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Styles in food photography: StockFood presents “Perfectly Imperfect”

StockFood is number one in the worldwide licensing market for professional food photography. For more than 30 years the Munich-based media service has offered an extensive portfolio of food images. Recognizing new trends in food photography is the heart of this highly specialized business. Now StockFood’s culinary trend scouts have once again identified a new style of food photography that will influence the market.  StockFood has named this new imagery, whose spontaneity describes the spirit of our times, “Perfectly Imperfect.” 

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“Perfectly Imperfect” characterizes food images that strike the viewer as spontaneous and unstaged. Instead of luxury kitchen accessories, the props arouse associations with student life and consist of everyday objects found in every kitchen. Sophisticated food is not presented on expensive china, but simply placed on parchment paper. Seemingly random half-eaten pieces of cake, used cutlery or an empty plate containing mere crumbs are captured in the image. Crumbs and food stains bridge the gap between creative culinary art and real life.

“Perfectly Imperfect” has its origins in the food blogger scene. Thousands of hobby cooks photograph their creative dishes hot off the stove and present them to fans on the web. The blogger scene focuses on the unbridled desire to experiment, taste, try and enjoy. Unlike the professional results produced by trained chefs, these images are spontaneous and reflect real life where accidents can happen. But they always demonstrate the pride and joy of cooking, baking and producing great food.

Authentic, natural and immediate – that’s the way the new style presents itself. Once the compulsion for perfection is overcome, what really counts comes into focus – the fun of experimentation, originality and pure passion. “Perfectly Imperfect” delivers the message: whatever I can do — you can too!

StockFood trend scouts identify and communicate new imagery styles long before they become main stream. In recent years StockFood has identified “Mystic Light” (2012) and “Passion Fruits” (2011) as new trends in food photography. But while they required elaborate food styling, “Perfectly Imperfect” radically departs from highly orchestrated images. It is uninhibited, playful and spontaneous. Professional food photographers have now discovered the possibilities of this new style, even though their casual-appearing images are very carefully planned.

StockFood president and CEO Pete A. Eising is a fan of “Perfectly Imperfect:” and states, “this new unconventional style is opposite of the high-gloss lifestyle that we know from advertising and the media. It is based on the element of surprise, which attracts the attention of oversaturated consumers.”

Experienced trend specialist Petra Thierry of StockFood‘s Photographers & Art Department is convinced “Perfectly Imperfect” will soon separate itself from the blogger scene. “Just think of all the new cook books and lifestyle media that use this kind of imagery to rouse the emotions of their readers. Perfectly styled food images will continue to dominate advertising, but in the editorial sector spontaneity and individuality are on the rise.”

StockFood presents its own new collection of “Perfectly Imperfect” images on its website

(http://usa.stockfood.com/perfectly-imperfect). In choosing these images, some of which stem from renowned food bloggers like Beatrice Peltre and Samantha Linsell, StockFood has applied its usual criterion, assuring that all images, regardless of the theme, meet the highest quality standards.

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