BLOGGING RESOURCES: What I Use

blogging-resources-happily-unprocessed

Good Morning Friends!

I am so happy about the feedback I am getting from all of you about starting your own blog!
The feedback I am getting is that most of you have a passion or desire to start a blog but most of you just don’t know where to begin.  I can only hope that my posts are helping you find the confidence to take that leap!

I promise I will continue to hold your hand and like I’ve said before, I am by NO MEANS an expert on this, but I am definitely willing to share what I know!  Remember, I started with absolutely ZERO experience, nada, nothing.  🙂

MY LATEST VIDEOS

So….I thought today would be a good time to do a post on the resources and equipment I use everyday to create the recipes and posts you see on Happily Unprocessed.

But before we start, let’s get some legal mumbo jumbo out of the way:

Disclaimer: Please note that some of the links below are affiliate links and I will earn a small commission if you purchase through those links. I use all of the products listed below and recommend them because they are either companies that I have found helpful and trustworthy or actual products I use everyday.   I’d be happy to answer any questions you may have on these items!

 

FOOD PHOTOGRAPHY TOOLS I USE


Nikon D5100 DSLR

I did a lot of research before I invested in a DSLR.  What I like about this camera is the rave reviews it got and it’s affordable.  Amazon has a great deal now for the camera, a beginners lens, a tripod and memory card for $549.  I paid MUCH more for just the body and the lens.  But the camera has been surpassed by the D7000 so as with all electronics they come down in price.  But this is a great deal and I highly recommend Nikon.

 

Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G Lens

The everyday lens that comes with your DSLR may be good for everyday shots of the kids and pets, but it’s not the best when it comes to those close ups you need for food photography.   I’ve had this 50mm fixed lens since 2014 and love it.  It’s my most widely used lens to date.  It is a prime fixed lens which means it does not zoom in and out.  It’s a very affordable starter lens.

60 Inch Lightweight Tripod

When I first started photographing food I did not use a tripod, I also did not ‘stage’ my photos.  Needless to say my first year in food blogging wasn’t my best.  Get yourself a tripod, it does not need to be fancy or expensive.  I grabbed this one for under $25.


Softbox Light Kit

Again, call me a slow learner, I just purchased this light kit this year.  If you ever want to see your photos take a ginormous leap, look into the lighting.  Again, you don’t need to go crazy.  I’m pretty frugal when it comes to blogging equipment.  I heard of this kit through other food bloggers and the amazing price so I ordered it and I am seeing huge changes in my photos.

USB 2.0 Flash Drive

I have several computers in my house and tend to go back and forth when I am working.  I like to take my laptop outside on really nice days.  I mean that’s one of the perks of working from home and having a blog, right?  So I like to save my photos on a thumb drive so I can work from either computer.

BOOKS I REFER TO


Plate to Pixel

This was the 1st book I bought when I started realizing my photos sucked could be better.  I devoured it all and learned some very valuable lessons, mainly how to get off Auto and shoot from Aperture mode.

book

The Food Photography Book

This is the 2nd book I got with regards to photographing food and to be honest I just got it this year.  If you don’t have any experience photographing food it can be a little overwhelming at first and I have found I learn better in stages.  So once I felt comfortable with my camera and was ready to experiment with Manual mode I picked up this book and I have learned a lot from it.

GETTING THE BLOG UP AND RUNNING

I had to update this (Jan 2018) because I changed hosts from BlueHost to Synthesis.  BlueHost is great when you are starting out, but one of the downfalls to it, at least in the beginning, is you are sharing a server.  What that means is if you suddenly get a surge of traffic or your blog grows your page will load very slowly or not at all.

You can certainly upgrade to your own server, which is what we eventually did as well but in the long run I just had to move to a higher service.  And after some consideration I chose Synthesis.   Disclosure:  I get no compensation for recommending them, it’s just who we chose.

 

Also, don’t forget to check out our post on Getting Started with Your Own Blog for the basics.

WORDPRESS

Once you get your domain name and hosting, WordPress has tons of free themes.  This is where I started and it’s a lot of fun to pick a theme and play around with it.  The pros are it costs nothing and once you discover something you’re not happy with, you can just pick another theme.  The cons are you are limited to what you can do design wise, but free is free.

 

genesis

Genesis Themes by StudioPress

Once Happily Unprocessed hit our first Anniversary is when I switched over to a theme I could have more control over.  I found Genesis to fit my needs and they work beautifully with WordPress.  I know all this techy mumbo jumbo can get confusing, think of Genesis as the frame to your car and Studio Press as the paint job.  You can choose different styles, colors, decals, etc that fit your specific style

SOCIAL MEDIA

mail

Whenever you receive an email by signing up to our newsletter you are receiving it from MailChimp.   It is an email marketing software company that is super simple to use and it’s free up to 2000 subscribers.  They have tons of email templates to choose from that you can plop and drop your pictures and text into.

board

I just recently became aware of Board Booster and that’s because there comes a point where the social media aspect of running a blog becomes too much.  One of the main sources of traffic for Happily Unprocessed comes from Pinterest.  And I used to personally pin dozens upon dozens of pins onto Group Boards on Pinterest throughout the day.  It’s exhausting.  BoardBooster is a site where you can schedule your pins 24/7 and they pin them for you.  Genius!  I spend about 1 hour each sunday picking out which pins to post and let them do their magic.

Conclusion

I hope you find this list of resources helpful.  These are the tried and true methods I use to run Happily Unprocessed everyday.  You don’t need to run out and buy the most expensive camera or lens or equipment.  Start with what you have and continue to learn about staging the food, props and set up, lighting, etc.  Read, read and read some more.  Continue to learn and follow those blogs who you admire, but most importantly YOU CAN DO THIS TOO !

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