If you’re a food blogger or influencer then chances are that photography is a big part of that. Alongside recipe creation, food prep, marketing, and article writing, photography forms a major part of writing about food. And it’s something you have to be good at… The photos you take will influence whether your audience is interested in the food or not. You could have the best recipe in the world, but if your photo doesn’t do it justice then no one will want to try it! It’s important to know the right food photography tricks but also have kit that works.
The problem is, photography is an expensive hobby and it’s easy to feel like we need to spend hundreds, sometimes thousands, of pounds to be successful with it. That’s not the case though, as my latest product review shows. You don’t need to spend a crazy amount to produce high quality photos!
***AD: This post features press samples but all thoughts are my own***
Cotton Bag Co
“We produce bags for a wide range of clients across all sorts of businesses, from small start-ups to global brands, charities to blue-chip companies and for all sorts of sectors, including retail, education, science, publishing, marketing and many, many more. We are passionate about what we do and are committed to making bags beautiful. To do this, we strive for the best quality materials, the best clarity of colour and the quickest service we can offer. We’re constantly pushing to ensure that all of our work impacts on the environment as little as possible, ethically sourcing all of our materials.
Cotton Bag Co is based in Westbury, Wiltshire with partner printing and manufacturing companies based in India and China and we continue to create bags for lots of wonderful small businesses, but we just so happen to do it for the likes of Wagamama, M&S, Schuh and many other well-known high-street and household brands. The size and scale might have changed, but the quality of the service we offer has always remained the same. So, while we’re young, we’re also a vibrant company and one which has all the necessary experience to make your bags beautiful.”
(Taken from Cotton Bag Co’s website)
Cotton Bag Co’s Instagram Bag is a great little piece of kit, with several components. Inside you’ll firstly find a reflector and diffuser – a piece of kit essential to professional photographers. The reflector and diffuser are used to distribute light in different ways across the shot. The kit contains both gold and silver reflectors, which work in different ways.
Take the two shots below, for example, which are both unedited. I took the left shot using only natural light, and the shadows are very heavy. In the right shot I introduced the silver diffuser, and look at the difference! The shadows are far less prominent, adding more light to the image. It really shows how utilising simple food photography tricks can make such a change.
I’d say the diffuser and reflectors have been the key part of the kit for me. It’s hard to get good lighting in my house – it’s either too dark or way too bright – so these have really helped me a lot.
As well as lighting, background and set-up are key to photography. To help with this, the kit includes a selection of four crafted paper backdrops from Black Velvet Styling, which you can use to mix up your backgrounds. I personally love these and really needed something like this – there’s only so much you can do with a kitchen counter and an outside table for foodie shots! The backdrops include white marble, dark green, a textured dark brown, and a textured cream shade. It’s hard to choose my favourite but I think I like the green best… It’s a gorgeous colour that really brings out the vibrance of food. I also love the white marble as it makes it look like I have marble countertops!
And there’s more! Also included are ten postcards from renowned phone photographer Matt Inwood. Each one contains in-depth advice on various food photograph kits, from the rule of thirds to editing tips. They also feature beautiful examples of food photography on the front. Again, I found these really useful as they gave so many good pointers, and it’s great to have something that’s so quick and easy to reference whilst trying to get the perfect shot. Even if you know a fair bit about photography then they serve as great reminders.
I found that the kit made a positive difference to my food photography straight away. It wasn’t hard to use, and I felt inspired whilst taking photos. Whilst testing I experimented with a few different dishes to see what sorts of images I could create, and had lots of fun whilst doing so! The combination of reflector/diffuser and backdrops was excellent, and I found this especially helped with dinner photography during our now dark lights – the reflector makes it much easier to get good lighting for each shot.
The bag itself is also great – it’s an easy to carry size, and fits everything in the kit with extra space for anything else you need, such as props. Perfect for when you’re on the go, and simple to store when you’re not!
I’m so glad I got the chance to test out the Instagram Bag as it’s done wonders for my photography. I feel like my technical knowledge has improved, and it’s elevated my photo-taking experience from getting a few quick snaps to understanding what I need to do to improve each shot. I’ve learnt a good few food photography tricks and feel much more confident in the hobby.
If you’re not already using any kit for your food photography, or looking for something cheaper than going out and buying a whole new camera, then this is a really worthwhile buy. I can now take excellent foodie shots on my phone, which is amazing! The bag helps to make photography accessible for bloggers and influencers whilst teaching so much in the process. An excellent purchase or gift for any foodies out there!
Want to purchase your own Instagram Bag and upgrade your foodie photography to the next level? You can do so via Cotton Bag Co’s website.
What are the food photography tricks that have influenced your technique the most? Share your tips below, and don’t forget to like and pin if you enjoyed this review! You can read some other reviews for blogging and influencing products here: