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Food Photography Tip {Recipe – Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake}

There is still plenty of time to enter the three giveaways we have going on right now. Check out the Masterbuilt Butterball Indoor Electric Turkey Fryer giveaway by following this link, the Quaker Chewy Afterschool Rocks kits giveaway by following this link, and the Bush’s Beans Culinary Institute of America Giveaway here. Thanks for participating and good luck!

Food photography can be tricky. Sometimes, you have to try different angles to get the right shot. A photographer is always willing to do whatever it takes to make a photo interesting, even if that means taking a taste of the food… I like to call that “styling”.

In the name of creating something truly interesting, sometimes you may have to take several tastes.

And what if after all that hard work, you don’t get the shot you were looking for? You’ll just have to start over. Darn. Such a sacrifice, but all in the name of a trying to get that perfect shot!

My friend Julianne has been spoiling us with this cheesecake for several years now. It is an absolute favorite… I don’t even attempt to make it anymore because I know I just can’t make it as good as she does!

Recipe: Philadelphia Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake from Philadelphia Cream Cheese

Julianne makes a traditional graham cracker butter crust instead of the ginger snap crust the original recipe calls for.

  • 25 nabisco ginger snaps, crushed ( 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped Planters pecans
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 32 ounces Philadelphia Cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup sugar, divided
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  1. PREHEAT oven to 325°F.
  2. Mix ginger snaps crumbs,pecans and butter; press firmly onto bottom and 1 inch up side of 9-inch springform pan.
  3. BEAT cream cheese, 3/4 cup of sugar and the vanilla with electric mixer until well blended. Add eggs one at a time, mixing on low speed after each additional just until blended. Remove 1 1/2 cups of batter; place in small bowl.
  4. Stir remaining 1/4 cup of sugar, the pumpkin and spices into remaining batter. Spoon half of the pumpkin batter into crust; top with spoonfuls of the reserved plain batter. Repeat layers. Cut through batters with knife several times for a marble effect.
  5. BAKE 55 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool completely. Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight. Cut into 16 slices. Store leftover cheesecake in refrigerator.

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  1. It’s tough work we do, I tell ya! Those bites… we’ve got to sneak them in for the sake of the photo!

  2. Excellent tip. A blogger’s gotta do what a blogger’s gotta do in the name of their art. :-)

  3. YUM! I totally hear you! I’m all for “testing” it out until you get the right shot. I could do that all day :)

  4. That looked sooo good…from the first bite until the last.

  5. I am always willing to take one for the team and have a few bites…if Walter Dan doesn’t beat me to it:)

  6. Love that tip! I do that as well :) And this cheesecake looks so good!

  7. Looks delicious, my dear….especially due to your stunning photographs!!

  8. This is by far my favourite photography tip. It’s all for a good cause. And the pumpkin cake looks delicious!

  9. We sure do suffer for our art, don’t we?

  10. What great camera shots! The pumpkin cheesecake looks divine!

  11. It’s been much too long since I had pumpkin cheesecake. You may have inspired me to make some, even if it’s only for my face. I don’t have to share, right?

  12. It *is* hard work….all of that eating and taking pictures. When I took a picture of cheesecake last week I *swore* I would only eat the bite that was on the fork in the picture. Two minutes after I turned off my camera, that entire piece was GONE! ;)

    PS…this look so pretty and delicious!

  13. Tasting the food is the best part of the job ;) Especially when you have to take bite after bite!

  14. This is one tip I’m very willing to emulate. :-)

  15. It’s tough work but somebody has to do it…taste testing that is! In my house I have to fight off the “vultures” (as in kids & hubs) so that I actually have food left to shoot! LOL!

  16. all in the name of WORK!! lol……..I love it!! yummy looking cheesecake!

  17. Kristen, do you think this Pumpkin Swirl dessert would turn out using a sugar substitute? Because my husband and I are both diabetic, I’d love to be able to make this for us. Thanks.

  18. Sometimes it is the most straight forward tips that are the most important ;) Thanks for the tip :)

  19. Yes food “styling” is a dirty job…but someone has to do it!!!

  20. I totally need help when it comes to food photography!! I’ve been attempting to make them better but they pale greatly compared to yours! Thanks!


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