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Eating with our eyes.

November 29, 2019

“We eat first with our eyes”, as the saying goes, highlights how Food & Drink is an assault on all of our senses. Having evolved to use our eyes to find the most nutrient packed and vibrant foods at speed when foraging, science proves our eyes are our first touch point in the experience of food and drink.

All evidence points to the importance of sight when it comes to making choices for food or drink. It’s no coincidence that the food of the best chefs in the world all look like works of art, and that a cocktail presented with flair will always be followed with flavour. These visual cues all lead to emotional connections with our Food & Drink. With this in mind, how can we utilise Food & Drink photography to connect with the emotions of the viewers, and potential consumers.

With any type of still product photography the real challenge is creating life. This is the same with Food & Drink, how do we make these static consumables come to life, and create that emotion that appeals to your taste buds, not just your eyes.

Food & Drink photography is more than just conveying appetising looking food! It’s an art form, it’s selling a lifestyle, it’s emotion, it’s a story! A story invites the viewer to consider how the elements of the image got to the point that has been frozen in time. And most importantly allows them to ponder what happens next. What does that first sip taste like, how does the spoon interact with the dense layers of cake and how do the flavours and smells make them feel. Adding dynamic elements and movement to the images helps to reinforce the notion of a narrative, helping the consumer jump straight in to the image. 

So, how can a Michelin star restaurant, a brand new snack, an innovative brewery or bustling coffee shop show off their products & brands, and build emotion and narrative around them? Well… we love building brand stories, and absolutely adore the challenges of creating imagery that is steeped in emotion. 

Every ‘challenge’ starts with getting a feel for the brand and their products. We set the scene to create a mood that resonates with the target consumer and go from there. The scene could be grounded in casual reality or in a pristine artistic environment, either way it’s all building towards creating a feeling – a feeling of relaxation or excitement, nostalgia or anticipation, indulgence or refreshment.

Once the stage is set, the product is introduced. As the star of the show, the product should bring a life of it’s own, and this comes from experimentation. Utilising the natural properties of the food & drink, we start to play. As I mentioned before, the image is a glimpse of a moment in time. Time has stopped, presenting a great opportunity for motion and product interaction to help the consumer jump right into the image.

With social media becoming a hot spot for snaps and flat-lays of todays meal or tonights cocktail, Food & Drink photography has been misconceived as ‘anyone’s game’. But the ability to weave excitement, emotion and a story into the photography is what sets real Food & Drink photography apart.