We totally thank and believe that food photography (history) is created by Instagram. But its not the right information, creating an image full of food was an idea of much earlier minds.
In the year 1940, some food companies like Crisco and Aunt Jemima started printing “cookbooklets” for free promotional pamphlets. Which include recipes along with some pictures of food which was enhancing the recipe and the content. “There have been a great change in eating habits, of Americans” says Susan Bright in his book Feast For The Eyes. “Avocado and orange juice have become a very common objects through these cookbooklets”.
Bright’s recently published book, unveils the fact that the food photography is being interlaced since two centuries back. Which clearly says that innovation of photography and food photography had came along. Photography was introduced to general public in 1839. And six years later Henry Fox Talbot took the very first photographs food taking it as a primary object.
The main focus while taking pictures of food during those times was on fruits including grapes and peaches. Food photography(history) was like still life painting.
Cookbooks was lacking for illustrations and advertisements. In 19th century food photography was then looked as an artistic point of view. And in the start of 20th century some creators like Paul Strand started getting far away from traditional still life photography. Infact, he tried to draw visual ideas for Modernist painters of that time. Which includes Paul Cezanne, Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso.
Almost after hundred years laters, in 1927, Edward Steichen tried to distinguish food photography from painterly traditions. Stehli Silk Corporation has to produce a pattern of American scarf series, he just went ahead to put sugar cubes in neat rows and threw some light from behind to form a cross- hatched shadow.
By the time of introduction of colour advertisement, the design and style started to shift. To make profit out of selling images is a beneficial practice, it has been no longer that food photography is considered only an art. The era of cookbooklets have come with three or four pages of technicolour photography.
Nickolas Muray, a Hungary- based photographer who was hired by a women’s magazine McCall’s, talks about the bright tones in food photography. “His photography was not just an ordinary” says Bright.
It has been long that artists started inculcating food in their work and CookBooks have now become an art. Peter Fischli and David Weiss artists from Swiss have created “Wurstserie” in the year 1979, by styling pickles and sausages in such a way as if they are going to walk on red carpet for some high- end Fashion Show. After sometime, Elad Lassry took commercial food photography(history) to an artistic level.
Now the time of food blogs and Instagram have come where every user is posting more pictures of food. Today’s food blogger have defined section for information about the camera, light and setting. And the whole set up is now a real production where taking pictures of food is just like doing for magazines.
Instagram users like Michael Zee @symmetrybreakfast have done a wonder in attracting hundred and thousands of followers to his work on food blogging.