I See It, I Want It: The Art of Food Imagery

Curious, bold, and somewhat naughty … the very daring term “food porn” is credited to an extremely insightful journalist Rosalind Coward, and more than 30 years later, social media is buzzing with the term Coward noted in her 1984 book Female Desire. This catchy phrase relates to highly stylised images of food and desserts that ultimately appeal to the viewer in a way that excites their senses. In many cases, foodies may browse in hypnotic captivation for a matter of hours, but in the end, one thing is clear; perfectly styled food and stellar photography make the perfect couple. And the growing “food porn” industry is a successful platform that can be greatly beneficial for many business owners and operators who understand the science and technique behind this form of culinary artwork.

With so much food-based content dominating media via print, television, social media videos, and still images, a flock of followers and influencers was bound to be conceived, giving birth to a digital foodie nation where Instagram is the capital. According to The New York Times article, “Why Instagram Is Becoming Facebook’s Next Facebook,” (Facebook owns Instagram), the image-driven platform boasts about 700 million people who use Instagram every month, with about 400 million of them checking in daily. With that many viewing eyes, it’s important to take tempting images of your culinary creations in the most effective way.

It was reportedly Roman gourmand Apicius who coined the term “the first taste is with the eyes.” And when you’re in the business of selling culinary goods, you have a responsibility to ensure your consumers’ “first tastes” are the best you can offer. As reported by digital-photography-school.com, there are several techniques for taking amazing pictures, and then there are steps for creating truly titillating food-focused imagery:

1. Pick physically attractive “stars”: choose ingredients to feature that are not rotted, bruised, wilting, or showcase any other characteristic that may not be pleasing to the eye.

Why not use our Geloglass Fruit Finish to add shine to your fruit and prevent oxidation!

2. Don’t be afraid to enhance your assets: because part of the allure of food “enthusiasm” is an unbridled indulgence, ensure that proportion sizes are generously enticing.

3. Consider the use of multiples: in line with shooting generous proportion sizes, using multiples of the same items creates the idea of abundance.

4. Think about a garnish: described as the lacy lingerie of the food world, garnishes can intensify the allure of a dish.

PreGel has an extensive range of variegates, toppings and coatings to add both texture and visual appeal to your desserts, click here to see more!

5. Use flattering lighting: whatever mood you look to set, it’s important to create an atmosphere that complements the dish. Natural sunlight is said to be the best.

6. Focus on the main event: ensure that the background is not cluttered so that focus is on every aspect of what you are trying to present.



PreGel features a tutorial on our YouTube channel called 6 Tips for Eye-Catching Desserts Using Your Smartphone.” Not everyone has access to top-of-the-line photography equipment, you may not be a wiz with the camera or have a budget that allows professional food shots. Your mobile device is the best alternative! Click here for advice that is specific to photographing frozen treats, including how to remove frost from your desserts, using toothpicks to prop up fresh fruit garnishes in gelato pans and soft serve, and focusing in on the important details.

With that being said, it’s easy for businesses like yours to capitalise on this trend. Whether creating picture-perfect enticingly real imagery with dripping sauces or mile-high whipped cream, once you select your images, upload, and publish on your social media platform(s), consumers will get to know your style, your innovation, your worth, and most importantly, your appeal.

Check out our Instagram page here to see the kind of content we like to share with our audience!

Remember, sharing your imagery can be very beneficial to business and allowing your guests to do the same on your behalf is an added bonus, as it encourages more branding exposure. Lastly, utilise “food porn” to create the positive conversations you want consumers to have about your menu options, and let social media platforms do the talking for you.