Star Seminar: Blog Photography

Blogger turned TV star Ree Drummond shares pointers on how to shoot a home-cooked meal. Put her tips into action for a chance to win a new camera. 

When Ree started her blog, ThePioneerWoman.com, in 2006, she didn't know the first thing about taking pictures. That year, she got her first "big-girl camera" — a Nikon D70 — but photography terms like "aperture" and "exposure" were Greek to her. "I started taking pictures. That's how I learned," she says. "And I took a lot of bad, bad pictures."

Food Network Magazine asked Ree to share some of her early (and somewhat embarrassing!) shots so food bloggers and home cooks could learn from her mistakes.

Ree's Tips:

Avoid colored plates.

Ree loves her vintage jadeite plates, but "they give everything a sickly cast," she says. "White plates are best."

Don't shoot at night.

Ree shoots only during the day with natural light. This pecan pie, shot at night with a flash, doesn't look right.

Move those hands.

"For some reason, I thought it was a good idea to place my fingers on top of this sandwich," Ree says. "It wasn't."

Back up a little.

"These orange muffins just look like a beige blur," she says. Now she pulls back to show the edge of the pan she's using.

Put some life in it.

Ree tries to capture movement, like a fork cutting into a dish. "It makes a photo not look staged," she says.

Ree's Redo: Ree posted the original photo of her Pasta Primavera (to the left) seven years ago and has hated it ever since. Ree took her own advice and did a reshoot. The "after" picture is up top — it looks like a totally different dish! 

Take your best shot for the chance to win a new Nikon D3300! 

Make Ree's Pasta Primavera and snap a picture using Ree's photo tips above. Go to FoodNetwork.com/blogphotocontest to upload your image and browse through other entries.