Why the best food deserves the best food photography


Picture the scene. A waiter carefully places a dish, upon which is artistically arranged the most stunning culinary creation, in front of you at a restaurant. You grab instinctively for your phone as you strive to encapsulate its myriad gourmand qualities for posterity before tucking in with gusto.

It’s only later, when you return home and whip out your phone to rekindle that delicious (no pun intended) sense of anticipation, you are bitterly disappointed to discover that in the photo you snapped so eagerly, the same delectable dish now looks…well… quite ordinary. The twinkle in the eye of the ornate tomato garnish has faded and the alluring pastel pink of the prawns has paled to a jaded fawn. Food photography, you suddenly realise, is harder than you might think.

Of course, taking a photo of a special meal you’ve prepared and posting it on Facebook or Twitter has risen to become a veritable passion for ardent foodies the world over, and even if the quality of the photos isn’t necessarily that great, faithful friends and family will still stampede to ‘like’ your photo – possibly more out of sympathy or politeness than appreciation for the merits of said photo.

However, if you’re involved in the hospitality industry, artisanal food production, or indeed the writing and publication of cookery books, food photography is a very serious business. After all, it’s essential that any photographs proclaiming your fabulous food’s credentials to the general public should literally stop people in their tracks and set their taste buds tingling.

Foodies interested in purchasing online (and, let’s face it, many people do these days!) are likely to browse numerous food producers’ websites or Facebook pages on a fairly regular basis, so with competition in the food industry always keen, outstanding food photography can be the deciding factor in whether an internet surfer ultimately becomes a customer.

Any professional food photographer worth their salt (pun intended) should be able to make top-class food visually exude flavour and texture, immediately evoking in the mind of the reader or viewer the tender taste of a Scotch lamb cutlet, the rewarding crunch as they bite into the perfectly crisp roast potato, or the alluring aroma of freshly poached pears.

So what’s the secret behind the best food photography? Well, with the correct light, judicious positioning and a carefully selected background, all types of food – whether in its raw state, fresh from the field, or fully processed and packaged – can be elevated from looking pretty good to looking drop-dead gorgeous. That is, of course, where a purpose-built studio can come in handy.

Professional food photographer Caroline Trotter has a dedicated studio space in Fife, Scotland. Her studio has all the prerequisites for outstanding food photography, with good natural light, a selection of different backdrops and a panoply of different props for styling a photo – including old kitchen utensils,  checked and patterned napkins,  tea towels and table cloths, plus a variety of wooden boards, plates, bowls and dishes.

Should you prefer to pay photographic homage to your food in the temple of the great outdoors, there’s the option for outside shots using Caroline’s garden and buildings, with the attractive old farmhouse also offering an excellent opportunity for authentic ‘lifestyle’ shots.

Alternatively,  Caroline could visit your restaurant or café to take photos of your chef’s signature dishes in situ.

If you’re planning a new website or promotional print materials for your food-related business, it would be well worth your while having a chat with Caroline  to see how she can help your food to stand out from the crowd!

Email Caroline


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