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I originally started out my blog on blogger, as Laura’s Weekly Menus. I changed my blog name to The Rookie Cook after a couple of years and bought my own domain name (no more .blogspot.com after my title), but stayed on blogger. I later made the switch to WordPress and then recently changed my name to Crowther Cafe to reflect the changing focus of the blog. I am thrilled with WordPress, as compared to Blogger! I have much more flexibility and design options. I highly encourage WordPress if you’re thinking of making the switch. It costs almost nothing per month to get web hosting to stay on WordPress. I realized that I made more than enough from Google Adsense to cover my expenses for webhosting. …and so the move began.
How I set up my blog on WordPress:
- Affordable hosting
I cannot recommend Bluehost enough. They are very friendly and helpful in answering all of my questions, as I’ve been on the phone with them several times in the process of switching over the blog. Additionally, I paid for three years of web hosting and ended up paying less than $4 per month. That’s what I call a good deal!
- After installing WordPress on my bluehost account, I bought the Foodie Pro child theme (along with the Genesis framework) for my blog and am super excited about my decision. Shay Bocks has many tutorials for setting up the Foodie Pro theme in no time. I am thrilled with the way my blog looks, even without hiring an expensive designer. It was simple to customize and has many options, including mobile responsiveness.
- These articles helped me immensely on figuring out the transition from Blogger to WordPress:
Food Photography Resources:
- Tasty Food Photography by Lindsay Ostrom is the single thing that has most improved my food photography. I bought a dslr camera, thinking my photos would instantly be better…and they were, a bit. However, my photography has significantly improved since reading through this book. The best features of the book? It’s extremely readable. It’s short. (Important for a mom food blogger with little time on my hands!) It uses ordinary/accessible/inexpensive props and tips.
After Tasty Food Photography, the next thing that dramatically improved my photos was buying a dslr camera. I shoot with a Canon Rebel camera and this lens:
It’s a starter lens, meaning inexpensive, but it takes terrific pictures. It’s a great addition to the starter kit lens and I love the low aperture. (Note: I’ve upgraded to the Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 lens now and love it!)
- I use white foam boards on a table to set up my photo shoots and an assortment of plates, napkins, and placemats. To reflect some light, I use a folded white piece of cardstock with foil over it, pointed back at the dish I am photographing.
I also use this set with a gray card to set my white balance manually. It helps so much with the color of the photos, as the auto white balance doesn’t always turn out the best.
- Photo editing software – You need some kind of editing software to tune up your photos, even a little. I always at least lighten and sharpen my photos. You can use free tools like PicMonkey or GIMP. (PicMonkey is easy to use and a good starter tool. From what I have heard, GIMP is more like Photoshop and has a steep learning curve, but has many more abilities.) I used Corel Paintshop Pro for a couple of years and like it, but I have recently started using Adobe Photoshop Elements and love it. If you shoot in RAW (with a dslr), you can open the raw file in Photoshop Elements and adjust the white balance MUCH easier and better than if you shoot in JPEG. Raw = more processing control of your photos.
(Note: Photoshop Elements is not currently packaged in the Adobe Creative Cloud, so you can buy and use it individually, instead of having to subscribe monthly like Lightroom.)