Current Food photography styles and trends

Food photography now has a much more creative outlet, much like fashion photography and significantly relates to today’s lifestyles.
Overall, my research for my dissertation and this blog has allowed me to conclude that while there is not a specific comprehensive history on food photography, there is still a substantial amount written about it, reflected by increased consumer interest in food and diet in today’s Western, consumerist society. While the genre has been constrained to commercial realms, we have seen that it is slowly becoming credible in the art world with notable exhibitions and highly creative features appearing in popular food magazines. I hope that there will be a continuation of this in the future as the subject is so prolific with possibilities that it is fruitless to stop now. 
I’ve already stumbled across some great writing on current food photography styles and trends on this great blog called Desserts for Breakfast. Using a (rather delicious-looking) chocolate cake, Anita Chu and Stephanie Shih look at different styles in contemporary food photography, across the whole spectrum; from product/packaging to various editorial styles used in a wide range of publications – mirroring the moodier photography style used in ‘Food and Travel’ to the more bright and propped seen in ‘BBC Good Food’

This ‘Chiaroscuro’ style image, the clear contrast between light and dark, highlights the strong influence from still life paintings like Caravaggio and the Dutch Masters.

You can read more about their blog post here 

And you can read more about the team behind it and their newly launched magazine ‘Sated’ here 


What to Cook and How to Cook it – Jane Hornby & Angela Moore

Another example of a cookbook that focuses on ingredients is What to Cook and How to Cook it by Jane Hornby. Images are photographed in the same bird’s eye view style. Arguably, this appeals to the consumer more because it is their view as if looking down at the dish before sitting down at the dinner table.
Angela Moore, Cinnamon Rolls, in what to cook and how to cook it, 2010.
Following the photographs at each stage of the recipe, the reader sees how their food should look at each stage. A focus on ingredients has grown; they are being photographed alongside recipes in magazines and cookbooks. Perhaps people in the UK cook less, but read more cookbooks and watch more cooking television shows. There’s always a place for beautiful cookbooks, whether the recipes are cooked or not. (Dillon, S. 2010 [radio]) The reader still consumes the cookbook while not necessarily cooking from it. Food photography is being noticed for the artistic visions in the images – not just because people want to eat.

Carl Kleiner, Pepparkakor, in Hembakat Är Bäst, 2010.

Equally beautiful are some very different images from an Ikea baking book Hembakat Är Bäst, or Homebaked Is Best, photographed by Carl Kleiner. In the last few years, a popular technique has been to photograph food from above – a bird’s eye view. The food styling, by Evelina Bratell, is unlike traditional baking books; ingredients are “laid out first in minimalist beauty, followed by the baked result. ” (Burgoyne, P. 2010, [online]) Swedish design and marketing agency Forsman & Bodenfors tried something different, inspired by high fashion and Japanese minimalism. The book puts the ingredients in focus as very graphic still-life shots, with the actual baked product as an afterthought.
Carl Kleiner, Pepparkakor, in Hembakat Är Bäst, 2010.


Carl Kleiner, Nationaldagsbakelser, in Hembakat Är Bäst, 2010