February 18, 2011

weekend project: lighting

Michael has some creative ideas for making my food shoots better. My biggest problem is lighting.When I get home from work and start cooking, it's dark outside and I have nothing but super yellow indoor lights to work with.

Food bloggers everywhere are nodding their heads in agreement. I can feel it in my bones.

Michael's job is at a metal fabrication shop. But on the side, he is a wonderful photographer. Just scroll down while I brag about him for a little bit by showing you some of my favorite pictures he has taken:

Right? Serious talent.

He helps me so much with the pictures I take for this blog. He talks to me about aperture and shutter speed with all the patience in the world.

Last week, he stopped at Home Depot on his way to my house and surprised me with a solution to my dark picture problems: lighting! We did a few tests with special "blue" light bulbs. They light up the whole room just like outside, with a beautiful daytime glow. Michael gets upset when I say it's blue... but it really is blue...

So far, we have the idea to have 2 lights, so I can put one on either side of the food. We want them to be portable so I can take them in the kitchen. In the above picture, you can see the base we are using. The light will go inside and the front will be covered in an opaque nylon.

I keep calling these things "light towers" but I don't think that's the right terminology.

I don't really care what we call them. I just like watching him cut things with saws.

I kept asking him to take his shirt off. I think he pretended the saw was too loud and he couldn't hear me.

Or maybe he was just ignoring me since it was 20 degrees outside.

We have spent quite a bit of time on them. And by "we", I mean - Michael works on them and is doing all the work to actually make them... while I sit on my butt in the garage watching him work and taking pictures of his muscles.

Sometimes I offer suggestions like, "Shouldn't you use a clamp?" "Do you have safety glasses?" "Do you need any help?"

He just looks at me and smiles, shaking his head. Finally he said, "Jenna, I used to build houses for a living. I think I can handle this."

We are continuing this project and hoping to finish this weekend. I can't wait to share the results of our Michael's hard work!


  1. oh my goodness, he's pictures are amazing!!! i cannot wait to learn how to take photos like that. what a man you got there. :)

    i know exactly what u mean - i only take pictures in the daylight, or else the pictures come out too yellow or blue!

  2. men who do work for their ladies- now that is impressive.

    and blue light scwool light. either way, be prepared to be enlightened jenna! ha har har. it's friday so i think i am excused for fluffy jokes.

    and lucky you to have a michael who is so handy. have a g8 weekend! ~ ellie :D

  3. I love how you two are so good for each other...you balance and compliment each other so well. You both are blessed, Michael to have you and you to have Michael! I am enjoying watching your relationship grow and I am excited for your future together. You support and love each other so much and it is evident in watching you two everyday. I love you both very much!

  4. Aww michael is the sweetest thing! And super talented in so many ways!

    Since I have no man around to build me light towers, I bought these special lights that are made for indoor digital photography. I think they are pretty much the exact same thing, just not homemade. As with all things, though, I'm sure homemade is better.

  5. Wow, Michael's photography skills are amazing! And I'm totally jealous of your indoor food lighting...i don't get to cook til after sundown, and it stinks.

  6. My dear sweet husband did the same thing for me a few months ago - once I showed him how much those lowell ego lights cost. We're pretty lucky women, I think, to have menfolk that are so handy.

    I've been happy with the lights, although I still like natural light the best. Sometimes that's just not an option, especially for those of us who work during the day. I'm excited to see the end result of your project.