When I started Sing For Your Supper over 2 1/2 years ago (almost 3!), I had just gotten a hand-me-down Canon 30D camera from my father-in-law and couldn’t have been happier. I didn’t know about natural lighting or flashes or color balance…or even HOW to take a good shot. I just aimed the camera at my dinner plate and hoped for the best. I thought those pictures were amazing. Looking back (not so far back, even), I know now that they were pretty terrible. But you know what? I’m still so proud of those old, out-of-focus, unedited pictures; because they meant so much to me. They meant that I had started something. Something that was all my own and 100% Amy. Something to be proud of. 2 1/2 years later and I’m still writing what I want to write, shooting how I want to shoot and cooking what I love to cook.

I’ve grown a lot and since learned a few more things about my camera, but really, I’m still the same girl who just aims and hopes for the best. Which is why I thought it would be fun to give you a glimpse into the past. A few of my first shots. I’ve been slowly re-shooting bunches of my old recipes, in hopes of updating the old, ugly beginner pictures. But I don’t want to just throw them away- they deserve more than that, so I’m honoring them here, one last time before they visit the archives forever.

* * *

First up, one of my earliest posts, Potato Soup. We had just moved into our new house. I had made this for dinner and it was dark outside, but I didn’t care- I went ahead and just put the bowl on the table and snapped a few quick pictures.

I recently re-shot this one, this time with better lighting and a teensy bit of food styling. Much better.

* * *

Up next, Cinnamon Pound Cake. I shot this in my florescent-lit kitchen (what was I thinking?!), and I’m pretty sure I didn’t even bother to edit it.

Once again, better lighting (taken around 2 or 3 pm), a simple place mat and a couple of cinnamon sticks made a huge improvement!

* * *

Here’s my great-grandmother’s stacked enchiladas. I’ve always loved this recipe, but sure didn’t make it seem very appealing with this picture…this was taken when I was really struggling with the lack of light after Daylight Savings.

I’ve since learned better ways to get around the early sun setting, AND choosing better colored plates helps a lot too.

* * *

And lastly, here’s my Cheater Chicken and Dumplings (one of my most popular recipes ever!), taken February of 2009. I had recently found the “white balance” function on my photo editing software and abused it tremendously. It makes things appear blue-ish and washed out. I thought I had no choice and it was the only way to brighten pictures. Silly me…

Once again, bright, natural light is our friend. And learning a few things about the F-stop and ISO settings doesn’t hurt either.

Over the past 2 1/2 years, I’ve learned SO much from other food bloggers; watching them grow and learn has in turn, helped ME to grow and learn! And boy, the pictures have sure come a long way! Not that they’re anywhere remotely NEAR perfect – I still have a lot of learning left to do, which is what makes this so much fun! These old pictures represent so much, which is why I’m so happy to share them here today- they show just how much I’ve grown and how far I’ve come. From just taking one or two shots, hitting the ‘white balance’ button and calling it a day, to taking a wee bit more time and care with each shot and learning a few more tricks about my very loved camera. I’m so happy to be where I am now and so proud of where I came from! So bye-bye, ugly pictures- thanks for the memories! :)

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32 Comments »

  1. So cool that you redid your old photos! You certainly have come a long way, I love reading posts like this :)

    [Reply]

    Comment by Jenn — January 14, 2011 @ 7:32 AM

  2. I think is an inspiring post for all of us, struggling out there with bad light and trying to learn more as we go along. Thanks!

    [Reply]

    Comment by Nuts about Food — January 14, 2011 @ 8:13 AM

  3. wow! we’re still learning, but this is very inspirational – your new pics are beautiful!

    [Reply]

    Comment by Cornelius the Pig — January 14, 2011 @ 9:30 AM

  4. You have improved so much! I’m hoping my photography can get as great as yours! :-)

    [Reply]

    Comment by Amy @ The Nifty Foodie — January 14, 2011 @ 9:44 AM

  5. I am going to have to reshoot my old photos too. You just can’t understand the difference in photo quality until you get a DSLR. Ahhh…beautiful!

    [Reply]

    Comment by Caroline @ chocolate & carrots — January 14, 2011 @ 9:45 AM

  6. God job girl! What a difference! I used to work for a photographer and did all her retouching and I know there’s only so much you can do with a badly lit shot. Your new pics are stunning!

    [Reply]

    Comment by Lisa Pierce — January 14, 2011 @ 9:50 AM

  7. Okay, so what you’re saying is that I just need to hire you or Kelly to do my photography for me…. right? ;) Very nice.

    [Reply]

    Comment by Donna@WayMoreHomemade — January 14, 2011 @ 9:50 AM

  8. Thank you all! It’s pretty funny looking back at what I *thought* were good pictures! LOL! :)
    Donna- I’ll take pics for you anytime! ;)

    [Reply]

    Comment by amy — January 14, 2011 @ 10:04 AM

  9. This makes me feel better!! I look at your photo’s and think they look amazing.. My photo’s aren’t exactly the greatest… I try though!
    Great Post!!

    [Reply]

    Comment by pup — January 14, 2011 @ 10:07 AM

  10. Just be patient and keep practicing, pup! And always be on the lookout for new techniques or tricks that work for you! Honestly, one of the most helpful things for me has been finding the perfect colored plates that look good with certain foods on it! Sounds silly, but it helps! :)

    [Reply]

    Comment by amy — January 14, 2011 @ 10:16 AM

  11. I’m learning right along with ya! But nearly 3 years behind you!! But at least I retired the point and shoot, right? :)

    [Reply]

    Comment by Kristy — January 14, 2011 @ 10:19 AM

  12. Your photography is beautiful! I live the comparison!

    [Reply]

    Comment by Shawnda — January 14, 2011 @ 11:04 AM

  13. Thank you, Shawnda! Coming from you, that’s a huge compliment! :)

    [Reply]

    Comment by amy — January 14, 2011 @ 11:05 AM

  14. I also *love* the comparisons (thanks, auto-correct!) :)

    [Reply]

    Comment by Shawnda — January 14, 2011 @ 11:05 AM

  15. great job Amy–so proud of you

    [Reply]

    Comment by Karen Strayer — January 14, 2011 @ 11:07 AM

  16. You’ve really grown and improved. Good for you. I can totally relate having seen the improvement in my own shots as I’ve continued on with my own blog. I can’t wait to see how your talents continue to blossom.

    [Reply]

    Comment by Lisa — January 14, 2011 @ 11:39 AM

  17. You have me wanting to reshoot all of my old photos, too! :) Love the new ones!

    [Reply]

    Comment by Jessica of My Baking Heart — January 14, 2011 @ 12:27 PM

  18. Great improvements!

    [Reply]

    Comment by branny — January 14, 2011 @ 12:31 PM

  19. Amy – Amazing difference – were they all taken with the Canon 30D? If so, it is even more incredible to see how practice and time to learn your camera make a difference!

    [Reply]

    Comment by Christine — January 14, 2011 @ 2:27 PM

  20. You are so brave for posting then and now comparisons. Your photography skills have come such a long way!

    [Reply]

    Comment by kokomama — January 14, 2011 @ 4:52 PM

  21. Awesome post. As I also learn to develop my photography it’s so interesting to look at the old posts!

    [Reply]

    Comment by Stephanie (of Stephanie Cooks) — January 14, 2011 @ 8:20 PM

  22. I don’t know but it all looks pretty good!! YUM!

    [Reply]

    Comment by Jean — January 15, 2011 @ 11:18 AM

  23. I cannot believe these photos. They look like completely different dishes. It is amazing what lighting can do. Do you mind telling me which program you use to edit your photos? I’m definitely in the beginning learning stage with my photos.

    [Reply]

    amy Reply:

    Sure Jenn! I use Gimp for editing- it’s pretty simple for me to grasp for the most part and it’s free!
    Thank you for your sweet comment!

    [Reply]

    Comment by Jenn@eatcakefordinner — January 15, 2011 @ 11:38 PM

  24. I love seeing the old pics vs the new ones. I feel the same way about my “beginner” photos. The styling, composition, color, it’s all so different from what I strive for now. I also love to see how much I’ve grown through this little hobby called my blog. Your current pics are great!

    [Reply]

    Comment by Jen @ BeantownBaker.com — January 16, 2011 @ 10:27 AM

  25. What a great post! Your comment about the colored plate made me laugh out loud. Fun, fun.

    [Reply]

    Comment by Paula (Salad in a Jar) — January 16, 2011 @ 5:09 PM

  26. Thanks for the photo taking advice. Your food looks amazing. I wanted you to know I’m gonna feature your blog on my blog list, Amylicious. Just a cute list of blogger’s named amy. Hope you like!

    [Reply]

    Comment by Amy @DYKTMP? — January 17, 2011 @ 1:15 AM

  27. Amy- what a CUTE idea! I’m honored to be on the list- thank you! :)

    [Reply]

    Comment by amy — January 17, 2011 @ 9:45 AM

  28. Wow! Impressive!! It’s amazing what some natural light and food modeling can do!

    [Reply]

    Comment by Nicole, RD — January 17, 2011 @ 1:16 PM

  29. I loveee seeing photos like this to show how much you have improved! I’m just in the beginning stages of photography, and it is already fun to look back on photos that I took a year ago to see my (small) improvements. I hope that I will eventually have the progress that you show! Your photos are gorgeous.

    [Reply]

    Comment by Katie — January 17, 2011 @ 9:03 PM

  30. This gives me hope. Thank you! Your photos are gorgeous and I am so impressed with the photo transformation. Love reading your blog. A daily treat.

    [Reply]

    Comment by sweetflours — January 18, 2011 @ 1:43 PM

  31. the improvements are incredible! i’ve come quite a ways from my early days too but nowhere near you! you inspire me!!

    [Reply]

    Comment by natalie (the sweets life) — January 19, 2011 @ 2:02 PM

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