Blog | Leah Itsines

Food Photography tips
Food Photography tips
  So you're looking at improving your food photography hey.. well you've come to the right place. I'll be covering my tips, tricks and guides to how I photography food. Now, to make sure I get things straight before all the profesh photographers don’t yell at me…I’m no expert! These are just the tips and tricks that I have learnt over the past couple of years  Lighting!Food photography calls for Natural light. Around your home, find a window or door that brings natural light in – you don’t need to be confined to your kitchen! Find a place that brings in good, steady light and test with a plate of food. You'll know you have good lighting when there is...Make sure to have all room lights turned off when you’re shooting as they may give you a yellow tinge. If you don’t have windows, try outside! Outside can be great, but you don’t want to be going directly into the sun, this will warp the food colour. If you're struggling to find natural light and need an alternative, there is an artificial light source called a Ring light (They’re around $120- $180 on EBay depending on the brand) that can be a great help in a dark room – but again…I’d always prefer natural light as the colours of the food will be deep and fresh.  Food styling When it comes to food styling…here is an example of how my photography skills have transformed over the past few months with a “before and after” photo.     Here's how I transformed my photography skills: Backgrounds: The photo on the right is shot on a homemade blue board, with lighting coming through a window on the left side and edited on a program that can change the colour (cool hey!). The photo on the left is directly in the sun, outside, no props and edited over on instagram.  If you want to make your own backgrounds, buy a couple pieces of plywood (super lightweight) and mix your chosen colour with some flour and get painting! This will give it the rough texture that comes out in photos. If you want to buy some backgrounds – my "go too" place is Svpply co! They have a huge range of backdrops, one for everything!  Props: Props are essential to making a photo amazing! I LOVE plates, bowls, old cutlery and tea towels! You don’t need to spend a great deal to get the most amazing props…I went to my local thrift store and you’d be surprised what some people throw out. Cutlery, bowls, plates and more.. Yes I have become a little bit of a hoarder, but hey it's all for a good cause right?! It’s always great to have a range of colours, styles and material so each photo can be different. As you can see, in the right photo I used a matte pottery plate with red chopsticks (both found at thrift stores!). Always use something in the photo, whether is a fork, tea towel, spoon, knife…whatever! Give some life to the meal.  Your own style:  It’s taken me forever to properly get a “style”. This should come NATURALLY. If I try to style, shoot or create recipes like somebody else…it always turns out terrible. My style is rough, raw, bright colours and bright lighting. Each photo is different but I always stay true to my style. I throw ingredients all over the board and LOVE the mess… but if you like a more “tidy and bright” look, then you’ll need to be a little more careful where you place things. Tips: Water and oil trick: If your styling your food for a while and it’s looking a little dry…grab a small spray bottle and fill half water, half oil (this should be a TINY bottle) and spray away! This will bring life back into the food and leave it looking succulent and juicy! Use a tripod: Once having used a tripod to shoot…I wondered why I ever did it freehand! So easy, cleaner shots, you can style around the shot and have everything in place for one click….and also there is no crazy bending/moving for you to get the shot. Google "crane tripod" and it'll come up with an adjustable tripod, perfect for overhead shots.  Camera/editing programs: I shoot with a DSLR camera, and have just recently upgraded. I used to have a Canon 600D and it was perfect for a beginner to start. I now use a Canon 80D with a 24-70mm lens which produces incredibly crisp shots…but isn’t necessary if you’re starting out as it can be very pricey due to the lens. iPhones are also great – but hard to shoot on tripods.  The editing program I use for my videos is “final cut pro” which is a step up from Imovie. This is a paid program where you can edit colours etc.… but for a beginner I would recommend I movie…Cheap and easy to learn! For images, I use Lightroom and I SWEAR by it! I pay for this monthly, and I use it every single day. There are many things you can do to your photos and I just LOVE it so much, couldn’t recommend it any more! I hope this helps transform your food photography skills like it did mine, as I mentioned earlier, I am no professional.. but I am learning and I hope these tips/hacks point you in the right direction. Love, Leah x 
How to Stay Healthy While Travelling
How to Stay Healthy While Travelling
These are MY tips on how to stay on track while on holidays!
Why breakfast is SO important
Why breakfast is SO important
  ‘Breakfast’ is just that. Breakfast is “Breaking the fast” from your overnight sleep….if you think about it, your body hasn't been given anything to run on in 7+ hours, so the way the body copes is by slowing down your metabolic rate. Having breakfast in the morning breaks this ‘fasting’ cycle and yells GOOD MORNING to your body and your body wakes up, speeds up and starts burning!  Skipping a meal if often thought to help you lose weight, when this is absolutely NOT the case. There are two main reasons as to why this doesn't work for anyone, first being that when you decide to skip a meal, your body goes into what medical professionals call a “fasting mode” which will increase your insulin response. Insulin is a hormone which moves glucose (sugar) from the blood into the muscles and fat cells for storage - which is not what we want!!   The second reason is that you will be HUNGRY and more likely to over-indulge with every meal throughout the day. If you don't eat first thing, your body will crave high-fat and high sugar foods.  However, if you DO eat in the morning you will experience…. increased energy,  increased cognitive function, an improved metabolism, many beneficial nutrients, and boosts your fibre and calcium intake (compared to no breakfast). I always ask the question, WHY don't you eat breakfast? and the answer i usually receive is “i have no time”. My answer to that is MAKE TIME.  Set your alarm 15-20 minutes earlier if you want to eat breakfast at home OR pre-make breakfast options the night before and take with you on your way out. Leah xx
Are CARBS important in your diet?
Are CARBS important in your diet?
  There is a HUGE misconception that "carbs are bad for you", but this couldn't be further from the truth! Let's get one thing straight… YES you will see weight loss if you eliminate ALL carbohydrates, but the issue is that while losing weight, there is a significant reduction in your metabolic rate.  Carbohydrates are broken down into glucose (sugar) which the body depends on, effectively making carbohydrates the body's number one source of energy. There is a difference between "bad carbs" and "good carbs" though, this is where the misconception of "carbs are bad for you" comes into play.  “Bad” carbs are what we refer to as simple carbohydrates, these types are easily digested. These foods give you a quick energy spike, but this doesn't last long. The body only takes what they need when it comes to glucose, so with this rapid sugar rush, the body cant use it all at once so it stores the leftover as fat.  “Good” carbs are what we call complex carbohydrates. These foods take longer to digest, which means they are broken down slower, resulting in sustained energy as the glucose is released into your system at a much slower rate.  Here are some GREAT examples of COMPLEX (good!) carbohydrates - BROWN RICE: This is GREAT source because it is filling and also not expensive! Its also one of the richest sources of carbohydrates among grains. CHICKPEAS: One cooked cup of chick peas can contain up to 45 grams of slow-acting carbs.SWEET POTATO: One medium-sized cooked sweet potato comes in a little over 100 calories and boasts 27g of total carbohydrates. WHOLE WHEAT PASTA: Because sometimes you just need pasta—and whole-wheat kinds offer two to three times more fiber than refined white varieties, but they’re just as versatile and delicious. Thank you SO much for reading! Leah X
Vegan? These are your best protein sources!
Vegan? These are your best protein sources!
The biggest questions vegans get asked is "But where do you get your protein from?"..... SIMPLE!