Monday, March 5, 2018

My Homemade Dog Treat Photos. What You See Is What You Get.

I received an email from an old friend the other day. After a brief rundown of what's been happening in her life, the topic of this blog came up. She raved about the content, the various pages, and all of the homemade dog treats and DIY Dog Mom Projects we've created. Then, the topic of my homemade dog treat photos came up. She felt they could be better. Or, in her exact words, "more Pinterest worthy."

I rolled my eyes.

I didn't take her comment to heart nor was I offended. I've known this woman for many years. She's a total Pinterest addict who gravitates towards the visually appealing. If you were to look at her thousands and thousands of pins, the photos of the finished product are what she considers perfect. In fact, if she makes a recipe she snagged from Pinterest and her finished product doesn't look like the photo, it upsets her.

"I measured and did everything exactly the way it was stated in the recipe. I don't understand why my cookies didn't look like the cookies in the recipe photo."

"But, did they taste good?"

"Oh, yes! My husband and I almost ate the entire batch by the end of the day."

"Then, what's the problem?"

"I wanted them to look like the Pinterest photo..."


At that point, I give her my usual spiel about Pinterest food photos and the difference between elaborate food photography and simple food photography.

It's obvious she prefers elaborate.

On my end, I'm all about simple food photography.

I've always been one to take as is food photos whether it's our homemade dog treats, baked goods, and dishes I've made. I make, bake, plate and snap the photos.

If you spend time on Pinterest, you'll notice that a lot of people, especially food bloggers, will go all out taking photos of their edibles. Some will tie a half dozen dog treats with bakery string or a thin strip of wax paper. Others will put cupcakes in the center of a picnic table and scatter wildflowers around them.

That's. Not. Me.

I take all of my food photos on the kitchen counter. Or, a plate. Sometimes I'll use the wooden cutting board my brother made in the middle school almost 30 years ago. My new favorite platform is the bottom of a small cheese dome. It's made of wood. It belonged to Lisa's grandparents.

After choosing the platform, I arrange the homemade dog treats, cookies, cupcakes, etc., and snap the photos.

That's it.

I don't use fancy lenses or lighting or props.

What you see is what you get. When people make the homemade dog treats that we've created, I don't want to give a false sense of "perfection."

I put the word perfection in quotes because I don't believe in perfection.

I've been baking homemade dog treats for years.

I have yet to get an entire batch all the same size and thickness.

I experiment a lot with bake times so some will be a wee bit darker or lighter than the last batch.

I don't bother with fancy frosting and designs.

I don't bother with making sure each biscuit has the same amount of sprinkles if I do a drizzled biscuit.

I simply make, roll, cut, bake, let the homemade dog treats cool, choose my platform, and grab the camera. I'll take about a dozen photos. Upload. Choose the one I like the best. Post.

Will I win any food photo awards in the future?

Probably not.

Okay, more than likely never. 

Do I care?


What's important to me is instilling confidence in Dog Parents who are interested in making homemade dog treats.

You'd be surprised how many Dog Parents are intimidated about making homemade dog treats. 

I want to emphasize the importance and benefits of making homemade dog treats.

I want Dog Parents to know that when you make a batch, they're not going to come out picture perfect and that's okay.

The furry kids are not going to care. They're not going to give you the paw and walk away because your tray of homemade peanut butter dog treats is not all uniform in size.

What's important to the kids is that you took the time to make them. They're delicious. They're not saturated with preservatives, colors, and fillers.

What's important is that you're taking the time to make homemade dog treats. You're putting in the effort.

I attempted to once again explain that to my friend.

She listened.

Then, I got the usual response.

"You can still emphasize all of that and ramp up your photos a bit..."


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