Confession: I am a covertly nosy person. Not like a major in your face, who what where kind of nosy person, but more like a hmmm..I am going to casually listen to what you are saying then go home and Facebook stalk until I figure out the situation.
I don’t know why! I am just curious about things!
Since I have started blogging I have found myself increasingly curious on other bloggers processes. I love when bloggers show a little glimpse of how things come to be or what it takes to make a post. So, just in case you are
nosy curious like me I thought I would share what my process looks like.
Now, I am not a “professional” blogger. This site came to be for a couple of reasons, one of which, was the need for a creative outlet. I work a regular job that allows for absolutely zero, zilch, NO creativity whatsoever. Even the art in my office is boring! Urgh! So in an effort not to completely lose my mind I needed a place that was all mine. Someplace I can share thoughts, recipes, photos, and little pieces of my life. That is how Maebells was born.
So this is a little glimpse of how I work.
It all starts with these. Notebooks! Lots and lots of notebooks! I am an obsessive list maker and note taker. Each notebook has a purpose. One is for scheduling and self imposed deadlines. The one covered in food is the one that sits firmly on the kitchen counter. I write down everything I cook and how I cook it. Then I write down every blessed suggestion Mr. Maebell gives and any tweaks I think need to be made. I am fairly certain there needs to be a support group for spouses of food bloggers. 🙂
I have another notebook just dedicated to ideas. Pages and pages of recipe ideas, flavor combos, topics I want to write about, just whatever is interesting to me at the time. This is my favorite one because I love to look back and see things I wrote weeks or months ago. It is amazing how many I can’t remember I thought of!
I am also a major magazine hoarder. I can’t bare to throw one away! I love referring back to them when I am trying to get ideas for how to style a photograph or inspiration for props.
Cookbooks! I could write a book about how I feel about cookbooks. In short, I adore them. Most people curl up with a cup of coffee and a good book. Nope, not me, I will read every single word of a cookbook, cover to cover. My absolute favorites are community cookbooks. You know, like church cookbooks. I am especially in love with them if they are old and Southern. I will rarely ever cook from these because they all call for three cups of mayo, a pound of bacon grease, and seven cups of cheese, but I love to see how things evolve over the years. And if there is handwriting in them -oh don’t even get me started! I definitely have to make the recipe, with the handwritten adjustments, and make up a complete back story for whoever wrote it, cooked it, and for what occasion.
Then there is the actual cooking. I generally spend one entire day each weekend dedicated to cooking, recipe development and photography. That is kind of absurd, I know. However, that is really the only way I can keep up with posting as often as I do. Most of the time I really don’t mind it. I mean I genuinely love doing it. Sometimes I do get lucky and am able to make dinner after work and photograph it before I run out of daylight, but that doesn’t happen a lot.
The photography. I struggle in this area. Probably because I need to learn to SLOW THE HECK DOWN! I have this horrible problem of working on the blog when I am starving! So I make the food and either spend a little time staging, snap a few photos and then eat. Or I spend like no time staging, take a million shots that all look the same, then eat. Urgh. I am really trying to learn some serious self control and be mindful of the lighting, only use pops that add instead of distract from a photo, and upload the photos before I move anything. Sometimes a photo will look fine when I review it on the camera, but the second I see it on a computer screen I see exactly what I should have changed.
Say hello to Copper, my little helper. More often than not, I am cropping little doggy snouts out of the photos. I shutter to think what they have done to the food when I turned my back on them. 🙂
My photography set up is is not very sophisticated. We have a bar height kitchen table (to avoid the doggy snouts) and I find it impossible to set anything on the table to photograph. I am just too short. When I try this I end up standing on the tall chair, which I am certain will one day end in me breaking my neck and/or the camera, so instead I opt for something lower. If I am photographing something small, like the drinks above I just make my set up in one of the chairs. If not, I just pull these two baskets over from the living room and lay down a painted sheet of plywood. I usually use this as my “tabletop” for photographs. I have two boards like this, each side is painted a different color giving me four options. I found this plywood at Lowe’s for about $6 each. A really small investment that gives me a couple options for backgrounds. I also have two or three pieces of tile I picked up from Lowe’s for less than two dollars each. The brown boards you see are called craft boards or hobby boards and I found them at Home Depot for $1.98 each, one side is stained brown and the other is grey. However, if your thinking of doing a backdrop like that I don’t recommend using grey. It doesn’t seem to photograph all that well. Other than that, the props I use are all regular household items.
This whole blogging thing isn’t just fun and games. Unfortunately, there are things that go with this site that I don’t enjoy. Actually, some of the things I downright despise. Those things include loading and unloading the dishwasher, cleaning the counter tops, and general maintenance in the kitchen. Ha! Fortunately, Mr. Maebell and I had had a long standing “I cook, you clean”rule, so he helps me out with a lot that.
Now I am curious about you! For my blogger friends out there what does it take to make your blog run? Is your routine similar to mine? Do you operate totally differently?