how important is the yield of a photo of the plate, of its commercial activity?

Who, as well as juggle in the kitchen, does so even among the social, you will come across #foodporn. For the less accustomed to this terminology, it has nothing to do with VM18 (forbidden to minors). The term was coined in 1984 by the feminist writer Rosalind Coward, in a book called “FemaleDesire -Women’s sexuality today”, in which she argued that the aesthetics of the dish was taking on greater importance than the ingredients, the preparation and who had cooked it. Thanks to social media, the voyeurism of food has exploded and brought with it many other phenomena: the importance given to chefs, the spread of books and television programs dedicated to food. Not to mention the mania to share photographs of what is on the plate, whether it is the result of one’s own hands or those of a great chef. And so to decree the success of a restaurant is no longer just the quality of the dishes on the menu, but also their photographic yield visible on the site, social pages and corporate brochures. The most effective solution for those who want to make the most of their dishes is certainly to rely on a professional, even better if specialized in gastronomic photography. To help those who want to try their hand at this difficult art, perhaps armed only with a smartphone, we asked Renato Marcialis some tips, which since 1976 has been dedicated to food photography.

In professional kitchens there is often a large amount of light, which is essential for making beautiful photos. But we must be careful of the temperature of the light sources: a too cold light could alter the image of the product. The light for a photo of gastronomy must be warm, otherwise the dish takes unattractive nuances. If, even in the limited space of a professional kitchen, you could cut out a corner for a small photographic set, it would be sufficient to have a small LED illuminator in 30 × 40 format with an opal Plexiglas plate in front of it, to be positioned ah 11.00 oah 2.00 compared to the plate to be photographed. A single light source in this position allows you to create interesting chiaroscuro to highlight the dish.

In culinary photography, you can choose the zenithic recovery, that is from above, or that at 45 °. The latter allows to better capture the volume of the plate, while the top tends to crush. The zenith image can be interesting when the plate is decorated with particular graphics that stand out only if taken from above. In this case, however, we must create the volumes by playing with light.

The prerequisite for a good photo is that the dish is well prepared and well presented. But you can use some small trick to make it more photogenic: the placement on the plate of a green bud, fresh and turgid can revive it and make the photo more interesting. But it’s like an accessory on a woman’s dress: it’s no use overdoing it. A trick to make some dishes more interesting is to use spray cans of almond oil, to spray a few moments before shooting. In this way the dish is more polished and stands out better. It is particularly useful for pasta dishes, which tend to absorb condiments and appear opaque.