August 30, 2010 | by Lisa Mattson

If you’ve visited this blog before, you know it’s a video blog. I am a videographer. I don’t usually take still photographs, preferring to tell stories through the imagery and sound that can be captured with HD video.

Then I met Matt Armendariz. And Penny De Los Santos. Now I’m humbled to say I won a photography contest at the 2010 International Food Bloggers Conference in Seattle (see below burger picture). My path crossed with two of America’s greatest food photographers (both in less than two weeks!) and their advice helped me improve my photo and video composition skills. The connections made with these artists definitely opened my eyes to new possibilities to explore: best shot angles, lighting conditions, how to compose better shots, how to “edit” a dish before shooting it and more. Their techniques will be invaluable to Laura Petersen and I, as we work each week to continue improving the quality of our videos.

I’ve included a photo gallery of several images taken with our Canon 5D during the food cart lunch at IFBC and highlighted the winning photo. (Laura’s hand modeling skills are revealed in the Tom Kha Gai soup photos.) Contest judges were Penny De Los Santos, author Kathleen Flinn, and Bon Appetit columnist, author and blogger Molly Wizenberg. The grand prize was a $500 gift certificate to The Herbfarm, so it looks like we’ll be flying back to Seattle soon.

A post on the work of Matt Armendariz, who visited Jordan in mid-August, will follow soon. Another great resource for food photography tips is Photoble. Here’s its Top 10 Food Photography Tips.

And Penny: From here on, we’ll be making pictures–not taking pictures–when we aren’t making videos.

The Burger by Skillet in Seattle, served from its popular food cart.

Our collection of Seattle street food photographs:

The Burger by Skillet, Food Bloggers Conference 2010