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  • Writer's pictureAlyssa Jenkins

Be $mart About Shooting Food

Updated: Mar 9, 2019

Why do seasoned marketing and brand managers sometimes believe that food photography shot with a smart phone is good enough? The truth is, sometimes it is! It all depends of what’s going on behind the scenes.

I’ve been working with professional food photography teams for 20 years—well before digital photography fully hit the scene and definitely long before smart phones with decent cameras.

In addition to professional cameras, specialized lenses and nuanced lighting, the art of shooting food requires a creative and experienced photographer with an eye for capturing the essence of the food on the set. Our photographers' food images are known to make your mouth water.

The best food photographers have one thing in common: they all LOVE food, and they know how to use angle, light, shadow and depth of field to the food’s best advantage. A food stylist and a prop stylist add the food art, backgrounds, props and finishing touches that place the food in a context, or story, to give the image lasting value and cause it to resonate on an emotional level with consumers. And that’s only part of what goes on behind the scenes! NO question, there is an art to preparing food for the camera.

Can you create food art using your phone? Of course, but it takes a. bit of finesse and often leads to disappointing results. Anyone who has ever snapped a pic of beautifully plated food in a restaurant can relate to the dismay when they realize they could not quite capture the feeling the food evoked; instead they simply have a visual record of it. I often hear that images for a brand’s social media are “shot in the office by a junior staffer with an iPhone

.” While this can sometimes yield acceptable images, it usually results in a visual record, nothing more. It’s taking a chance with your brand or product.

Marketing and brand managers spend months and even years nurturing their brands and bringing them to the market. So why then, after all that work, would they risk falling short on photography, the very thing that’s apt to influence their customers to take the bite or make the purchase? So, before falling back on phone shooting by a junior staffer, ask your creative agency or production company how they can help you work within your budget to get something much much better!

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