Blog to Book (Advanced Food Photography)

Blog to food photography  book

Blog to Book (Advanced Food Photography)

I have about an hour commute and I try to go walking at the local community center for an hour, three or four times a week.  I’ve been trying to put all this “dead time” to use listening to audio books and more recently, podcasts.  Ever since Nigel asked to interview me for his podcast, I’ve become addicted to podcasts.

In one of these podcasts I’ve been listening to, some guy was talking about blogging with a purpose.  He said something to the effect of “if you’re going to be writing on a regular basis anyway, why not end up with something worth while  in the end?”  He was talking about blogging a book.  That’s an interesting idea and I think I’m going to give it a try.

I’ve been thinking about writing a book for years and years and the task just seemed so overwhelming that I never got started.  Well now, I’m ready, and if you’re interested in following along, you’ll basically be getting the book for free.  I don’t have a problem giving this info away, but I could use a favor from you if you could spare the time.  If you do get around to reading my stuff, I could really use some input.  You can either leave comments or email me with any suggestions.

I’m going to start out listing an outline and if you think I’m missing something, please feel free to let me know.  I’ve never done this before and I could use all the help I can get.

Since there seems to be quite a few books out there already on food photography that are geared toward the beginner of student, I thought I’d gi for a different market.  I want to write for the wedding or commercial shooter that wants to start shooting food as a specialty.  I don’t want to spend a lot of time talking about “beginner photography” stuff.  I want to assume that the photographer knows the difference between a shutter and an aperture.  I want to teach ADVANCED Food Photography, and I think that will end up being the title of the book.

This page will end up being home base for the book.  I’ll have the outline below and will be changing it as everything develops and as I add pages and chapters.  If you want to follow along and contribute to the development of the book, I’d be very thankful.

Here’s the basic outline:

  1.  Intro
  2. Camera Gear
  3. Lighting Gear
  4. Propping
  5. Lens Selection
  6. Choosing a Camera Angle
  7. Composition
  8. Focus and depth of field strategy
  9. Food Photography Team
  10. Lighting
  11. Post Production
  12. Business
  13. Case Studies
  14. Next Steps

Of course all this will change as the book develops.  I actually have a gazillion topics listed that I’d like to cover, so this thing is going to be taking quite a while to complete, but you guys can watch it as it develops.

Any feedback so far?  Any topics that I’ve missed?  Please let me know.


  1. Hector · February 15, 2015

    Hi Michael,

    This is a great idea. The outline seem straightforward. If you could include the specific topic in each chapter, then we could give more specific comments as well.

    Good luck!


    • Michael Ray · February 15, 2015

      That’s a good idea. I’m just developing the outline now and for me, deciding what to talk about is half the battle, and will probably take up some time. If I do post that, I’m sure it will be out of date minutes after I hit the “publish” button.

  2. Tomasz J · February 15, 2015

    Hi Michael

    So many photographers use flash lights, as a food photographer I much prefer still, continous light, if possible natural, i would like to know from book as much as possible about continous lights day balanced, like HMI, Led, fresnel lenses, fluorescent lights, not many books recommend continous lights why? Maybe that help You litttle bit and give You an idea what could You include in book project. Looking forward to see the book. Regards

    • Michael Ray · February 15, 2015

      I too would like to learn more about shooting food with LED lights. I have a few that I bought to shoot video shots of people, but I haven’t tried them yet of food. The LED Fresnel light are a bit pricy just to experiment with. I started my career, working in Chicago using tungsten lights, so I’m familiar with them and that’s probably why I like my Normal fresnel spot so much. We’ll see…

  3. Rob · February 16, 2015

    Hi Michael,

    Excellent idea and I’d even love to see your book in book stores and on Amazon. Heck, I’d even buy your book!

    Something I’d enjoy reading in your book in the lighting section/chapter, are your suggestions for how to approach lighting different materials, like silver, metal, plastic, glass, and shiny surfaces.

    I know this is going to be a great read when the book comes out; thanks for developing this.


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