food photographer, food secrets

Tempting culinary photos, reality or illusion?

Published on January 04 2022 - 5 minutes reading

Have you ever wondered why your hamburger was less appetizing in real life than in the picture? Why the cheese on your pizza wasn't as melty as it was in the picture? We reveal some well kept secrets of great photographers to achieve those luscious photos.

The secrets of food photography đŸ€«

Edible and non-edible substitutes

To achieve the most beautiful photo and that it can best reflect the product presented, certain tricks are used. In some cases, these are non-food products. And you will never guess which ones!

By sleight of hand, shaving cream is used as fresh cream, liquid white glue is used for milk in a cereal bowl and motor oil is used instead of maple syrup on pancakes.

In other cases, photographers use other edible foods to enhance the product: mashed potatoes replace the ice cream scoop to prevent it from melting during the shoot.

Pretty gourmet, right? 😆
culinary secrets, culinary photography secrets

Artificial light

Many software programs exist to make a food brighter or to give it a more vibrant color, but technology is - still - not everything. From then on, what are the photographer's most secret techniques for making food look better? đŸ€”

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Brace yourself: some food photographers use deodorant or hairspray to make food look more appealing! Do fruits and vegetables look tasty and vitamin-rich in images? Many of them can be highlighted by this small, easy and effective technique that gives a pleasant visual rendering.

secrets of food photography

Volume first!

As for the images of these famous burgers, nicely presented and that make us want to bite into them, it's quite a story!

First of all, the different elements of the burger are carefully chosen for the photo shoot. Going from the bun to the salad, the cheese to the tomato, and the sauce to end with the type of meat, all the ingredients look natural.

👉But how do you get the burger to hold together, the cheese not to melt directly on the meat, or the sauce to drip on the salad?

It's actually the toothpicks poked in the center of the burger or small pieces of cardboard inserted between each layer that allow the photographer to play with the volume of the product.

secret of food photography

One last little tip for the road? To give a more attractive effect to the different ingredients, we carefully add a little bit of oil on the cold meat - of course we don't want the cheese to melt completely or the salad to fall down because of the heat. All this makes the whole thing more tender, juicier, to give you the illusion that you will only take one bite...

In the end, will the visuals win over your taste buds?

Maxime Arcari

CEO & Cofounder @ Utopix

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