How to Make the Perfect Smoothie Bowl (+ Food Photography Tips)
So, let me tell you all about my friend Falcon. For starters, she is one of the sweetest people I've ever met. We met at a work event and quickly discovered we had more than a million things in common, so birds of a feather! She's a plant-based yogi + photographer based in NYC who loves to travel and help inspire people to live a holistic lifestyle. If you head to her Instagram @_falconcara_ you'll notice 1. it's visually STUNNING and 2. she makes gorgeous smoothie bowls that will have you drooling... I mean, look:
Which brings me to this post - I've asked Falcon to show me her magic. We met up at her local organic market, picked up the best of the best ingredients, and headed back to her home in Brooklyn to enter smoothie bowl paradise.
How to Make the Perfect Smoothie Bowl
Falcon helped me put together this gorgeous smoothie bowl step by step. She let me take the reigns on photographing, because what better way to learn than to just do it! I am proud to say I snapped & edited all of the images below, using her pro-tips, some of which I will share with you at the end!
Step 1: Make the Base
We blended 1 cup of frozen organic blueberries with 3 fresh bananas to make it thick, but you can use one frozen banana if you prefer. (Isn't Falcon's wrist tat cool?)
Step 2: Prepare your toppings
To make it pretty for the photo, divide out your toppings into small dishes or bowls. We gathered fresh organic blueberries, goji berries, coconut flakes, and more bananas.
Step 3: Get ready... to garnish
Carefully lay out your ingredients layer by layer. We chose to lay it out in columns, but there are endless creative ways to decorate your smoothie bowls! Check out Falcon's IG for inspiration, as well as a few of my other favorites: @elsas_wholesomelife, @sobeautifullyreal, & @cinnamonandberries.
Had to add some last minute chia seeds & PB2 (sprinkled in final product)!
Step 4: Photograph it for Instagram, of course
...Because not many people take the time to make gorgeous smoothies bowls just for their own eyes to see! I know IGers get a lot of flak for constantly taking photos of food, but remember it's also an art. Photography is something I love, and although I'm an amateur, it feels incredible to create something with my hands and to be able to capture it!
Food Photography Tips I Learned From the Pro
Find Natural LightSet up your food near a window or somewhere with even lighting. Try to avoid hard shadows or dark areas, as this will make it easier to edit and will help give your photo a clear & crisp quality.
Play Around with BackgroundsYou can never go wrong with a clean, white background! Once you're comfortable, try mixing it up with different textures such as wood or marble. You can then start to introduce different props into the frame such as fruit, flowers, or even natural crystals!
Try Birdseye ViewDon't ask me why it works... it just does! Make sure you hold the camera straight down, so it's doesn't shoot at an angle.
Allow Negative SpaceGive your food room to breath. I realize my IG gallery looks much cleaner when I'm not so zoomed in. Once I started allowing room around my subject, it started to look a hundred times better. You can always crop in later.
Find Your Style with Photo EditingEveryone has their own taste, so find what resonates with you and your personal brand. Maybe you prefer a moody/high contrast vibe like @melodyjoyco or a bright/colorful vibe like @studiodiy - both are incredible! You don't need to spend a ton of money on photo editing tools, either. There are really top-notch apps out there that will bring your photos to life. I recommend good ole Instagram editor, Snapseed, VSCO, and if you can spend money then get Adobe Lightroom. I pay $10/month for Lightroom & Photoshop via Creative Cloud.
Voilá! HUUUUUGE thanks to this radiant + beautiful gem, Falcon, for teaching me so much in one day! I walked out of there excited to create delicious rainbows of food for my blog and experiment with more food styling/photography! Please do yourself a favor and follow her @_falconcara_ & convince her to start a holistic lifestyle blog already!!!
^ *Shoutout to her cute doggie Bowie!
I had so much fun putting together this post for you all... seriously... SO much fun. If you want to see more food content like this from me, let me know in the comments below or email me!
Love, hugs, peace, smoothies, and happy things.