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Sid Khullar's Open Kitchen: Food Blogging Queries Answered
  • Hi Sangeeta!

    I don't think direct monetization of blogs is such a great idea. By 'direct monetization' I speak of advertisements. Depending on placement, they can negatively affect reader experience, may conflict with the contents of the blog (e.g. you criticize a product that's advertising on your site via Google ads) and for low traffic blogs, literally bring in peanuts/sesame. :D

    I suggest building a business model where your blog is a showcase of your talents... and you conduct your business offline. For example, if you blog is about healthy eating and contains a substantial amount of content on healthy eating, recipes etcetera, your business model could be about designing healthy recipes for commercial establishments - hotels, restaurants etc as well as for individuals with special needs. You could also choose to cook healthy food with or without a team. I'd stick with consulting/designing as the resultant monies will show a higher profit margin with a smaller team size in the short-medium term than one that executes (cooks).

    Hope that helps.

    Stay well.
    Sid
    Join the Chef at Large food and cooking group

    Lolz on uspandy's question :-)

    Now that I cook and blog about it, I would like to know how to monetize the blogs, if that is a good possibility in India. Adsense brings peanuts..err..no Sesame :-)



  • Hi Fab,

    True; good food photos add so much to a food blog.
    You can do wonders with a simple, point-and-shoot digital camera too without entering the intricacies of a DSLR.

    • Use a 45 degree angle of whereabouts instead of the overused overhead shot
    • Do not use the flash
    • Ensure your subject is well lit
    • Photograph your subject with the light falling *on* it, rather than behind it
    • Do not go too close to your subject; especially, do not use macro mode *1
    • Shoot RAW if your camera supports it
    • Take care to zoom into your photo (on camera) to check blur and focus area


    Note 1: Most point-and-shoot cameras have many more abilities out of the box than a DSLR. While this is a good thing, the small, multi-purpose lens of a smaller camera tends to distort close-up images. As an example, ask a friend to photograph your face, from 3 - 4 inches away with a point and shoot and then with a DSLR. You'll find the former photograph to be almost comical in nature. That's what happens to food too.

    If you're looking for critiques of your photos, feel free to send them to me at editor@chefatlarge.in. Happy to send suggestions/feedback.

    Stay well.
    Sid
    Join the Chef at Large food and cooking group


    Fab said:

    Hi Sid!! I'm always amazed by the photographs on all the great food blogs out there. Do you have any tips on food photography with a simple digital camera?



  • Hello Sid,
    For some time now, I have been contemplating on doing a full time course in baking & decoration. Can you guide me about good culinary schools in India & abroad.
    Plus, how important do you think are props in food photography?
  • Hi Rituparna,

    I suggest checking out CCDS as a short term solution and think you should consider institutions like Le Cordon Bleu and the CIA as long term options. I know they're expensive, but will be worth the time and expense, especially if you plan to put your newly enhanced skills to commercial use.

    Props are an important part of food photography. Having said that, I tend to work with just the food. You should check out The Shirazine for photos with props (Parul is a professional stylist) and My Tasty Curry by Rekha Kakkar for beautiful visuals with minimal use of props.

    Stay well.
    Sid
    Join the Chef at Large food and cooking group

    Rituparna said:

    Hello Sid,
    For some time now, I have been contemplating on doing a full time course in baking & decoration. Can you guide me about good culinary schools in India & abroad.
    Plus, how important do you think are props in food photography?



  • Great!!!
    I have been into consulting for some time now. Designing/formulating healthy recipes for commercial establishments looks like an exciting area. Thanks for the practical tips.

    Yes, I agree one should work on a niche business model rather that working only to attract traffic so the peanuts grow fatter :-)

    Thanks again.
  • Thanks a lot, Sid!! Those were really helpful tips!! I guess I haven't fully explored all the features of my cam yet, and now I know why the close ups aren't always pretty :-)
  • Hi Sid! I am in Bangalore and it's so hard to find out basic baking stuffs like ramekins, butter sheet or muffin trays. Any idea of good stores here where I can get these?

    I also wanted some tips on food styling and food photography. What kind of properties can be added in background, foreground?
  • Hey, Sid. I've been baking and blogging about it for a while, mostly just things I've seen on the internet (or on 'Masterchef') that I wanted to try out. The occassional comments I've been getting are from friends. Now I'm trying to build an audience, but I'm a little confused - when it comes to cupcakes and things, there are many popular sites (international ones) that I'm sure people would prefer over mine. And when it comes to Indian cooking, I feel no one would be interested in reading about idlis or rotis, because they're making the same thing for breakfast and dinner, anyway. Do you think I should just continue blogging about whatever I feel like, or should I choose a niche that would probably attract an audience?
  • You're welcome.
    I forgot to mention shooting RAW if your camera supports it. A RAW file is much more forgiving and amenable to post-processing than a JPG.

    Stay well.
    Sid

    Fab said:

    Thanks a lot, Sid!! Those were really helpful tips!! I guess I haven't fully explored all the features of my cam yet, and now I know why the close ups aren't always pretty :-)



  • Hi Tina,

    Perhaps you could try CCDS for these. Considering they stock branded products too, physical inspection may not be necessary.
    http://www.nowletslearn.com/shop_online.php

    I'm not much of a food stylist and cannot comment on that area. People like Rekha Kakkar of My Tasty Curry and Parul Pratap Shirazi of The Shirazine do a great job. I'm sure they'll be happy to help out too.

    Personally, I prefer shallow Depth of Field photos for food in frames that get really close to the food in question. As a result, I don't use much props and prefer a shot where the food in question fills the frame. That's just me. :) Please see the end of Page 1 of this forum where I've answered a similar question by Fab. If there's more you'd like to discuss, please feel free to shoot specific questions for specific problems you've faced.

    Stay well.
    Sid
    Join the Chef at Large food and cooking group

    tina said:

    Hi Sid! I am in Bangalore and it's so hard to find out basic baking stuffs like ramekins, butter sheet or muffin trays. Any idea of good stores here where I can get these?

    I also wanted some tips on food styling and food photography. What kind of properties can be added in background, foreground?



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