Show Us Who You Are - What Food Photography Says About Your Visual Identity

By Jensen Cummings

It’s tempting to over polish every photo you post because you want to put your best food forward. We also struggle with doubting what we do and worry about the judgements that will always swirl around us. Don’t chase the cover of Food & Wine with every dish. Let people see every shade and hue of what you do.

It’s easy to fall into the trap of being so “busy” that we don’t have time to worry about some frivolous photos. Moreover, it’s unlikely we have the money to into “quality” images. So we call it in and snap off some pics that just don’t do the food justice. You know these photos aren’t going to motivate hungry diners.

I’ve struggled with this balance throughout my career. Always thinking that every component I added, every dropper, squeeze bottles, spoon, tweezer, and garnish was going to prove my worth. That if my food looked a certain way, that I was the best chef around. Then I found myself pretending I was above it all and would post sloppy pictures that I knew didn’t actually represent the hard work and delicious food that my team was putting out. And then to make it more complicated I also believe that we don’t share enough. That we need to “capture over create” and let our audience in.

So what do you do?! Same answer as always, show us who you are!! Nothing more and nothing less. Let us in on why this dish evokes emotion and dedication from you. Let us see the ingredients, the process, the colors, the textures, the story that will inspire us all.

Joe Freemond of J. Freemond Visuals has a background as a chef and really brings that perspective to his photography. He imparts some wisdom and shares a few Do’s and Don’ts for Chin-yuan Hu of Look Hu’s Cooking. To learn more, watch the video podcast, listen to the audio podcast, and check out the full series.

Families thrive on tradition which yields a legacy to be left for future generations. Restaurant owners help to create that legacy for their families and communities by opening new businesses. 7shifts is born out of Jordan Boesch’s relationship with his father, and the time they spent working together in his father’s restaurant. It is because of this deep commitment to family and legacy Best Served is motivated to partner with 7Shifts, underwriter of Best Served New.

Jensen Cummings is a fifth-generation Chef & Certified Cicerone based in Denver, CO. His brands’ Best Served Creative and Best Served Podcast exist solely to unlock and amplify the worth and work of those who feed their community. From chefs to restaurant pros to farmers and every one in between, this work manifests with storytelling media, coaching, and strategy meant to acknowledge and empower people to do what they were meant to do. He is committed to hustle and communicate everyday to serve this mission. When he’s not out building a new model for restaurants that’s equitable, profitable, and sustainable, he’s spending precious time as a husband, a father, movie buff, beer nerd, and fan of the LA Dodgers.

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