Plate to Pixel


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I recently ordered a copy of Helene Dujardin’s new book, Plate to Pixel

Helene Dujardin's new book, Plate to Pixel

Helene Dujardin's new book, Plate to Pixel

If you’re not familiar with Helene’s beautiful food, recipes, and world class and simply awe-inspiring photography, you’re missing out and you must check out her blog, Tartelette.

Helene Dujardin's new book, Plate to Pixel

In her book, Helene covers everything from camera setting “lessons”

Helene Dujardin's new book, Plate to Pixel

to composition in food photography

Helene Dujardin's new book, Plate to Pixel

to lighting, props, food styling, arrangement, and so.much.more.

Helene Dujardin's new book, Plate to Pixel

In the past, I’ve reviewed other books on food styling and food photography:

Food Styling: Books, Props, & Photo Quality

Food Styling: Books, Props, & Photo Quality

And Food Styling: Pretty & Not So Pretty Pictures

Food Styling: Pretty & Not So Pretty Pictures

And I had Matt & Adam’s amazing event: Real Food Styling & Photography Workshop

Man holding up white bounce board for lightingPlease read this post if you have any interest in food photography, photography, or even just food!

The event was so profound, that it changed my life as I posted about here.

But back to Helene’s book, I cannot recommend this book enough. If you are only going to buy one book on food photography, or dare I say photography in general, this is the one book to buy.

Side view of Plate to Pixel Book

Helene’s examples, lessons, knowledge, and expertise that she shares on everything from camera settings to natural lighting discussion to how to set up your shots to how to make your food photography tell a story is all just splendid!

She pays extreme attention to detail in each and every word written in this book.  She conveys some difficult concepts simply and thoroughly, but without dumbing them down or glossing over anything at all.

Each and every chapter is like a photography lesson and I have been having lightbulb moments going off left and right as I read it.

The book is almost 300 pages and because of the sheer amount and volume of very detailed information, I will get through all 288 pages sometime this millennium.  I am taking my time with it; reading a few pages, putting the book down for a few days, letting it soak in, while practicing with my own camera and food.   And repeating.

Thank you, Helene, for writing this book!  I know from talking to friends and reading post after glowing post around the ‘sphere about this book, it’s helping so many of us.

Interested in a few recipes?

Here is Helene’s hummus recipe

Overhead of Hummus and pita bread on white plate

I have 4 ingredient vegan hummus with really awful photography but the recipe is still a winner.

And Helene’s blackberry pie recipe

Overhead of blackberry pie on plate with whole sliced pie in background

We can all dream and aspire to create images like that one day, right?

I try to emulate her shots, style, composition, and just everything she does when I am photographing my own food lately.

But I better break out my Dark Rum Caramel Sauce and go to town because I have a lot to learn and caramel sauce makes learning and studying more fun.Dark Rum Caramel Sauce with apple slices

It’s either caramel sauce or Magic Eight Bars I’m thinking!

Magic Eight Bars

And I think you all should check out Helene’s book.


From my last post, Messy Cook, it sounds like some of you are messy.  But there were many of you who are neat freaks like me.  Good. Nothing wrong with not wanting to dirty every dish and bowl you own and getting a little high blood pressure attack upon seeing things in a state of messy disarray and wanting to clean it all, immediately.  Well, that’s the story I tell myself at least.


1. What’s the last book that really left an impression on you, and why?

I admit that I don’t read many books anymore.   I would like to say I do, but really, I don’t.

I love reading blogs and reading articles on the internet and just surfing the web and going to various webssites as needed because everything I want to know is a click-click-click away.  I get a bit bored with most books after having so much info at my fingertips, and so readily available.  Thus, it takes a lot to hold my attention with a book and for a book to make a lasting impression on me.  But Helene’s book has succeeded on all fronts.

2. What’s your biggest challenge with photography and your photos?

For me, when I’m shooting food, it’s making the food look as good in the pictures as it really was in person.  The camera can strip away things leaving them looking flat, dull, or with really horrible composition even though in person, it really was pretty.  Finding the pretty is a huge challenge for most everyone, I’d say.

Making my food pictures beautiful in terms of composition and what to include or not include in my setups and shots is always a challenge.   For instance, I ask myself, should I include that spoon and napkin or does it make the shot look cluttered?  If I don’t include it, the shot may look sparse with too empty/negative space.   Determining what belongs in a photo and what doesn’t is a challenge.

I did a post on my tips and tricks for getting the best shotI’m sure it’s laughable for Helene, but many of you told me it did help you.

At the bottom of this post is my takeaway message on my food styling and food photography from my workshop

And in this post I address the fact that just because you have an amazing camera, you won’t necessarily have amazing images.  Conversely, just because you have a point and shoot, you can still take awesome photos.  All a fancy DSLR is going to do is make the resolution and quality of the final image better; but a crappy photo is still a crappy photo, just in higher resolution with a DSLR.  You have to work on making your pictures better, not just pining away for a DSLR!  That won’t solve your problems unless you practice and work on improving your photography skills.

And my biggest challenge when shooting Skylar is making sure she doesn’t stick her tongue out at me!

Skylar sticking out tongue

P.S. Thanks for the  entries for the Bamboo Travel Skirt Giveaway.

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Please note: I have only made the recipe as written, and cannot give advice or predict what will happen if you change something. If you have a question regarding changing, altering, or making substitutions to the recipe, please check out the FAQ page for more info.


  1. Ordered this book and just received it Averie!!!! Cannot WAIT to read it and learn more. I knew I had to get this after your many suggestions AND because I loooove your photos so much. :)

    1. It will be a multi-YEAR read. You will put it down & pick it back up, hundreds of times over years…at least for me that’s how it’s been. I just love it!

  2. I think I should invest in one of these books. The Plate to Pixel one……do you need to have an SLR for it, or does it include general info for “regular” ol’ digital cameras? I just sent a sample of the book to my ipad….it looks great!

    1. applicable to ALL b/c it’s not about the camera only. it’s about taking and creating beautiful images. the camera is just one piece of it.

  3. I find it hard to be creative with photos when I am rushed for time, or when it is winter. I like to photograph food outside, but I can’t do that in Saskatchewan the majority of the time! Summer is my favourite time to be a food blogger :-)

  4. oh gosh! I juuuust ordered a DSLR book for my new baby but this is next on the list! I loved your review! Thanks Averie!!!!

  5. That book looks awesome! I’ll have to check it out. I never realized how difficult it is to photograph food until I started my own blog…making it look as good as it did in real life is definitely a challenge!

    1. No one knows til they try to do it…then, you realize what an ART it is, right!

      1. Definitely! Before, I never understood why in the world anyone would need a book about food photography, but now I totally get it! And I even want one now!!

  6. I’ve had this book wishlisted on Amazon for awhile now. From the sounds of it, I think it’s time to pull the trigger!

    I recently finished Michael Pollan’s In Defense of Food. It’s written in a way that really exposes the connection between where our food comes from, the economy, our health, and numerous other factors without being preachy or scientific. Up until recently, I hadn’t been reading for pleasure. I forgot how much I missed it from my bookworm days as a kid!

    Right now my biggest photography challenge is inexperience. But I’m learning, slowly but surely! Photography doesn’t come naturally to me like biochemistry does, so it’s a bit of a struggle. But I’m loving every second of it!

    1. whoa….biochem comes naturally to you? your brain and mine are total opposites!

      1. Yes, I’m a biochemistry PhD student! It comes easily, but I’m not passionate about it.

        I just pressed “order” on the book!!! It’ll be here Saturday and I can’t wait to dig in.

  7. I absolutely LOVE Helene Dujardin’s blog Tartelette. She has hundreds of perfectly photographed pictures of the most amazing food :) She’s terrific.