Creative food photography and creating a truly stunning advertising image require a specific approach, a few tricks and sophisticated techniques to achieve a plausible result.
But have you ever been impressed by what the pictures of the food you buy and what you actually get look like? Take appetizing burgers as an example.
Billboards, menus and social media posts on McDonald’s, BurgerKing, Subway and the like are full of tempting images of burgers that can make you almost instantly look for the nearest place to get them. Most of the time, though, the look in the photos has nothing to do with the real burger in front of your eyes.
It was enough to search the Internet, where there are so many illustrative examples of this.
The alluring Big Mac with sesame bread, two pieces of beef, fresh lettuce, cheddar cheese, slices of pickle and onion on the McDonald’s Facebook page can really make you swallow.
McDonald’s / Facebook
But right after that, we go into reality with John’s Big Mac, who posted a picture in Flicker.
McDonald’s Jhon / Flickr
Yes, definitely all the ingredients are there, but we wouldn’t say it’s the kind that actually lured John.
Browsing, we come across a seductive, colorful sandwich – offer from Subway.
Subway / Facebook
However, the reality shared by another Internet user is different.
Subway sandwich. Sarah Schmalbruch _ INSIDER
Why does this happen? The explanation is simple. Advertising photos are expected to look perfect. To sell, fast food chains use specific techniques and techniques, when making their photos on burgers, while in stores they simply follow the scheme and arrange the components.
How to make the food you shoot look more natural?
Taking good enough photos of any food isn’t just about pointing the camera lens at the subject and pressing the shutter button. This is a complex process. And if you are going to start with product photography of burgers, you will need to find the perfect combination of ingredients, details, composition, lighting, style, etc. to create that attractive atmosphere. which will attract the viewer’s attention.
What is important to know about product photography of appetizing burgers?
The burgers we get today are full of a variety of flavors due to the variety of ingredients included in them. Keep in mind that each ingredient is processed differently, has a specific texture and texture, which can be an obstacle to achieving a perfect end result
Fry the potatoes, roast the meat, add fresh vegetables, pickles, soft cheeses and sauces. Always keep all this in mind. Complying with freshness and appetizing tan, for example, are key. A specific style with crumbs, droplets, flowing eggs, give certain sensations and associations to the burger.
The whole look of the burger must be of good quality
The fun part of shooting a burger is deciding what to put in it and how to arrange it. Burger photos are delicious when they contain many, varied and contrasting ingredients.
A different point of view is always beneficial
Images of burgers are usually taken at eye level, especially for advertising photography. Choose an angle with which you can “sell” and emphasize the best features of the burger, namely its height and layers.
What are the practices applied by fast food chains?
Famous brands from this niche strongly maintain their image. Therefore each element of the burger must be prepared according to exact specifications. The burger is always built in the appropriate order. To give the meat a juicier look, professional stylists usually choose fatter meat or add extra fat just before the photos.
While, in order to emphasize the appetizing tan on the edges, they often resort to the use of a burner.
To keep the meat always fresh, cover each meatball with cling film, which protects it from direct contact with the air and additional drying or unwanted darkening.
Zooming in and taking detailed shots showing the texture of melted cheese has always been appealing to the viewer and professionals know this very well.
Less often you will see a burger shot from above, but in fact from such an angle the emphasis is on the other elements – toppings, french fries and drinks. This trick rather tells a story about the construction of the burger itself or way of serving. Particularly suitable method of presentation on social networks, where modern users love this style of presentation.
KFC / Facebook
To emphasize the garnish advertising product photographers shoot from a 45-degree angle. Which practically means that the top of the burger is partially away from the lens so the viewer can see the garnish.
KFC / Facebook
Product photographer Terry Campbell has photographed several KFC projects.
He shares that one of his secrets lies in the aperture: “The reason I shoot with an almost wide-open lens is in my belief that food photography is sometimes more of an emotion than just food and by limiting the depth of field, I direct your attention to a specific area, and then leave your mind alone to complete what your eyes cannot see.”
Here’s something interesting, biased and very colorful, created by Martin Nordin – the former creative leader at IKEA Food Services, who has successfully combined the taste of vegetarian burgers with a stunning look, selecting color each component, complementing with a suitable general background.
And if we are going to learn from the already proven ones, then we need to know that in order to attract more followers on social media, our product images need to look more real, to express interaction with the food itself. For example, you can cut the burger, include a hand holding a fork, add presence, and so on. Interweave your artistic flair with the client’s vision. People like nice photos and will follow accounts that manage to provide them!
KFC / Facebook
Another professional trick that makes burgers look extremely tall and impressive is the camera tilted slightly upwards to the subject. Regarding the layers, the effective practice that is applied is to add some additional, hidden layers.
This will make the burgers look even taller. Take advantage of your imagination and choose the right “thing” to allow the layers of the burger to rise and differentiate more clearly.
Creating a stunning burger composition in the air is usually a specific technique for advertising purposes. Often the main purpose of levitating food is for the viewer to see the individual ingredients of the sandwich or burger. Usually the components are arranged on a stand with rows of cord or wire, which is subsequently removed during post-processing.
An essential part of the concept for product photography of appetizing burgers of fast food chains turns out to be editing. Apart from the main stages in the processing, they improve the colors of the whole burger.
Screengrab from McDonaldsCanada on YouTube
According to McDonald’s, the point of all these creative photos and the whole process of creating them is not to mislead their customers, but on the contrary – to show consumers what specific ingredients will be served with food.
And if we take a closer look at their product images of burgers, we will find that all the components they use in the photos are exactly the same as those used in stores – breads, meatballs, ketchup, mustard and everything else.