I love spending time on social media, especially networks like Instagram and Snapchat. During the day, I often find myself drawn to images of tasty meals. They look delicious, and I’m thinking about how I can sample that dish. Before long, I will be rummaging through the fridge and kitchen cupboards to see if I can replicate that mouthwatering meal.
Food photography and videography or, as it is sometimes known, food porn, is really big. After all, it’s a tradition for me to take a snap of my yummy Christmas dinner every year. I’m not the only one, with about 16% of people taking photos of gorgeous meals for special events or holidays. Just over one-fifth of people (22%), however, take photos of everyday meals.
I keep my images to myself and my family. But many people also share their images of food online
But why is it so hard to resist food photography?
Bright colours and interesting designs
The way food is now being prepared, cooked and dished up has changed. Those that post images of mouthwatering meals on Instagram and Snapchat are using brighter colours and more intricate designs to attract attention. They stand out in my Instagram feed, and as our brains recognise it as food, we instantly want to try some.
This is why food photography is becoming a big part of tourism. There are now campaigns to draw holidaymakers to specific areas just to sample the delicious local cuisine. And people love this storytelling for food. Some surveys have found that 88% of us now travel to an area based on the local cuisine.
Restaurants are also using social media to entice local audiences through the door. Social media has been found to be 50% more effective for visual marketing than print. Therefore, if restaurants make their food look good online through good visual storytelling, they will attract customers through the door.
But it is also about innovation. Images place context to new culinary designs. One restaurant in London took this to a new level when they released a ‘selfieccino’ – a coffee with a picture of your face in the froth. People seeing this online will be intrigued and will seek out the experience for themselves. They may even take a snap and share it with their friends.
Experiences is everything
For a long time, how food looks has determined whether we eat it or not. That’s how we survived: by not eating food that’s not good for us. However, social media and food photography is taking this to a new level. It isn’t just about what’s good for us nutritionally: it’s the eating experience that is driving us now.
If people are happy with your food photography, it’s likely that they’re going to be happy eating your tasty food. And this is the connection restaurants, food bloggers and other food-related businesses need to make to be successful in this social media-driven world.