The Art of Food Photography – what is it exactly? Can you think of anything more universal to human beings than food? It’s the one thing that is of interest to everyone. Marketing is all about creating desire for a product: appeal to someone’s appetite and you’ve got their attention.
Here at dpix we love food, because photographing it provides so many creative challenges.
What is the Art of Food Photography?
OK, we admit it: photographing it is actually our second favourite thing to do with food. Like everyone else, primarily we enjoy eating it. Food photography is all about enhancing that desire – making food appealing in a way that is also convincing and believable.
It has to be believable – that is the art of food photography. It’s all very well making food look amazing: if the final product doesn’t live up to that image, clients are soon going to become disillusioned.
Of course, more or less everyone is an amateur food photographer nowadays: apps like Facebook and Instagram are full of images of people’s restaurant meals, takeaways and home-prepared meals. Some of them look great, others less so. The biggest drawbacks with smartphone images of food are lighting and focus. Have you noticed people’s photos of evening meals never look quite as good as ones shot in the daylight?
The other thing you need when producing professional, commercial food photography is consistency. The images need to be styled in a way that fits in with the look and feel of the business. That is vital in the art of food photography.
It goes without saying that professional food photography can play an absolutely vital part in the fortunes of catering and food-based businesses.
An example of a business to whom food photography is an important marketing tool is our Bromsgrove-based client Banner Foods. They’ve been going for over a hundred years and still have their base on the site of the original butcher’s shop established by founder Samuel Banner in 1906.
The modern Banner Foods is now much more than a butcher. They provide outside catering for events such as parties and corporate functions. Services include buffets, barbecues and pig roasts. The Banner brand is all about providing the best quality food at competitive prices, along with friendly service.
Another key aspect of the Banner Foods offering is is their award-winning, fresh and frozen ready meals. We’ve been photographing their range for several years.
Recently, seven new dishes have been created and added to the ready meal menu. Our task was to provide photographs that would appear on the Banner Foods website and also be used to sell these dishes to decision-makers in catering establishments such as pubs, hotels and restaurants.
How do we approach Food Photography at dpix?
First, Banners provide us with the frozen, pre-packed meals. This means we can prepare the food to fit our studio schedule. It also means we will be photographing the real product, prepared just as if we were a customer.
Like all ready meals, every Banners dish comes with a serving suggestion. We source the ingredients to prepare the specific serving suggestion for each meal. Our studio in Bromsgrove has its own kitchen, reflecting the fact that food photography is a big part of what we do.
(Julie tends to do the food preparation, mainly because Darren is far better at eating food than he is at preparing it. Happily though, he is also good at lighting and photographing it!)
Having worked with Banner Foods for so long, they now trust us to choose the plates and other tableware and create the setting for each image. These choices will be influenced by the colours in the food. We need to get just the right degree of contrast while making sure the colours of the food, tableware and surroundings compliment each other.
Light, shade and focus are all hugely important in the shoot: we need to make the food look presentable, but not so perfect that it doesn’t look real, if you see what we mean. Most of all, we need to make it look mouth-watering. All these are important in the art of food photography.
What do you think? Have we brought the dishes across in a realistic way – and do our food images create that desire inside of you? Have a look at some more of our range of food photography and decide for yourself.
For the first time in a few years I decided to use a professional photographer to capture images of my new products; these products are main course entrees for pubs and restaurants that we sell through a network of distributors nationwide.
I used Darren & Julie at dpix photography, near Bromsgrove.
The images they produced were fantastic and I have managed to get more listing this year than in any previous year. Listings mean sales and I expect a good year ahead.
I’ve no doubt that having a good set of images while presenting my products has helped me sell to the products to my distributors. Darren & Julie were easy to communicate with and delivered highly professional end result.
I will be using them again in the near future.
At dpix we provide food photography as well as product photography and, quite frankly, just about any other kind of commercial photography your organisation may need in Bromsgrove, Worcestershire and Birmingham. We can work further afield too, although our studio in Bromsgrove is fully equipped with everything needed, including a pure white infinity scoop, and of course, a kitchen for food photography preparation.
Explore this site and find out what other services are on our menu. You might also like to read our blog about new product photography.