Raspberry Roulade

Lesley Holdship - Home Economist, Food Stylist & Recipe Writer

stock photography

Sun, Apr 3 2011
Last night I spent an interesting and utterly addictive hour looking at stock photography. I really could not believe how awful most of it is!
My photographer husband has recently done some talks to a design company about the benefits of having bespoke pictures for food and after looking at stocks ones I can clearly see why!
It has kind of been a mystery to me -as a recipe writer and food stylist - as to why a magazine, for instance, would use a stock picture that does not quite equate to the recipe as it is not a true representation of the recipe for starters. But really it is not cost effective at all, is it? A photographer and home economist can get through a good 8-10 different shots depending on the styling. Those pictures can then be used for anything for as long as they are needed. No time limit or even stipulation as to where they can be used. From those shots there will be more than 1 picture, too. So a day's shoot could produce dozens of pictures.
The level of photography in a lot of these pictures is flat and contains no flair or creativity. The lighting can be wrong, shadows in many of the wrong places! And the food styling is dire. I wonder if the food stylist has any pride or even skill?
Can these photographers call themselves professional or are they just amateurs hoping to make a bit of cash on the side? It is so easy nowadays to buy a professional camera and with all the money kicking around many people are thinking they can just jump on the band wagon. I am happy to say, though, that out of the dozens of pictures I stared open mouthed at, not one had actually been downloaded!
Maybe designers have sense after all!
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