Dear Foodgawker: A Rant and Some Easy Rice Pudding.

Note: It’s raining and cold here this Memorial Day weekend but I hear it should be nice by Monday (woohoo!).  Save the grilling for then and try this simple and easy recipe for rice pudding tonight.  It’s the only one I’ve ever used because there’s no sense in messing with perfection, obviously.

The following is just a little rant about some food blogger type things that I know a lot of people can identify with.  Enjoy.


Dear Foodgawker:

I had a streak of luck awhile back with a slew of acceptances which renewed my self efficacy in terms of blogging and food photography.  I can only surmise that somebody outside of the norm was behind the approval process during that time.  Whomever that person was, actually enjoyed my submissions and they were accepted!  The photos were the same quality they always are (ranging from not bad to pretty decent), and there was definitely nothing special about them.  Then it was over.  Not a single photo has been accepted for a fairly tragic amount of time, and so I am relenting to your food photo snobbery.  As annoying as it might be, you have every right to be kind of a jerk an elitist.  That’s your thing.  It’s cool. You’re Ludo, I’m Nigella. It’s all good.  You like to set the bar so high that not even you can reach it (I’d be interested to see that, honestly).  You like to set standards that only superhuman professionals buy at the store and snap a photo of can dream of.  Neat.  It’s cool but it’s not for me.  I have no clue what you’re looking for and so there’s no sense in continuing.  Trying to figure it out is abysmally pointless, at least for a little while.

Why not?

Well the deal breaker is in the rejection letters.  First of all, I can’t opt out of them. “Don’t call us we’ll call you” would make me despise the process less.  I’d notice a steady flow of traffic from your site if ever my photo was accepted and it would be a pleasant surprise which is better than the bitter cold rejection you always offer.  Second, the emails are automated and have a tone that sounds polite at first, but then just seems robotic and condescending; especially after the sixty third arrives.

“Thanks so much for submitting..Unfortunately…reason: ____ please continue to submit”

I find them completely irritating and unhelpful, honestly (“food/photo styling” is not a helpful directive for future reference, if you care) and generally, these emails are just a huge bummer to the end of a seemingly great day.  The worst is when I bravely submit a whole bunch at once, thinking, “if I get just one accepted, it will vanquish the agony of all the other rejection”.   Wrong! Instead, I get a barrage of  rejection letters and corresponding feelings of inadequacy sent directly to my inbox all at once from some automated terribleness that I like to call  …well, I’ll spare you the profanity, but it sounds like foodgawker and has an extra F.

It’s my way of saying, “that was not nice”.

What happened to the good old days when we as lowly bloggers could submit some terrible casserole (with flash!) and get over 2k hits flooding in from your site within a few short hours?  I’ve heard the tales from those that have been around long before me.  I can scroll back and see it for myself.  Really terrible photos used to pass as “amazing” and even be featured! Was that before you became the cool kid on the block?  Now you’re only “secret friends” with the amateurs?  Well, either way, those days are long gone and I’m finding the process to be not quite worth it, anymore.  Who knows, though, maybe I’ll change my mind and try again (this has happened several times over the years).  And then I will briskly be reminded, via robotic email, to just stop bothering with it. It’s one site that I can’t peg down out of about fifty that either are just as popular, or will be within 2013. Perhaps it’s time to just let it go.

There are at least five other sites that feature my posts (and photos) regularly and you,  dear foodgawker, are just a spiral of self doubt and quite frankly, suckiness (yes, I said suckiness).  It’s not a fun relationship so I’m taking a break.

Yes.  Again.

(Shut up)

Whenever I remember to post on pinterest, bloghertastespottingdailybuzz, babble and the others, my photos are accepted, shared and even occasionally featured!  So, it’s hard not to take it personally.  I know it’s not personal because it’s a cold heartless robot I’m dealing with, but it’s no fun, regardless.  What could I possibly be doing so wrong?  Bah…I suppose that’s the ever alluring mystery, though, isn’t it?  More rejected means more elite and elite = “youfancy” success.

Anyway, I’m having a great week despite your annoying rejection letters being the worst thing ever : Traffic is up and people are sharing.  Tastespotting appears to like me just fine and accepts my photos regularly (I won’t forget to submit anymore). Also, today is national wine and tap dancing day.  That’s fun.  So, yeah…to put it nicely – I’m breaking up with you.




Rice Pudding

  • 5 cups organic whole milk
  • 7 ounces short grain rice
  • 2-3 tablespoons vanilla sugar (to taste)
  • garnish: cinnamon and brown sugar (optional)

Place the milk, rice and vanilla sugar in a deep saucepan. Bring to a medium simmer and put on the lid. Cook for half an hour, stirring occasionally, until the rice pudding is thickened. If you accidentally cook it for too long or (for whatever reason) becomes too thick, you can thin it down by adding a little more milk.  Place in dessert bowls and sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon, if desired.

Adapted from : Jamie Oliver’s Recipe


This entry was posted in All, Dessert, For Kids and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

28 Responses to Dear Foodgawker: A Rant and Some Easy Rice Pudding.

  1. I googled “why is Foodgawker so elitist” and stumbled across this! Firstly, thank you for making me feel a hundred times better. My pictures are not the best in the world, I am sure – but I actually find some of them pretty good. So to be told that my composition and angles are lacking, repeatedly, is a little grating. Like you, I thought “just one more. They might love me”, but alas, I continue to be thrown in the Foodgawker scrapheap! All I can think of is that there is a sad little person sitting there and it makes their day to be so pedantic! Thanks for cheering me up!

  2. I might be a bit late posting here but I am new to foodblogging and submitted over 15 pictures to food gawker today. All but one got rejected. 80% with the reason that my picture was not in the post that I submitted it with. They WERE in the related posts. I am baffled to say the least. Not bothering to try anymore since it seems utter random what they choose to accept… along with untrue reasoning for not accepting pictures. #smh

  3. Pingback: URL

  4. Diane Grothe says:

    I feel your pain. My photos are no where near the beautiful works of art that yours are. I’m just a lowly housewife, cooking for her husband who decided to start a food blog. But it hurts. It has amazed me how snobbish bloggers can be. I didn’t start blogging to make money or gain fame. I started, because I have a love of cooking and baking. I have some wonderful, delicious recipes that I wanted to share with the world. But since I’m not a big deal nobody will take me serious. I’ve been treated rudely by other sites for being a newbie. I have almost quite, then my sweet hubby reminds me that I did this for me and not for appreciation from others. But lets face it, it is nice when others like what you have done.

  5. I never even tried submitting to those sites, I know what my photos are…amateur at best :) Yours look amazing though, thanks for visiting my blog, I am going to check out some more of yours.

  6. Oh I feel your pain. I have only had ONE submission ever accepted by FG and I remember that day well. I dedicated an entire blog post to it and was SO FREAKING EXCITED. It does seem like such an elite place to be published and yet the selection seems so random. Honestly, I’ve given up with Foodgawker and sometimes play with some of the other aforementioned “food porn” sites.

    You have beautiful photography and hey, pass over some of that rice pudding, will ya? :)

  7. And thank you too! Glad you enjoyed it and thanks for stopping by!

  8. hp11260 says:

    I’m also glad to read this post and know that someone else shares the same problems! One of my biggest issues with foodgawker is that I feel that they’re inconsistent a lot of the time. They’ll reject one of my photos for the composition being “too tight” and then a few days later, accept a photo that’s even closer up. Sometimes I think there isn’t a specific standard that they follow and I wish there was so that I could figure out what they want!
    It’s refreshing to know that even some of my favorite food bloggers have trouble with foodgawker, so thank you for this post.

  9. agreed on the foodgawker nonsense *sigh*

  10. If it makes you feel any better, Foodgawker and Tastespotting have yet to accept a single one of my submissions. Talk about feeling like the uncool kid trying to hang with the popular girls. It’s like Mean Girls and I forgot to wear pink on Wednesday.

  11. Jamieanne says:

    I’ve found that Tastespotting rejects my photos more often that FoodGawker does! I don’t let it bother me much anymore, although if I personally feel that a particular photo of mine is really great and it does get rejected, it does hurt a little! My advice is the same as FoodGawker’s; you have a wonderful blog with lovely photos! Don’t let it get to you and keep on doing what you do so well. :)

    • Perhaps it really is just a subjective thing then. It is nice that I can now opt out of the emails – it helps a bit; but I don’t think I’ll be focused on this any longer. “Ain’t nobody got no time for that!” 😉

  12. Hilarious! My husband feels your pain because he is the one I rant to about my rejections. I will make him sit there and look at photos they did accept from other bloggers and compare them to my rejected photos. He is so nice! He sits there and says, “Oh ya, I see what you mean. That doesn’t make any sense at all!” Anyway, thanks for the laugh!

  13. thank you for this! it was cathartic to even just read!! i know there is a method, but there is also a wee bit of madness :)

  14. Hear hear, my friend, you said it wonderfully! So many times I have tried new ways to photograph my food to achieve their guidelines but it does not work! Always the rejection letter! This kind of snobbery should not be for food bloggers, we are sharing decent photos of good food, we are not professionals! Well said my friend!
    And I like this dessert of yours and its pictures very much!

    Choc Chip Uru

  15. Holy Moly the Goliath Speaks!

    Thanks for the personal touch. I appreciate it.

    Is it weird that I feel starstruck now? Yeah, that’s awkward.

    Friends Forever. :)

  16. foodgawker says:

    Dear Kate:

    It’s not you, it’s us. We don’t blame you for breaking up with us again. We know you think we are a heartless, stuck up robot, but actually, we’re a small team of people who really do care and appreciate every single submission we get.

    Five years ago when we were the new kids on the block, food blogging and food photography were so much more innocent and fun. It was like hanging out with friends, sharing whatever we cooked and ate. With each passing year, more people attended conferences and learned more about photography. Now there are many food photography books written by food bloggers and every conference has a food photography track or workshop.

    When we first started, we only published 46 posts (1 page) per round. Now we publish almost 3 pages per round. As submissions increased, so did the quality of photos due to the general improvement and sharing of photography skills. We would love to accept every single submission. We don’t enjoy declining anyone and the editors wrestle with every decision. However, if we accept too many submissions, many photos would get buried and not receive any clicks. Our ultimate goal in this relationship is to shower people with love (blog traffic). That’s the reason why we have to be selective, not to spite anyone or be elitist, but to send you enough traffic to make it worth your while to come back.

    Regarding our email notifications, you can opt out of them on the “my profile” page. We know when we decline a submission, it can be hurtful and that’s the last thing we want to do. Please don’t base your (blog) self worth on whether we accept a photo. You have a beautiful blog with a loyal audience. It doesn’t matter what our editors think about your photos, as it’s ultimately a subjective, human decision. The only people who should matter are your followers and readers.

    Breaking up is always hard, but we hope we can still be friends!


  17. Sandy says:

    I am not a blogger, but this is just like the corporate world I live in today. I have a new plan; work harder for 2 to 3 years and RETIRE. I love all the food blogs I subscribe to but I don’t have time to read all of them. I want that time to do what I want to do. On Pinterest I have a board called Happy: How I plan to get there. I look at that daily and I know I am on the right track. I am tired of having to live up to someone else’s standards EVERY DAY( Most days mine are higher than the powers that BE)! I can tell you this – I enjoy your Blog! I make myself find time to read it! and your Blog brings a spark of Joy into my life! So who cares about Foodgawker. I have never even visited their site and probably never will. From one of your Followers

  18. I think many of us feel this way. After a streak of yes’s then a streak of no’s, I stopped submitting about a year ago. Not at all out of spite, just sort of… forgot… and then kept forgetting and then one day noticed I was much happier with my photography progress without the constant stream of unhelpful feedback (or, an acceptance, but unsure as to how the accepted photo was different to the last). For me, the traffic comes from elsewhere, and the competitiveness of it all just isn’t for me. I’ve thought about re-submitting and maybe I will. But for now I’m happy to just be doing my own thing.

    In other news the rice pudding sounds fab! Just what we need as we move into winter over here.

  19. I get declines all the time from foodgawker. I resubmit the next day changing practically nothing and then my images are accepted. It makes no sense! They are so strange there and I will never understand some of the acceptances and declines!

    • So glad it’s not only me! I’ve never tried resubmitting with (essentially) the same photo on a different day. Perhaps I will try that the next time I muster up my courage. Thanks for dropping by and happy birthday to you!

  20. I’m so glad I’m not the only one who feels this way! You said it absolutely perfectly. I don’t give them any more of my time. Bravo, lady.

Leave a Comment!