A Comparison of Food Photo Galleries


Collage of Food Photo Galleries: Dishfolio, FoodGawker, FindingVegan, PhotoGrazing, Tastespotting, Tasteologie

As a food blogger, you soon learn of online photo galleries that showcase your food photos to the world. These galleries act as bridges between your blog and your potential audience, and help you discover others writing about food.

A food blogger today is spoiled for choice. Dozens of food photo galleries exist but resources/time at our disposal is limited. So you ask:

  • Which galleries should I submit my food photos to for maximum visibility?
  • What should I do so that my food photos get accepted by these galleries?
  • How do these galleries compare with each other in terms of quality of photos, response time, communication and traffic?

I will share in this article information to help you compare a few of the most popular food photo galleries so that you can determine which might be useful in your context.

I have been submitting photos from my blog since the past few months. This feedback is based on my experiences. In case you’ve felt differently, please do chip in in the comments section.

For once, not being an ace photographer with fancy camera has been an advantage – it has given me an insight into the entry threshold of food photo galleries. If you are a pro at photography, this information might not make a difference one way or the other – wherever you submit your photos, they will be welcomed with open arms (lucky you!). But if your pictures are of the middling kind, the “Entry Criteria” feedback will help.

The good news first: In most of these galleries, you don’t have to use a DSLR to get accepted. A well-taken picture with a simple point-and-shoot camera has a fine chance.

Criteria for this Comparison

These are the factors against which the galleries will be compared:

  • Entry Criteria – How easy is it to get your food photos approved?
  • Response Time – How quickly is your submitted picture moved from the pending queue?
  • Feedback Quality – Does the gallery notify you when your picture is accepted? If the picture is declined, does it tell you why?
  • Incoming Traffic* – What kind of traffic can you expect from the gallery if your picture is accepted?
  • Badge – Does the gallery give you a badge to display on your blog? If yes, how good does the badge look?
  • Photo Size – What are the picture dimensions expected by the gallery?
  • Usability – How easy is it to login, browse, maintain favorites on the site?

*Your mileage may vary. My pictures are mostly of home-cooked Indian vegetarian dishes. Delicious as they may be, they might not look as drool-worthy as pictures of fancy restaurant dishes. Still, since I’ve submitted the same photos on these galleries and noted a difference in the volume of traffic, this data may be taken as a general guide.

List Of Photo Galleries Being Compared

The following photo galleries have been considered:

A Side-By-Side Comparison

This table shows how food photo galleries fare under the various criteria.

[Update (10-Feb-2014): Since the time I wrote this post in 2011, a few things have changed about the photo galleries. The latest comparison report is below. If you're curious to see the 2011 report, here it is.]

Food Photo Galleries: Dishfolio, FoodGawker, FindingVegan, PhotoGrazing, Tastespotting, Tasteologie

What The Photo Galleries Do Not Tell You

  • Desserts will be favorited far more than healthy eats. For all the emphasis on veggies and slimming broths, when it comes to food “oglability” the rich and sinful rules the roost. If you want your food to get noticed on a food photo gallery, that sumptuous black forest cake is a better bet than your lettuce and beans salad.
  • The image size on a photo gallery is typically 250px x 250px. When you click your photos they are far larger. To give them a good chance of getting accepted, use a mix of scaling and cropping. If you scale down too much, your food goes out of visibility. If you crop too much, it becomes hard to understand what the dish is. Don’t rely on the photo gallery folks to do the cropping for you – do it yourself before you submit.
  • If your dish or recipe has a non-English name, add its English translation too in the image description. Don’t just call it Rajma Masala and leave it at that – make sure to mention that it is “red kidney beans in tomato gravy“. This gets more people clicking on the picture to reach your blog.

Food Blogs For Photo Inspiration

Check out these food blogs for the most lip-smacking, beautifully clicked photos.

Useful Links On Food Photography

Recommended reading for the new food photographer.

SteamingPot on FindingVegan SteamingPot on Photograzing SteamingPot on Dishfolio SteamingPot on Tasteologie SteamingPot on Tastespotting SteamingPot on foodgawker

 

29 Responses to “A Comparison of Food Photo Galleries”

  1. jo @ includingcake November 4, 2011 at 6:09 AM #

    Thanks for this informative post, seeing the side by side comparisons was very useful. I too am a newbie vegan blogger and am just beginning to approach the ‘galleries’ and hope to improve my photography in the coming months. So far I have had one photo accepted by tastespotting and food gawker, but I hadn’t even heard of the others you mention so i’m off to check them out now!

    • S November 4, 2011 at 8:38 AM #

      Hi Jo, Welcome here. Great to know you found this useful. Tastespotting and Foodgawker are more picky, if your pictures get accepted there you have a high chance of making it into the others.

      All the best!

  2. the food dude November 20, 2011 at 3:47 PM #

    I am fairly new to blogging and I found this post very helpful. I still have to improve my photography to improve my submissions to these sites. These photo sites are amazing drivers of traffic. And desserts, I didn’t know that, thanks for the tip!

    • S November 20, 2011 at 6:30 PM #

      :) Glad to help. Yeah, check out the top favorited pictures on these galleries – most of them are desserts!

  3. the food dude November 23, 2011 at 10:49 AM #

    you are so right on the desserts, I finally have a successful entry!

    • S November 25, 2011 at 12:15 AM #

      Way to go!

  4. Katrina November 26, 2011 at 7:40 PM #

    I wanted to help you out with the “no data available” under FoodGawker’s incoming traffic. It’s ridiculously high. I get far more hits from people browsing the first few pages, the search box for specifics, and the most popular, gawked, and favorited than I ever do with TS and DF. My blog traffic went triple within the first week of my first picture on FG. TS is having some growing pains and they are very buggy lately. I have about an 80% success rate with FG, 100% with Dishfolio, and maybe 60% with TS. With TS, I sometimes re-edit the picture because the only feedback is “composition”. On the few that I have re-edited and resubmitted, they were accepted.

    • S November 26, 2011 at 7:55 PM #

      Thanks for your helpful comment, Katrina. I have only just got a picture accepted at FoodGawker. Good to know the traffic’s great, I eagerly await the surge on my blog!

      The “composition” feedback on TS seems to be on autopilot – I’ve been getting a lot of that too! I’ve never tried resubmitting on TS, must give it a shot.

    • S November 26, 2011 at 8:09 PM #

      Another thing that annoys me about TasteSpotting – their feedback notification email gives some random news about them which you didn’t ask for, and does NOT tell you whether your submission was approved or not. It makes you click a link to find out the status. To go through all this and then be told your submission was “rejected”…no fair, TS.

  5. the food dude December 1, 2011 at 10:28 PM #

    You may want to check Kitchen Artistry, their gallery displays horizontal format images (or 600 pix width) instead of the usual 250 x 250 pix square format of the other food photo sites. I feel the horizontal format is more flexible since I run into cropping and “composition” problems with the square format. Quick response time. Pretty good usabilty too. But I’m not sure if it drives traffic like FG…will have to monitor this.

    • S December 3, 2011 at 8:26 PM #

      Thanks for the tip – will check out Kitchen Artistry.

    • S February 4, 2012 at 12:38 AM #

      Came across this interview of a Tastespotting Editor Jennifer Bartoli. Interesting read: link.

  6. Elle @ Where The Food Is January 17, 2012 at 7:35 PM #

    Hi! I’ve actually found Foodgawker to be easier to get into than Tastespotting. I’ve submitted 11 pics to each, and have had 2 accepted to FG but not a single one to TS. Because it’s got such a high traffic rate, FG is the best one, for my money. And I agree, TS’s feedback doesn’t make much sense!

    • S February 4, 2012 at 12:46 AM #

      After getting a few pictures into foodgawker and none yet into Tastespotting, I have to agree. Time to edit the “DSLR-blessed” line as well – all credit is still due to my point-and-shoot.

      Dishfolio seems to have run into problems. The site has been dead slow since several weeks and photo approval takes over a week.

    • Becca October 29, 2014 at 6:19 AM #

      Man I’m the exact opposite! I’m 3 for 3 with tastespotting, 0 for 6 with food gawker! I REALLY want to crack the code for food gawker!

  7. Kathryn Smith September 5, 2012 at 8:50 PM #

    Thank you, thank you! This is incredibly helpful (the comments are helpful too). I appreciate it!

    • S September 5, 2012 at 9:06 PM #

      You’re welcome Kathryn! Time for an update: since I commented last on this post I have managed to break into Tastespotting, and dishfolio seems to have given up on moderating pictures – I get no feedback from them and their widget shows no updates. Sigh, I used to like them.

  8. Erin @ The Food Doctors October 25, 2012 at 11:37 PM #

    I have seen so many posts on this topic, but I must say that this one is by far the most useful. I’ve had several photos accepted at FoodGawker, but I recently submitted some to TasteSpotting, and was surprised at the relatively slow turnaround. Thanks for the thorough run-down of these different sites! I didn’t even know about some of them.

  9. lalaine November 25, 2012 at 2:46 AM #

    I am suprised how Food Gawker has very high entry requirements…I remember this site opening up late 2007 or early 2008 and were a think far more forgiving then…I had at least 10 approved from my old blog there…I guess because they were not big enough then to be choosy LOL

    It’s tastespotting that I had major problems getting in…I think 2 to 3 out of zillion submissions

  10. Caroline December 7, 2012 at 8:41 AM #

    This is the most thorough overview of food photo galleries I’ve seen yet. Love this info! Being new to all of this, my head has been spinning. I just bookmarked this page! Thanks so much!

  11. nancy baggett February 17, 2013 at 9:08 AM #

    A couple little corrections: Tastespotting always gives a couple words of feedback, like “harsh lighting,” or “composition,” when they reject submissions. Also, when they run a pic, it generates about the same amount of traffic as a pic appearing on Foodgawker. Finally, dessert pics can generate a lot of traffic, but so can non-desserts: One of my big draws was a brownie, but right behind it was a lentil-brown rice soup! Go figure! I have a detailed post on tips for submitting to FG and TS on my site, if anyone is interested.

    • S March 7, 2013 at 1:05 AM #

      Hi nancy

      Thanks for your comment. I can see Tastespotting’s reason for decline on only one picture that I submitted in Feb 2013. I got no feedback on my older declined pictures, and I can’t find a way to view my history of Tastespotting submissions/reasons for decline on their site.

      Agree with you about the high traffic. I have a steamingpot gallery on Tastespotting (a slim one, but better than none!) now, posts from there get many visitors thanks to Tastespotting.

  12. Nicole Rossetti le Strange March 31, 2013 at 7:21 PM #

    Fantastic article – thank you so much. I haven’t even attempted to submit my photos to any of the food gallery sites… I think I need to work on my photography! :-)

    • S April 4, 2013 at 7:28 PM #

      Hi Nicole, Never too late to start :-) Speaking from experience, the wish to feature in a food gallery gives a GREAT boost to one’s photography skills. All the best.

  13. Laurie December 28, 2013 at 7:27 PM #

    I know this is a really old post, but I just found it for the first time and it’s incredibly useful! I knew about a bunch of these but not all of them, and now I’m submitting my photos to those as well. So far, foodgawker has been my best traffic source, but Tastespotting is a good traffic driver as well. You might also want to look into Healthy Aperture, which is all about healthy food and therefore narrows the field a bit, although they are definitely fussy about photos!

    And you’re right, these sites really do inspire me to improve my photography. It took me 20 tries to get a picture on foodgawker and now I have a whole gallery.

    Thanks for the great article!

    • S December 28, 2013 at 10:29 PM #

      Hi Laurie! Good to know you found new photo galleries through this post. I stumbled upon Healthy Aperture about a year back, and have a steamingpot gallery there as well now. Yeah they’re fussy about photos, but less so in comparison with foodgawker, Tastespotting etc. Of late I have found Tasteologie the hardest to get into.

      There’s another gallery I discovered much after writing this post – Stalkerville. They are pretty lenient about photo quality but very particular about the ingredient list in the submitted recipes. If your photos are about food that conforms to special diets like Paleo, gluten-free, etc. this is a must-have gallery in your “To Submit” set.

      • Laurie December 31, 2013 at 4:34 AM #

        Your photos are beautiful, by the way!

  14. Alex @ Intoxicology101 July 27, 2014 at 8:05 PM #

    Very useful post. I know it’s been a while since a reply but I’ve been looking for new ways to get my cocktails and spiked foods noticed. Very helpful, I was already on 3 of these and noticed I get more hits from some than others, this definitely helps me with my future submissions.

    Cheers

    • S October 30, 2014 at 9:27 AM #

      Thanks Alex!

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