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Top 5 Reasons Editors Decline an Image

Posted by ReganJonesRD
September 05, 2013
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Top 5 Reasons Editors Decline an Image

I can't tell you that I've systematically reviewed a complex data table comprised of the thousands of submissions we've received since launching the image gallery for Healthy Aperture in 2011. But I can tell you that after reviewing more 30,000 images over the past 2 years, a few common mistakes always seem to resurface as reasons our Editors decline an image for the site.

Nutrition probably goes without saying. This is after all a site curated by registered dietitians. But very honestly, nutrition seems to be fairly self regulating. I guess when "healthy" is in your URL, it helps to deter some of the more decadent submissions. But photo quality still has plenty of room for improvement in the blog world.

Here are the top 5 mistakes we see most often:

Out of Focus 

Top 5 Reasons Editors Decline an Image

Cropped Too Tightly

Top 5 Reasons Editors Decline an Image

Unnatural Angle

Top 5 Reasons Editors Decline an Image

Lighting Issues (Dull, Harsh, Artificial Light & Use of Flash)

Top 5 Reasons Editors Decline an Image

Color/White Balance

Top 5 Reasons Editors Decline an Image

If you are a planning to attend FNCE (the Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo hosted by The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics) and any of these image issues look familiar to you OR you simply need some hands on instruction to better your photography skills, please join me, Janet Helm and Liz Weiss for our pre-FNCE workshop on Saturday, October 19th. The workshop is specifically designed with the registered dietitian food/nutrition blogger in my mind and will cover food photography from all angles (pun intended) including styling, composition, basic camera settings and even iphoneography. Don't miss it! 

Question: I believe we all have tendancies when it comes to our food photography - mistakes that seem to pop up every time we step behind the camera. What are your common mistakes?





Regan Jones is the Founding Editor and Sponsorship Director of HealthyAperture and is the author of the QUICK FIX KITCHEN Feature - a collection of recipes that focuses on shortcut cooking without shortcut taste. Her recipes largely focus on baked goods and desserts ranging from gluten free to sugar free to slightly indulgent eats for the entire family, but also include easy everyday recipes for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Jones is a registered dietitian and owner the web's most prominent portfolio of dietitian-owned websites, including,, and She is also the host of the podcast, This Unmillennial Life, which was recently named New & Noteworthy on iTunes.
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