RLP Studios by Paula Holsen | DIY Farm to Table Artwork

DIY Farm to Table Artwork

March 21, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

I was on a mission to re-decorate my kitchen and living room.  The kitchen had the same decorations with moderate upgrades for the last 20 years!  As ever so popular, I wanted to go with a Farm to Table vibe in the kitchen.  I immediately found my way to Amazon and located several Mud Pie items in all white that were just perfect!  I didn't realize how well the Mud Pie line matched with the Rae Dunn line.  Instantly, another Rae Dunn fanatic was born! This led me to SwipSwap groups on Facebook and I enlisted anyone and everyone to keep on the look out for Rae Dunn items.  It worked and I had more than enough items for my kitchen makeover.

I found really cute Farm to Table kitchen mats that matched the accent wall and my stove which is the prize and center focal point of my kitchen.  I also set up an elaborate coffee bar.  If you read my welcome blog, then you know how much I love coffee.  So a full on coffee bar is right up my alley.  I found a few more pieces at Hobby Lobby to finish off the decorations. 

The only thing left was the artwork for my accent wall.  Did I mention that I am an Amazon Queen?  I live on Amazon and prefer to shop via Amazon than physically going to a store.  I pride myself on how resourceful I can be at finding whatever is needed on Amazon.  I spent hours trying to find just what I wanted with NO luck whatsoever.  I was amazed that something as simple as fresh veggies on barnwood could not be found on Amazon or with a quick search on Google.  I spent night after night after night and what resulted in countless unsuccessful hours searching the web for artwork.  Sure, I found colorful whimsical adaptations of fruit or veggies, just not what I was looking.  I just sat at the computer thinking to myself, I really just want a photo with fresh veggies against barnwood.  Wait, what?  Umm I am a photographer and I have barnwood in my studio!  I immediately made a plan.  Buy fresh veggies and photograph them.  Simple, right?  No, not exactly.  Let me explain.

If you have never photographed food before, here are a few tips to help you get it right the first time.  I ended up buying the veggies twice because of not following these tips.  Now, I am by no means a food photographer and I'm here to say I am not the next Pioneer Woman (although I would love to be her and would love to meet her).  But, in the end, I ended up with just what I wanted for my walls.  

  1. Pick the freshest ingredients.  My carrots and living butter lettuce did not look as fresh as they could have and had broken stems.
  2. Plan to photograph your fresh veggies the day you buy them.  I left mine in the fridge overnight (maybe 2 nights) and this caused them to look less than perfect for photos.
  3. Only take out of the fridge what you plan to photograph and leave the remaining in cooler temps.
  4. If you are on barnwood and have the bright idea of lightly spraying the veggies with water, don't do it!  The barnwood will end up with water spots that you will either have to Photoshop out later or wait for them to dry.  Yes, I did do this!  Spray away from the barnwood!
  5. Using a wide-open aperture (small f-stop) and focusing sharply on one area is a great way to emphasize texture.
  6. I've read to use natural light but I used my studio lights, Paul Buff Einstein.
  7. Use multiple angles.
  8. Minimize clutter.
  9. You don't need a big fancy camera to take great food photos and you could probably get by just fine with a point and shoot.  I used my Nikon D810.
  10. I love prime lenses because they usually offer wider apertures, giving me greater control over depth of field and more flexibility when shooting.  I used the Sigma Art 35mm f/1.4.
  11. I used a reflector.
  12. A tripod may be helpful to avoid camera shake, however, I didn't use one.

So, after all of the searching, buying and re-buying of veggies, here are the photos that I printed and then framed in barnwood frames to hang on my accent wall in my kitchen.  I printed, matted and framed two as 12x12's and two as 16x20 prints together with a windmill wall clock.  This is one DIY I'm pretty happy with!


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