We’ve all heard the adage “a picture is worth a thousand words,” but a picture can also spark taste buds, activate salivary glands and conjure up cravings. A well-styled food photograph can become one of the best marketing tools for a bed and breakfast — enticing guests to your inn simply for the gourmet beginning to the day. But how do you create that striking, mouth-watering image of your signature breakfast?
Denise Vivaldo, author of The Food Stylist’s Handbook, has been a culinary professional and food stylist for nearly 30 years and was eager to share her years of advice and training to help innkeepers capture the perfect, mouth-watering images.
“Food left to its own devices under camera lights, looks old and sad. But there are tricks of the trade that can help,” Denise said. “Everything wants to look best for its close-up!”
Plate like a pro
When plating a dish to photograph, remember less is more and the neater, the better, said Denise. “The camera has a stagnant eye — it needs to record the plate. If the plate is really messy, the camera can’t focus. And then nothing is defined.”
On the flip side, a single cookie isn’t nearly as appealing as a stack of freshly baked treats. Do you usually stop with just one cookie? Nah, and neither do most cookie lovers. So consider using repetition in your image. Use your judgement when prepping your food for the camera.
It’s in the details
Presentation is everything, right? You wouldn’t serve your renowned frittata on chipped or stained China or without a flourish of crème fraîche, parsley or decorative sliced fruit. Make sure that high standard carries over to the garnishing and presentation of your photographed food.
Food left to its own devices under camera lights, looks old and sad. But there are tricks of the trade that can help. Everything wants to look best for its close-up!
Garnishes are the lacy lingerie of the food world, according to an article published on DigitalPhotographySchool.com. “They may not be the main event but they add a little color and a hint of what’s to come. Consider a herb that is in the dish, a little chile, or even just a sprinkling of black pepper to make an everyday meal seem more alluring.”