It is a well-known fact that one of the most effective ways to increase engagement on social media platforms is through the use of quality photographs. And what better way for a restaurant to show off its offerings than through the use of photography?
EXCEPTIONAL FOOD PHOTOGRAPHY
Both in print and online is an important aspect of a restaurant’s branding and marketing yet may restaurants overlook this. Either they use stock photography that doesn’t represent their menu or they use poorly lit photos by an amateur.
It’s important to remember that we eat with our eyes first. Having appetizing, food photos is a sure-fire way to grab someone’s attention when they’re checking ...view middle of the document...
Edward Quigley’s six peas in a pod, taken in black and white, observe the beauty of the form of peas, paying particular attention to their lighting and shape.
In contrast, the exhibition includes a notable black and white food photograph from Man Ray in 1931. Titled ‘Kitchen (cuisine)’, it was not commissioned for a cookbook or magazine, but for a Paris utility’s advertising campaign that encouraged the use of electricity in homes. The image of a cooked chicken shows what electricity can do using an electric oven; the spiral pattern (a photogram) communicates a heating element of an oven or, more simply, symbolises electricity.
This art and social documentary photography also occurred in colour. Irving Penn’s still-life images for Vogue and House and Garden magazine in the 1940's resemble art photographs with food as a subject like those in the In Focus: Tasteful Pictures exhibition, showing ingredients, but used to illustrate the lifestyle pages of magazines.
The placement of the objects seems random yet stylised. Reflections of the studio lights in the spoons and image aren’t retouched; random flecks of pepper remain even though some have strayed from the centre of the image. Around this time, food images began to be used commercially for advertising. Perhaps it is in the form of advertising that food photography lost credibility as an art genre; images were no longer works of art, but promoters of consumer goods.
While the first colour photograph was produced in 1861, colour photography in cookbooks wasn’t used until the 1930's; colour printing was difficult. Colour food photography can be traced back to 1935, when Nickolas Murray first adapted the three-colour carbro process. McCall’s commissioned Murray to create colour photographs for their cooking and food pages. He used the colour carbro process to make rich and colourful photographs of food spreads for the magazine and for other advertisers through the 1950's. Within the context of commercial photography, the rich colours in these images grabbed the reader’s attention.
Food photography progressed. Colour food photography appeared not only in single sheet advertisements but also in cookbooks. The earliest cookbooks merely recorded the cooks’ favourite recipes, so that they could even be successfully recreated by the simplest palates. Like any kind of book, the development of cookbooks paralleled the progress of printing technology. While colour photography was still in its early stages in the 1950’s, block prints frequently appeared in cookbooks, not actual photographs. Illustrations were popular too and black and white photographs usually accompanied the recipes.
A few years later, colour photographs appeared in the first edition of Larousse Gastronomique. Although it included 36 colour photographs, this large and expensive book still contained 1,850 black and white images. World War Two slowed the production of colour photography for many due to cost and reduced consumer demand....