Blog : Photography

Filling our feeds with food

Filling our feeds with food

Picture this: I’m meeting some friends for brunch on a typical Sunday morning. I order an acai smoothie bowl and a matcha latte.

What happens when the waitress brings across our order? My hand reaches for my iPhone, opens Instagram and I’m being absorbed into my online journal, also known as my Instagram Story. After a quick edit and a location tag – because no one has time to be elusive these days – I admire my perfectly filtered photograph starring the components of my brunch on an oh-so-edgy tarnished wooden table. A second later it is posted for the whole world to see.

What actually is the purpose of this post? Who knows and really, who cares. But who needs to care? It’ll be gone within 24 hours anyway.

Since 2010, 208 million posts have been shared on Instagram with the ‘food’ hashtag. The majority of these are nothing more than a fairly standard plate of food which has been greatly improved by some good lighting and careful editing.

The current mentality seems to be that if it’s not posted on Instagram, it didn’t happen.

On the other hand, the app that went live in 2010, provides a platform for restaurant brands to engage and adjust to the growth of social media and its consumers. With its 600 million active users, Instagram has become a drawing board for foodies, creating a bible for potential food and drink hotspots with the addition of the location sticker. If clicked on by the consumer, this could earn more revenue for the brand and provide the user with the ability to see live events from a chosen location.

What makes Instagram unique is that it has the ability to hold more worthy photographs in comparison to an average foodie website. This is because of you, the user and consumer. People love food photography because people simply love to look at food, and if there is a personality behind the visual, it immediately becomes more relatable. Due to increased popularity of international food culture, more users are willing to try different cuisines than ever before, as they have previously ‘seen it on Instagram’ and therefore, it is familiar.

Standing on your chair to capture the aerial view of your food and drinks is something I must admit is out with my boundaries. However, if you think that your meal is worthy of an Instagram upload, then surely that’s hats off to the chef! I’m not saying that my acai smoothie bowl was remotely average, I mean, it still made it to the gram. However, I am greatly aware of the danger of total addiction to an edited and, to an extent, false view of the world, which makes reality look boring in comparison.

Equally, the popularity of Instagram has certainly had some negative impacts. It has created a competitive marketplace for restaurants, as they now have to adapt to being ‘Instagrammable’ by featuring tables, chairs, cutlery, dishes and other interior that simply are photographs waiting to happen. The pressure behind the app can also force brands into creating new recipes for the sole purpose of becoming a strong Instagram trend, which means the app is costing restaurants extra money as they are giving into the 21st century #foodporn craze.

Whether you choose to believe it or not, Instagram is addictive. The aspiration to achieve some social gratification from a post that features last night’s dinner leaves you on a cliff hanger as you wait patiently for those likes and views to rake up. But what this vulnerability can also question is: does the food we photograph actually taste as good as it looks, or is it all just an irrelevant false illusion?

The answer comes down to a matter of opinion, but one thing is for certain – Instagram is fed by our love of food.

Brooklyn does Burberry

Brooklyn does Burberry

Burberry is getting a bit of stick at the moment. I mean, hiring Brooklyn Beckham to shoot their latest Burberry Brit campaign – how dare they? Fashion photographers across the world lashed out as the eldest Beckham child announced it via his Instagram and shared the news we could watch the live stream on Snapchat.

I can see their point. They’ve worked hard for years to hone their craft, build relationships and ultimately make it in a business that’s hard to crack. However, as a comms professional I think it’s brilliant.

Brooklyn has over 5.9m Instagram followers and is one of the most influential people in the world right now. Arguably his audience isn’t exactly Burberry buyers – but let’s face it, everyone loves a Beckham. I know I follow him, so do my friends and colleagues and would we have known or been interested in a new fragrance campaign if it wasn’t for him? By getting Brooklyn on board, the brand has gained global coverage and has positioned themselves as cool, innovative and accessible to all.

People want to see what he’s doing, what he’s wearing and who he’s talking to. This is why Snapchat is the perfect platform. The behind the scenes look into celeb life is what makes the social channel so brilliant and Burberry have combined this love for celeb gossip with their own story.

For me Burberry is owning Snapchat. They’re the only brand doing it well.

It’s the third most popular social app among Millennials and has more than 100 million daily active users. So why isn’t the industry using it more? It’s raw, relevant and real which can be scary, but with over 6 billion daily video views surely that’s a risk worth taking. Digital commerce outperformed all other Burberry channels, with mobile visits accounting for most of the traffic to Burberry.com.

Maybe 2016 is the year we all jump on the Burberry bandwagon?

VELUX Launches National Photography Competition

VELUX Launches National Photography Competition

Daylight expert and roof window manufacturer, VELUX has launched a UK-wide creative photography competition to encourage the nation to celebrate daylight. The competition is open to all levels of photographer and offers entrants the chance to win the trip of a lifetime to the Arctic Circle.

Launched to coincide with the changing of the clocks, as daylight becomes ever more precious, the ‘Lovers of Light’ photography competition invites amateur and professional photographers alike to capture a moment that brings light to life.

Entries to the VELUX Lovers of Light competition must submit a landscape photograph that appreciates the important role daylight plays in our daily lives and everyone who submits a qualifying image will also be in with a chance of appearing as part of an animated short film made using only still photography.

One winning photograph will be chosen by a panel of expert judges and the lucky entrant will experience a once in a lifetime trip – four nights for four people at the uniquely designed Treehotel nestled in the treetops of the magnificent Boreal Forest, Sweden, in the Arctic Circle. Images must be submitted before 28th February 2013 to have a chance of winning the prize and the lucky winner will be revealed on 31st March 2013 – the date when the clocks go forward one hour to take advantage of the changing light conditions as the days get longer.

To enter the competition, find out more and read full terms and conditions, visit www.velux.co.uk/loversoflight