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Food Bloggin’ with A Dog


I really enjoy cooking. And blogging. And my dog. And my life.

But when they all come together…it isn’t always pretty.


My dear bullbaby, Lily, obviously loves food. Give yourself a pat on the back if you even attempt to count the number of face/neck/chest rolls on that girl in any of the photos contained in this post.

While she has an affinity for all things CHICKEN, and a dislike for most things green (green bell pepper being the exception), she’s otherwise an equal opportunity eater. Kinda like her mama. SHOCKER.

lilfood7If dogs could talk, she would tell her friends at doggy day care that her mom cooks a lot, puts food on the floor, and then sometimes gives her some.

Okay, USUALLY gives her some. There’s a reason the vet scolded me, the dietitian dog mom, for having a slightly chubby daughter.


I take my photos in one of 2 places: the dining room with my artificial light (above), or in the kitchen in front of the sliding glass door (below) when there’s good natural light. Seeing as I work several part-time jobs comprising more than a full-time job, natural light is not always an option. Plus, you can’t always count on the weather!

I wish my set-up were something fancier, but it’s far, far from. There is nothing graceful about trying to photograph food, running from room-to-room in your home, being sure the dog doesn’t eat dinner and/or burn herself, and get a decent photo…all before dinner is lukewarm. Or even worse, cold.

Our house backs up to several other homes, and I can only imagine what the neighbors think watching meal time in this house. It’s like a Chinese fire drill gone wrong. I so wish I were exaggerating…


Food in tow or not, Lily is my shadow. I rarely sit on the COUCH because I’m usually snuggled up with my dog on the carpet. Food photography is no exception.


She usually sits by my side, getting in my way of moving from side to side.


Other times, she is more interested in the food and sniffing around. Sometimes, her tongue even ends up in my shot.

Or a paw…or 4.


More often than I’d like, I have a lot of trouble pulling off a good shot. Some foods and meals are just easier to make look great. And just like anything else, I have days where I lack creativity and um…skill.

If I seem to be taking too long, Lily will help herself to a nap. Lazy, lazy bulldog. Let me make note that a shoot never runs more than 10-15 minutes. I enjoy eating far too much for any longer of a wait.


On occasion, she completely ruins my photo set-up and will lay as a back drop.

A very cute but very distracting back drop.


Food photography fail.

P.S. Yes, I usually shoot on the floor (generally on a few wooden boards I have glued together and painted). I am short and hate using a tripod — it just takes up too much room. This works better for me — the angles are great, and obviously Miss Lil enjoys being in on the action. I’m lucky enough that she knows better as to get toooo close or help herself to any nibbles!

How’s that for some light-hearted Tuesday blogging? 🙂

Be well,

Share With Your Friends!


  1. March 6, 2012 / 6:16 am

    She’s so cute :). I am amazed she has restraint – good training from mom & dad!

  2. March 6, 2012 / 7:04 am

    I LOVE IT! Lily is so precious, and I think I counted 6 rolls in just her face alone.
    I don’t think I knew that you used an artificial light. Seriously, that makes sense now. Your pictures are always amazing!! I can see why Lily always wants a little taste ๐Ÿ™‚ Just imagine, one day it will be a REAL child!

    • Nicole, RD
      March 6, 2012 / 7:49 am

      Thanks, Gina! The light is very helpful, yes! I always try for natural light, but in the winter time, I don’t have dinner ready before the sun is LONG gone ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. March 6, 2012 / 7:16 am

    I’m impressed that Lily doesn’t go for the money shot and try to nibble on the food! My parents’ dog would be nibbling nonstop. No comment on whether she’s gotten a few bites in here and there. ๐Ÿ˜›

    Lily is adorable as always!

  4. March 6, 2012 / 7:42 am

    ha I love this post. Lily seems adorable and reminds me of my cat in a roundabout way. He’s always following me and curious about what I”m doing, getting in the way, etc.

    I’m glad you showed your photoshoot set up! As I’ve said before, I LOVE your pictures and was curious how you make the magic happen. I need to get one of those lamps for sure!

    ps. oh and I can totally relate to running around trying to get a shot before things get cold! haha too funny! What will do for our blogs!

    • Nicole, RD
      March 6, 2012 / 7:48 am

      I’m always curious to see others’ set-ups, too. Whatever works! The EGO light is a life-saver when the sun won’t come out…or it’s dark by 5pm! ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. March 6, 2012 / 7:51 am

    Love this! My kitties haven’t tried to crash any of my photo sessions yet, but I imagine it will happen soon! Our youngest cat is a little thief and will steal from your plate if you leave it for any length of time ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. March 6, 2012 / 8:14 am

    Awww, it’s cute when she’s in the pictures.

    What kind of light is that?

  7. March 6, 2012 / 8:30 am

    I can totally relate. If it’s not my daughter trying to reach for the food or get in the shot I have to contend with a tail or head from the dogs or cat!

  8. March 6, 2012 / 9:16 am

    I love this! And, of course, I love Lily’s name since it is the same at my (human) baby. ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. March 6, 2012 / 9:35 am

    Love it! That dog has amazing self control if you’re able to photograph on the floor. When my pup was still with us, she would’ve pulled a smooth criminal for sure!

  10. March 6, 2012 / 11:34 am

    This post makes me happy. I LOVE all the pictures of Lily. She is just too freaking adorable. If I ever put my food on the ground, keeping Lexie away from it would be such a fight. She would never try and take it, because she’s just not like that, but she would absolutely drool on it.

    Also, this might be a weird comment, but Lily has very nice feet. I can’t believe how clean they are, especially given that they’re white.

    • Nicole, RD
      March 6, 2012 / 12:18 pm

      LOL! That’s awesome. I’ll let her know ๐Ÿ˜‰ Maybe it’s because she’s LAZY and never wants to walk! Literally, she will throw a hissy fit at the end of the driveway and just lay down. SO…LAZY!

  11. March 6, 2012 / 11:49 am

    That’s so adorable! She is almost like your assistant. ๐Ÿ™‚
    Ok, I am impressed with your set up. Where did you get that light at? I need something like that since I don’t always have the best lighting.

  12. March 6, 2012 / 12:13 pm

    I love it!! My cat likes to get up in my food photoshoots on the table.

    Tell mr more about your light! I liked the simple set up.

    • Nicole, RD
      March 6, 2012 / 12:20 pm

      Simple is right! Just me and my EGO light when there’s no natural sun!

  13. March 6, 2012 / 12:27 pm

    So happy to find someone who’s dog is as drawn to cooking as mine! Your pup is adorable… I literally JUST wrote about my own doggie, Stella doing the same thing! She’s always in the kitchen under my feet watching me cook ๐Ÿ™‚

    • March 6, 2012 / 12:33 pm

      And BTW: I Pinned this post and everyone’s goin crazy for it ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Nicole, RD
        March 6, 2012 / 12:52 pm

        I appreciate it tons, Beth – thank you! ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. Heather
    March 6, 2012 / 12:36 pm

    Wow that sounds tricky at times! Your food always looks so pretty and I like the pics of Lily! So cute!!!!

  15. michele
    March 6, 2012 / 12:38 pm

    Could Lily get any cuter? Seriously. If I didn’t already have two half-human-half-canine “babies’ of my own, I’d run out to a bulldog rescue place and snap one up this minute. She’s the most adorable photographer’s “assistant” I’ve ever seen…..and I especially love the little toothy underbite grin! I would’ve never guessed by your beautiful photos that they were taken in the corner of your dining room……..they continue to get better and better! Cheers!

    • michele
      March 6, 2012 / 12:45 pm

      P.S. I just made the Spinach & Goat Cheese Quiche this Sunday (pictured w/ Lily above). We LOVED it! Super easy and super yummy……..sure to be staple in my recipe rotation!

      • Nicole, RD
        March 6, 2012 / 12:51 pm

        I’m so glad you liked it, Michele! And your comment totally made my smile! Only a dog-lover would find that goofy, toothy underbite cute ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. March 6, 2012 / 2:16 pm

    How cute! but you know…the number one dog rule is ANYTHING on the floor is fair game…lol.. it must be hard for her to watch! lol

  17. March 6, 2012 / 2:41 pm

    I love Lily!! Wow, that is some restraint, as soon as our dog hears the knife on the cutting board he’s by my side waiting for something to drop – no way in hell anything would last on the floor!

    So happy about day light savings this weekend – better night pictures hopefully!

  18. March 6, 2012 / 3:34 pm

    Awww, she is so cute! I have so many pictures with little hands reaching into them, it’s not even funny so I feel your pain. Although now that they’re a little older they usually listen when I tell them they get to eat it after if they don’t touch it, lol! I’m so impressed that you get such awesome pictures – and that she doesn’t eat it all! Loved seeing your set-up too!

  19. March 6, 2012 / 3:40 pm

    Um. Seriously, could you get any cuter? I just want to squish your little doggie! Funny enough I just photographed my cat Paninni, standing behind a beautiful tray of candied bacon. LOL

  20. March 6, 2012 / 4:03 pm

    I can feel you pain! I have 2 dogs and will often find them in the background of my shots. Sometimes it’s the best shot but I have a doggy face front and center… Thankfully mine do not try to eat the food.

  21. March 6, 2012 / 5:17 pm

    Such a fun post!–Lily is such a cute pup! I might not have a dog but I have a kitty and he definitely enjoys being apart of the photo taking process.

  22. March 6, 2012 / 8:27 pm

    Sweet Lily Bliss. I love this post, and I love the behind the scenes. My, my, I can only imagine in the future what will happen when there is a real baby. WWLD? What would Lily do?? hahahaa.

  23. March 6, 2012 / 10:11 pm

    So cute! What a pretty girl!

  24. tonya
    March 6, 2012 / 10:35 pm

    I love this post! She is such a cute dog, I just want to kiss her on the lips, lol

  25. March 7, 2012 / 9:37 am

    YES! Gratuitous photos of Lily. My day has been made.
    I think her presence provides a certain je ne sais quoi to the food photos.

  26. March 7, 2012 / 10:09 am

    I love that she doesn’t just attack the food. My dog is kinda weird about that too. He’s my constant kitchen companion, but even if something hits the floor (like a plate of pancakes made especially for him) he won’t touch it until he gets the go-ahead.

  27. March 7, 2012 / 10:55 am

    love the pictures, so cute! I shoot all my pics on the floor too ๐Ÿ˜‰

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  29. March 7, 2012 / 9:22 pm

    My food would be but a memory in seconds if I tried this, my dogs or of the quick moving tenacious varieties ๐Ÿ™‚ Your Lily is adorable though.

  30. March 7, 2012 / 10:35 pm

    I LOVE this post! I think Lily is showing a lot of restraint and good doggie manners – my dog would trample all over everything and the food would be history!

  31. March 8, 2012 / 12:20 am

    I LOVE this post and the pictures! So cute. My dog is overweight too…is that a dietitian thing? haha

  32. March 8, 2012 / 8:11 am

    This is seriously just too cute. Her standing over the plate of food…priceless. I love the random quirks in the life of food bloggers! It often makes me laugh. I wonder if they have a “Shit Food Bloggers Say” video…

    • Nicole, RD
      March 9, 2012 / 7:37 am

      No kidding! They should!

  33. April 20, 2012 / 5:48 am

    LOL, loved this! Most of my food photos are taken outside on the cement block outside the door, with a poster board underneath the plate/dish. My Jessie (she’s a German Shepherd mix) always comes out with me and by now, she knows better to get anywhere near me while I’m shooting. She’s so good, she won’t even come near even if it’s something she would love to wolf down (that means meat-she’s totally anti veg), even if I go back into the house to grab a fork or something I need for the photo. It’s kinda hard to believe, since as a puppy she would try to eat anything within chomping distance, whether it was in your hands or on a plate you’d left unguarded But she’s 8 now and she gets better every year.

    Anyway, loved seeing these pics of Lily, she’s such a cutie!!

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