The art of chocolate photography


It was an ancient Mayan belief that chocolate was a part of their creation; so much so that they featured a cacao tree in their story of creation, and also in their mythologies. Chocolate was also incorporated into their religious ceremonies, as well as being given as gifts. To the Mayans, chocolate had a divine status; it was a gift from the gods. Today many of us would still agree with that!

Consumer habits

We have an abundance of chocolate available to us, and it seems like we’re constantly bombarded with clever advertising campaigns to get us to buy chocolate. It isn’t a product we need; it’s a want, a craving – so what makes us crave a product enough to buy it?

Some of us will simply grab a bar of chocolate on impulse from the vending machine at work when we need an afternoon energy boost, not really stopping to think about which one we’re choosing, barely stopping for long enough to enjoy it as we eat it. Others, will actively seek out high quality artisan chocolates to meet our exacting tastes.

Understanding your target market is the key to introducing your chocolate to the people who are going to buy it. The next step is to make it stand out from the crowd in a world in which we’re subjected to advertising campaigns and temptation at every turn.

That is where we come in. The key to marketing your chocolate at the right people is in the photography. One cleverly produced image can capture the essence of your product, and your brand. More and more people are choosing to both shop online and research products online before buying – yes, even in the case of chocolate – so it’s never been more important to ensure you have the right images of your products.

Here’s how it’s done

Chocolate photography is different to other types of food photography because the subject is often more delicate and needs to be handled carefully to get the best possible results. The slightest hint of a fingerprint or bead of condensation will show up in macro shots of chocolate, affecting the overall quality of the final image.

Here at Stephen Conroy Photography we’ve got many years experience in photographing a wide variety of different foods, so without giving too much away, here are a few tricks of the trade that have helped us create stunning photographs of chocolate for brands like Tesco Finest.

  • Lighting

  • In most food photography natural looking lighting is best, but it might not always work with chocolate photography. For ads and packaging its likely flash would be used to bring out a nice shine on the surface of the chocolates.
  • Handling

  • Touching the chocolate with your fingers can cause it to melt slightly, and can leave unsightly fingerprints which will show up in macro shots. When working with chocolate, we always have our latex gloves and tweezers to hand for positioning pieces and lining up the shot.
  • Temperature

  • Chocolate is a bit more temperamental than other foods and is very affected by temperature. If the room is too cold the chocolate can look too hard, while a warm room could cause the chocolate to melt and look too moist.

We’ve photographed products for many well-known brands, and we’d love to help you to capture the essence of your brand and product too. Please take a look at our portfolio of chocolate photography, and don’t hesitate to get in touch with us if there’s anything you’d like to know.

 


Stephen Conroy
Food Photographer & Director