One of the best things that ever happened to my photography was Flickr. It's there that I started to understand what does and doesn't make a great photo. For food photographers, there is an endless supply of inspiration and feedback. Here are a many of my favorites. Be warned: there are a lot of food-related groups and it's easy to sucked in and spend all of your time surfing through them: Groups for Inspiration Rustic Food: Rustic food is a fairly new group focused on less modern foods... slow food, handmade foods and raw ingredients. Food Porn: The largest of the food-related groups, food porn is a dumping ground for all sorts of food photography, good and bad. I Cooked This: This group lets you share what you've cooked. Most of the photography is quite good, and many dishes have recipes linked. Professional Looking Food Photography: You have to be invited to join this group, but a mail to the group admin usually results in an invite. There is some fantastic (as well as some not so good) food photography here, plus some interesting discussion in the forums. Too Pretty To Eat: This group strives for only the best of food photography, whether that's the full dish, ingredients, or the process along the way. Definitely some gorgeous work on this group, although there is also a bit of overlap with Professional Looking and I Cooked This. The group is invite only. YummY YummY: Another food porn group. No limits (other than food related) and there is a large variety from good to bad. Aesthetics of Food: This group started as a an offshoot of the Hatch Delicious Design series of posts, but has continued to collect some great looking food photos. Fruit & Veg: Photos in this group should have the sole focus of the image being a fruit or a vegetable. It's a very active group. Alcohol as Still Life: Photos with bottles and glasses. A few good photos in the mix, but a lot of quick, low-quality bar shots. Food from All Over the World: Lots of photos of varying quality, but it's good to see what is going on in different cultures. Food Macros: Macro-only food photography. Members can post one photo a day if it is of the food-macro variety. CookingBloggers: Food bloggers photos that typically link back to their blogs. Photo quality tends to be fairly high as the group is invite only, but there is a lot of overlap of photos with the other groups (like Food and Wine Bloggers) Food Photography Themes/Challenges Foodography is perhaps my favorite of the food-relatd Flickr groups. Technically, it's not a group. It's several... a new one each month, dedicated to a specific food related theme. Group members post up to 3 photos taken during that month to get critical feedback. I love that it's about learning and inspiration. Foodography is hosted by Andrew of Spittoon Extra or Sam of Becks & Posh. The first group focused on fruit, the second on dairy and the current foodography challenge is on tools in the kitchen. Friday Food Fiesta: A new theme every Friday! Members can post a single photo, related to that theme. This weeks theme is Waffles. This list represents just a few of the groups you can find on Flickr. You can find more here, or search by the food tag. On the horizon: I've started a new food group related to this site which I will start hosting photo themes, beginning in April. The goal of this is to help us all learn more about food photography as well as gain a little more exposure, and helpful feedback on all photos will be encouraged. Photos posted to this group will appear on this site (like the flickr bar over on the side bar now). 3/28: Update! It's not quite April yet, but I got ambitious today and got the group together. So, head on over and become a member! BTW - if you aren't familiar with Flickr, here's a bit more info. Flickr is a photo sharing site (and a recent acquisition of Yahoo). While Flickr offers some services like prints, it's really about building a photography-focused community. You can view other peoples public photos on flickr without an account. If you want to share your own photos, you need to become a member. Basic membership is free, and lets you upload 20MB of photos every month with some limits around the number of photos you can view (the 200 most recent). A pro membership is about $25 per year, and gives you to upload 2GB each month, no ads and unlimited organization and viewing. Once you are a member, other people will see your public photos and leave you comments. You can get more exposure to your photos by joining groups, such as the ones listed above, and sharing your photos with those groups. As you do this, you'll see other people who have photos that you like. You can add those people as contacts, and then quickly see whenever they've uploaded new photos. As you add more contacts and leave more comments, other people will become more interested in your photos and add you as a contact or give you more feedback. It's a pretty simple concept, and it's amazingly addictive.
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