, I’m going to try my luck at this book! I do follow both you and Spicie Foodie on Twitter…happily!

  29. I follow Spicie Foodie and An Edible Mosaic on Twitter (@SPLemonade).

  30. Getting better at photograpy – particularly food photographs – is one of my 2013 goals. Sign me up for the giveaway :)

  31. yes of course I’d like to be entered into the giveaway. I need all the help I can get when it comes to food photos :) thanks!

  32. Oh this is totally fascinating to me! I’d love the help :)

  33. I am silentlurker on Nancy’s blog… I love her pics. This ebook would be lovely to have. I would like to enter this giveaway and hope to win.
    I have followed you and Nancy on twitter.
    THanks for the opportunity

  34. I am trying to redesign my food blog and learn the basics photography. This book is exactly what I need!

  35. I would love to enter the giveaway..I have been following Nancy’s blog since I started blogging and love her photography. When ever I see her pictures I know they are here’s before evening seeing who posted it.

  36. Yes, I would love to enter this giveaway. Hope to learn some tips from the expert!

  37. I would like to be entered in the giveaway. It looks fantastic! Thanks.

  38. I would love to get my hands on it! I love Nancy’s photography and her delicious blog.

  39. I’d love to be entered to win this ebook. I can’t afford a better camera, so I need hope for my point and shoot photography! lol Thanks for the giveaway opportunity!

  40. I’d SO love to be entered! I am a terrible photographer!

  41. Urban Wife says:

    What a fantastic book to have in my collection! Count me in, please. Thanks!

  42. Kevin Parks says:

    This book looks awesome and I would love to have it.

  43. Faith, I would LOVE to be entered in this giveaway. This looks like a fantastic book. All the best, Len

  44. I love Spicie Foodie! Nancy is a talented blogger, cook and photographer.

    A lovely giveaway. Count me in, please.



  45. I have a feeling this could be helpful! Thanks for hosting the giveaway!

  46. I really need to work on my photography, so I would love to have this book.

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