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The importance of high-quality food photography
Justin Griffiths - Art Director 22nd March 2019 Read time 5 minutes
“A picture paints a thousand words” they say…
Words sell. They always have and they always will. But just as great copywriting can stir emotion and encourage reaction, great imagery can immediately engage your business’ audience.
There has been a shift in our social media-driven world over the past few years. Rakuten Marketing recently carried out its 2019 Influencer Marketing Global Survey which polled 3500 consumers and 700 marketers globally. The poll saw Instagram cited by 65% of those polled as the place where they most follow influencers, beating YouTube (62%) and Facebook (62%). As Instagram is THE image-based social media platform, these stats seem to prove the point, certainly at the moment at least. When it came to preferred content, images (61%) scored higher than the written word (38%) according to survey respondents.
I’d like to focus on photography for this post. Particularly original photography. Great photography can really make your marketing campaign. Whether in print (yes, ‘print’ is still a thing) or online, bespoke photography can say so much about your brand and help you stand out from your competition.
Before I go on, let’s address the elephant in the room: stock photography. Stock photography has its place in marketing and can paint a picture to a certain level. Ask yourself this question: does your imagery need to be unique to your business? Are you selling a certain product that needs to be shown in its best light?
At a time where stock photography is readily available and affordable, and often the go-to choice, we are pleased that many of our clients see the value of great bespoke photography. One such client is Marston’s Breweries, a very important client to us. Over the years we’ve conceived and directed photoshoots that have produced some lovely bespoke imagery for Marston’s.
How to photograph food
It’s more than just the old “slap and snap”
Food photography is not as simple as slapping the food on a plate and snapping it. Like painting, you start with a blank canvas. Capturing a mouth-watering image is so important when it comes to food photography - just look at the explosion of Food bloggers (no not ‘exploding food bloggers’).
Food bloggers understand the importance of amazing photography.
As do Marston’s.
Each of Marston’s’ different pub formats require a different look and feel, and we always approach each format with fresh thinking that starts with mood boards, conceptual thinking about what it is that makes that format unique and how we can best show their food. Firstly, we will scamp out a layout that works for the menu design, factoring in areas needed for typography, as well working out the best angle to shoot the dish and what other elements we want to dress the shot with to create a fitting ‘mood’.
Once we are at the studio, we work with the photographers to create the scene, often with pre-prepared textures and backdrops. We work with the food stylist and client on how to maximise the desirability of the dish, using little tips and tricks to make the photography as mouth-watering as possible. Once the shoot is underway, we will direct the photographer throughout and we usually find that through collaboration we surpass our original vision for the shots, as there’s always a bit of on-set magic that happens.
The great thing about digital photography tech is that the process is now so fluid: we can shoot and drop into our designs seamlessly, making fine adjustments as we go. This enables us to combine text and image to create unique layouts that are based around the bespoke photos. All of this can be done quickly, and with the client, making the sign-off process nice and easy.
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