The Psychology of Color in Culinary Photography




Culinary Photography is a type a photography where the visual perception and mind are influenced by the colors and shapes of ingredients. We think that, the ingredients and psychology of color plays an overwhelming role in the success of a culinary photography.



Recent studies of visual perception have begun to reveal the connection between neuronal activity in the brain and conscious visual experience. We associate green with vitality, fresh growth, and the healthy; The freshness coffee is associated with coffee beans or their grinding act. In that case, the sensory perception of people is associated with the conscious visual experience. That particular association can be found it in Culinary Photography where the conscious visual experience is influenced in large part by the psychology of colors.

Dr. Peter Stewart, assistant professor of psychology at the Grenfell Campus at Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada, together with his research partner Erica Goss,  he did an experiment looking at how people perceived the taste, according on the color and the shape of the plate.

For this experiment, testers were given cheesecake on white or black plates, some round and others square. The results? Sweetness and intensity ratings were significantly higher from participants who ate from white, round dishes. Not just that, but quality and likeness were also much higher than for the other selections. Dr. Peter Stewart says this may again be because people unconsciously pair colors with different learned associations. Most of the times, these associations reflect the experiences. 

I will give you an example in this sense

Many times the color black is associated with elegance, sophistication, luxuriousness, and a high quality. The same thing happens when you see a plate with food. You will compare the plate with your experiences.

 The results of the Dr. Peter Stewart, assistant professor of psychology at the Grenfell Campus at Memorial University of Newfoundland, provides that a white round plate increases the perception of the taste and the intensity of the food. This factor should be exploited in Culinary Photography.

About the importance of color, Charlie Palmer, a celebrity chef and restaurateur from New York, he said :

“Everything looks better using brilliant white china. When you use a bright white plate, the food really stands out, its colors seem more vibrant, and it makes the food more appealing. It seems simple, but it’s true!”

Other studies of chromatic psychology  have demonstrated that on a white background, any ingredient  retains its  the visual identity. Also, the ingredients looks more appetizing and fresh.


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About gourmetsnapshot

Gourmet Snapshot is a studio of Culinary Photography and Food Styling from London , United Kingdom. Gourmet Snapshot aims to achieve a communication between colors and appetite through photography.

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