Cooked Food Photography

Martin’s got the recipe

In an age where our busy lives are so fast-paced and we often don’t have time to cook for ourselves, dining out is more popular than ever. We love to look up the menus of our favourite eateries online, or browse a take-away menu, before we decide what we want. But we don’t just want to be told what’s on the menu, we want to be able to see it – a mouthwatering photograph of the meal shouting ‘eat me!’ to grab our attention. A photographer with a great eye for cooked food is the difference between a potential customer eating your dish or not.

It may seem simple, but cooked food photography is actually one of the most difficult types of commercial photography. A lot of preparation must be made ahead of time, so as soon as the food comes out of the oven or out of the pan, steaming hot, it can be snapped straight away to ensure the final shot looks authentic. Such is the complexity of cooked food photography, that a professional photographer with experience is a must.

There are various things to consider when shooting cooked food. Martin knows what all of these things are, as you will see with the food photography he has done for Thornleys, Roaming Roosters, and the Olde Spot Bistro in his portfolio, that will have your tummy rumbling, and not to mention the spectacular treats cooked up at the Clitheroe Food Festival this summer, which you can read all about here.

Without the right kind of light, when photographed, food can look drab, dull, and unappetizing. With a skilled use of natural light, Martin is able to bring out all of those fantastic colours and textures, making the food look radiant, and showing the detail of how carefully cooked it is. That’s the difference between cooked and uncooked food photography – the way a piece of food is cooked is often what makes it, so it’s important that can be seen in the photograph.

Martin will take in to consideration the composition of the shot before shooting, making sure he shoots from all different angles to provide a range of shots that show every aspect of the food on display. Props and garnish are carefully chosen and placed to compliment the food. Some food, like plain pasta, may look bland on its own, but with the right manipulation, Martin is able to give it life.

What’s going on in and around the shot are both things to take into account too. A professional cooked food photographer will employ a considered use of focus, to bring attention to the parts of the food himself, the chef, and the restaurant manager want to highlight. With the right focus on the right areas, the cooked food can begin to heat up the lens.