It wasn’t that long ago that food photography happened only in studios. Don’t get us wrong, we’re still in love with a studio day. There’s a certain magic to watching food stylists use their bag of tricks and exploring vast rooms of props before snapping that one perfect food photo. But the way we approach food photography is so much more complex than it was. Even Instagram is moving away from a perfectly filtered view of “reality” to show a more authentic world (see, the no-edit edit). Whether you attribute it to Tik Tok or iPhones, food photography has changed.
But even if you’re picking up a quick shot on an iPhone, you need a strategy. Every photo is part of the brand story, and we always shoot with the brand voice in mind. If a brand is fun, loud, youthful and vibrant, we showcase that by wearing bright colors, creating movement, and not being afraid to get messy. If a brand is more polished and culinary, we’ll make a point of getting in the kitchen and showing the process, not just the finished dish. The equipment we use, the way we style a dish, and the props, wardrobe and even nail color of our hand models, is all part of the overall marketing strategy for the brand.
When we started shooting for social media, we focused on just creating content. We focused on what would support our Instagram strategy. But we quickly found that the shots that were telling our brand story on social could also tell our story in marketing. And with a few adjustments, we learned to use a single shoot to capture social, marketing, and even menu photography. As long as we keep the goal for any given shot in mind, our team can jump from styling to modeling without missing a beat, saving our clients time and money. With the challenging staffing situation in restaurants right now, it’s more important than ever that we capture as much as possible from every plate, and every shoot.
The days of studio photography aren’t behind us — there are some clients and some products that need the fine touch of a professional — but give us a squeeze bottle, a camera, and a manicure and we’re ready to shoot.