Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Food Media & News >
Feb 2, 2014 04:28 AM

Food Bloggers - Pretentious Bad Food Photography

Sorry for the rant, but I've been seeing more and more of the same problems with much of the food photography being shared on people's recipe blogs.

BTW, I'm not referring to the complete amateurs, who are shooting with their on camera flash and all their shots look like crime scene photographs - they're a lost cause.

- Stop over-saturating the colors. The food should look natural, not radioactive. I've seen tomatoes and tomato sauce so over-done it looks like glowing lava. Red onions that look like a fluorescent purple. Lettuce that's the color of kryptonite.

- Calm down with the hyper macro shots. We don't need to see the food from the point of view of a mosquito landing on a blade of rosemary. These types of images do little to describe the food, and are veering into non-objective, shoegaze territory.

- For goodness sake, Edit! You don't need to include a separate individual macro shot of *every* single ingredient in the dish, and every minuscule step. I already know what sea salt looks like up close, seriously. I don't need ten consecutive shots of you scrambling an egg. "Pioneer Woman" is one of the worst offenders of this (and my first two issues as well).

- Stop slipping in family photos and other unrelated images. I don't know any of these people, I can care less about a bunch of random photos of complete strangers standing together at some random event smiling.

- Put down the tweezers. They're for plucking eyebrows, and removing splinters. Not for plating food. Meticulously placed pieces of chopped parsley over a dish doesn't look natural or appetizing, it looks creepy and neurotic.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. That was entertaining reading. Thank you!

    1. What's your take on the popularity of Pinterest? Especially in the category of food.

      Your rant aside, non commercial food bloggers all have ONE thing in common. They start food blogs for their own enjoyment first. They aren't trying to pass a photography course. Those who wish to improve their skills will.

      Two, is a website not a blog and her fans tune in for the photography as much to follow her adventures as to take in the visual aspect of her recipes. TPW Team runs the site.

      Hey, it's your rant but calling people lost causes as a basis for ranting I find confusing and rather pretentious. If you have some insight to offer, offer it. Critics aren't in short supply.

      7 Replies
      1. re: HillJ

        Pinterest is definitely a hotbed of raging narcissism.

        1. re: smoledman

          The reason I asked the OP about Pinterest is because the entire site exists to encourage members to post their photos and the photos they enjoy taken by other people. It's a scrapbook space. The popularity of the site (as well as others) defends just how popular photography has become in the food genre (by example). The assertion that photos are enjoyed 'only' if they are well done is of no never mind to members enjoying Pinterest or the legions of bloggers linking their own work to the site.

          I don't agree that such sites are hotbeds of raging narcissism. Sharing information and contributing to an online community through pictures is no different than contributing to Chowhound. Plenty of people (myself included) criticize content on this site too.

          1. re: HillJ

            The difference between CH and the social networking sites is that the latter encourage narcissist behavior. Just check out all those Youtube make up videos.

            1. re: smoledman

              Sorry I don't see any difference really. Maybe we just like to believe that we're in full control of the sites we frequent. But, we're not. Maybe you prefer the written word over visuals? On CH I enjoy 99.9% of what I read and view and the rest is easy to pass on. Same with any online site with a community of followers: blogs, YT, FB, Twitter, Pin, etc.

              YT isn't encouraging behavior. Videos are part of popular culture and YT exists to offer a space for videos to play. Members are making use of the site as they wish (as long as they follow the guidelines). Nothing is forcing me to read, watch or listen if I don't want to.
              Besides, the fun, enjoyment of learning what others are doing far outweighs the troublemakers.

              1. re: smoledman

                I don't really feel like Pinterest is real "social networking" like something like Facebook is. I personally use Pinterest to collect recipes I find online, versus using words only bookmarks. I have a number of recipe boards categorized by food type, and I also keep boards for "this week's meals" and "next week's meals" and boards where I put recipes I've tried along with notes about them so I can reference them in the future. I don't care one bit if anybody ever looks at my boards, and I use them as an organizational tool just for me, and I know many other people do the same. How is that narcissistic?

                1. re: juliejulez

                  I don't understand the narcissistic comment but the reason I experience Pinterest as a social network is because those collections you are describing friends also create and then share with me. So the ability to share your photo collection (whatever the category) is (for me) what defines social networking. Pin def is an organizing tool but members also share their bookmarks collectively. By it's own definition Pinterest refers to itself as a photo sharing community. The most popular categories are food and beverage. I rec Pins about the small hotel and BnB industry.

            2. re: smoledman

              Personally, I am one who is inclined to think Blogging is a hotbed of raging narcissism. I don't consider Pinterest that sort of site. It is more of a virtual wishlist. JMHO.