Like Cookies? The Good and the Bad of Food photography

February 15th, 2011
 

Who doesn’t like a good cookie? But when marketing cookies, there are good ways and bad ways of doing it. Quality photography can do wonders in selling more of your product, whether it be food, such as this case, or real estate, or furniture, or anything else. Certain ways of taking a photograph can lead to making the cookies more (or less) appetizing. Lighting, composition, depth of field, as in all photography, can affect the appearance of the food.
I all too often see businesses just taking snapshots with a point-and-shoot from a bad angle and direct flash. It makes the cookies much less appetizing. And if the white balance is off, the cookies can look downright bad. Here is an example of a typical picture you might see at your local unaware baker.

Bad Cookies

As you can see in this picture, even if the product is arranged in a decent way, the bad lighting can just put the whole thing off. This photo doesn’t make me want to immediately buy and enjoy these cookies. Which is a shame because the cookies still might be just as delicious. Restaurants that are members of national chains often have bad local photos against professional photos in the menu. When viewed together, the professionally photographed product will far outsell the poorly photographed product.
Now take a look at this photo of the exact same batch of cookies.

Good Cookies © Chris Lane Photo

Which cookie would you honestly want to buy? Good lighting and composition go a long way to a sale. Background elements can help as well, as I placed the glass of milk behind the plate. This can just make the photo that much more appetizing. Good photographs often lead to impulse buys and if used in advertising can bring many more customers into the stores.
Let good photography and design work for you and your business. It is well worth the time, energy, and money invested as the return will be much greater in the end.

If run a restaurant and you have some food you would like photographed, or any other product for that matter, send me a message and we can talk about getting your product sold faster and easier. If you have anything to add on this subject, please do so in the comments below.

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© This article is copyright of Chris Lane Photo and should not be found elsewhere.

 


5 Comments »

5 Excellent Responses

  1. Lori Lindholm says:

    I totally want to eat the cookies in the second photo. Do you deliver?

  2. Chris Lane says:

    Haha! My cookies are Very expensive 8)
    I thought about putting a picture of the first pan that I cooked, they turned out so flat and I said to my wife, “These aren’t very photogenic!” so I added flour and ta-da, much better. 8)

  3. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Chris Lane, Chris Lane. Chris Lane said: Like cookies? http://bit.ly/fFAaMT [...]

  4. Lori Lindholm says:

    My cookies are usually flat as well but they taste great! It’s not always about taste when it comes to good food photography though. For years photographers have used faux food, so do what you gotta do.

  5. Chris Lane says:

    Yea, I remember hearing about glue used for milk and other weird stuff. There is still some fakery behind some photography, though. I just recently read about using microwaved soaked cotton balls for steam. Not to mention in certain marketing things magically get bigger than they really are. But it sure looks appetizing, and it sells the product, which is the intention.

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