“In France, cooking is a serious art form and a national sport.”
If you enjoy and brand food, there are two senses that are far more powerful than one’s taste buds: the nose and the eyes.
With the nose, it’s the smells, the aromas, the waft of freshly baked bread that put us in a hypnotic state.
But until there’s an app for that, when using online channels, we have to resort to another sensory channel: the eyes. That texture, that look of deliciousness that gets us salivating, the steam captured as it escapes a freshly baked cookie.
All reasons that inspire consumers to throw away the best laid plans, sit down and indulge.
Warning: Eat Something Before Reading any Further
When planning a photoshoot of food, it’s vital to establish, “What story are we trying to tell? What desires do want to generate in the viewer? What emotions do we wish to stir?”
That’s my job when art directing a shot. That’s anyone’s job when art directing a shot.
You’re not a reporter capturing the facts. No. You’re a storyteller.
You’ve likely seen me abuse this point of least resistance (amongst us humans) with this brand of gluten-free cookies (I was informed those shots made one viewer jump on the treadmill, certain that he’d gained a few pounds just looking at the photos) or this remarkable category disruptor or for those looking for more savory items, here are these examples.
And I’ve not stopped there.
We recently were working on some shots for Dunn Brothers (this shows you some of the branding work done earlier this year) to capture some new drinks as well as capturing some of their delectable edibles that they bake fresh in many of their independently owned stores.
The shots are engaging and capture the fresh-made deliciousness that help demonstrate the Dunn Brothers brand, their craft and the passion they have for their product.
In other words, photography (done right) is as close as you can get to them:
- visiting you,
- hanging out in the living room,
- smelling what’s cooking in the kitchen that ultimately makes them wander in to the kitchen to ask “What amazing creation are you making?”
And it takes a team, and I have a great team with the aid of the terrific photographic skills of Bethany.
So how did this translate to the food and beverage offerings at Dunn Brothers? Well, I’ll let you be the judge:
How to Talk to Food
Sometimes the food you shoot needs encouragement. (Need proof? Check out and subscribe to my Instagram account.)
It can happen at the start of a shoot, or sometimes when food is getting cranky and wanting an afternoon nap, it needs to be reminded of the bigger picture — that it’s not all about them. It’s about the client too.
Below, I am personally giving my “models” a pep talk to embrace their “happy place” during the photos shoot. (My philosophy: “A happy slice of pumpkin pie is a photogenic slice of pumpkin pie.” 😉
Here’s to happy eating, happy viewing and engaging imagery for your food.