How Does Your Food Photography Stack Up To The Latest Trends On Instagram? Check Out This Article To Learn How Social Media Has Impacted Food Photography

11/01/2019

The Impact of Instagram on Food Photography

For better or worse, social media has had a big influence on photography. In this PetaPixel article, Jaron Schneider discusses the change that food photography has experienced as an effect of new trends on Instagram.

Schneider compares the work of two prominent food photographers with differing styles. Andrew Scrivani creates traditional food photography with dark backgrounds--images that focus more on capturing the subject than creating fine art. His mentee, Lucy Barclay, helped to popularize the flash-heavy style of food photography most often found on Instagram. 

Scrivani sticks to a more stylized approach to food photography. Scrivani doesn’t prefer the fine art angle of food photography that is in high demand by magazines and was popularized by Instagram photography similar to Barclay’s. As Schneider puts it, Scrivani “sees the top agencies, magazines, and editors as reactionary to fads rather than drivers of innovation, with an emphasis on factory-style homogeneity instead of visionary creative production”.

Barclay gets creative when she breaks the rules of food photography through the use of flash and artistic backgrounds. She avoids the traditional and views Instagram as a place she can share her photography without restrictions. Brands that seek to recapture Barclay’s magic fall flat in their attempts, because they capture only the aesthetic and not the substance behind her images.

Schneider quotes Barclay as commenting: “A lot of times now they take something cool, like CBD or an influencer or Hip Hop, and things can become kind of commodified and oversaturated very quickly, and that sucks.” She believes that brands who listen to the desires of consumers are moving in the right direction, but there’s a difference between brand to consumer communication and commodification of something that once seemed new and original. 

The photographers mentioned in Schneider’s article are inspiring and relevant for any photographer who is trying to reconcile the changing landscape of the photography business as a result of social media.

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