Here’s how I judge a great food photograph:
Does the photograph make you hungry and can you almost taste it?
Food photography is very challenging….it has to be styled, staged and lit properly. It’s amazing how many restaurants have websites which show the rooms, empty tables and a few food photos which look less than delectable. A good food photo makes the viewer want to dive right in and taste the food. The visual sense should stimulate the sense of smell and taste. I took this photo at Ibiza in Hamden, CT. It makes me hungry!!!
My favorite food photographer is Lou Manna….here’s why…every photo on his site looks delicious….appetizers, fruits & vegetables, desserts, entrees...everything!!! I don’t think I have eaten an entire hamburger in 20 years…yet, Lou can make something I don’t even love to eat, incredibly photogenic and appetizing. Check out his bisonburger….it looks totally delicious. His food photos make me very hungry….they are mouthwatering. My attempt at a burger makes my husband hungry.
On a side note, photographing flowers is easier than arranging flowers. Let’s say I was making a bride’s bouquet of gardenias which are incredibly fragile and perishable. Yet the bride wanted a bouquet of gardenias for a July wedding, I would encourage her to pick a less fragile flower and would worry about the bouquet every second of the day even in cool weather. Let’s say I was photographing the bouquet….and noticed a tiny brown spot….and could photoshop the spot away if the gardenia was damaged at the reception.
Photographing people is similar to capturing flowers. For a blemish on a face….it’s easy to use portrait retouching software or photoshop to lighten shadows under eyes and soften mature skin.
It is impossible to photoshop succulence into a burger and freshness into fish….it has to be captured in camera and enhanced in development. This examples from Momo Japanese Fusion Restaurant in Milford CT make it very easy to crave the cuisine. The shrimp appetizer looks juicy and fresh…the presentation is artistic. My husband and I plan to try this next time we dine there together.
And, if you want to see more of our work: www.awesomephotos.co