Monday, 2 July 2012

Food Photography Clichés

I've actually worked on food photo shoots (yes really) and have grown a little tired of seeing the following wherever I look... (though I can't say I've not been guilty of any of these on occasion!)

1. Filters. Instagram etc. Said so many times before, but your rustic film borders do not fool be into thinking you have a darkroom and are hand developing Ilford FP4. Neither do your crappy blurry vignettes make me think you're using No2 on this list.

2. Shallow depth of field. Wow, so dramatic. Only one crumb of crumble is actually in focus, very helpful. Actually one of the easiest effects you can do, providing you have a lens with an aperture wider than 2.8. Which every SLR basically comes with. Boring.

Cheese blog

3. The vertical downshot. Ooh how clinical, how functional. Yes, like we all hold our heads like horses directly over our plates and look down.

Jonathan Gregson

4. The black and white kitchen sweaty shouty action shot. A staple since the 90s, with Marco Pierre White's 'White Heat'. Very tired now. We all know kitchens get a little sweaty & shouty. Non-story.

At the time, it was groundbreaking

5. Exaggerated saturated colours. It's not cross-processed Fujifilm from 1985. It's Photoshop.

BUTT mag (don't ask)

6. The blurry vignette. TIRED.

Paul Winch-Furness using also 1 and 3

7. Things in threes. So zen like. And while you're at it, why not snake them towards us combined with 'The Tilt'?

Jim Scherer

8. The tilt. How wild and daring. Seasick more like.

9. Turning up and acting like a self-important wanker. Yes, food photographers act like this too, not just fashion or music ones. Get over yourselves, or I'll just use my iPhone, I'm sure it'll look fine, and you'll be out of a job.


  1. The 'things in threes' annoys me - totally impractical. What if I only made one cake and want to photograph it? It invites the wasting of food!

  2. You forgot dressing/making up the food so it looks good by brushing with oil etc., i.e. presenting it in a way it would never actually look like on the table.

    However, as you criticised pretty much all possibilities, how do you propose a good and interesting photograph should look like?

    1. I don't know if the first is so much of a photography cliché as it's probably a necessity in adverts etc but I see your point!

      Well, I admit it's hard to find a way as most things are pretty much exempt after that comprehensive list, but any way of finding a new environment or way in which something can be shot, and avoiding techniques that are 'in vogue' as everything just ends up looking the same!

  3. Looking for best food photographer in London? Just get in contact with Maini London to have beautiful captures of your foods and drinks.



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