The sensory perception in Culinary Photography




We eat with our eyes first, and after that, time of 7 seconds, our brain gives us an impulse if we want to try a dish or not. And that because our decisions are strongly prepared by brain activity. For this reason the art of plating is one of the most important stages in culinary photography.



Consumers experience first through sight, and then are prompted to react according to how they feel about what they see. We eat with our eyes first, and after that, time of 7 seconds, our brain gives us an impulse if we want to try a dish or not. And that because our decisions are strongly prepared by brain activity. 

     The Sensory perception is the neurophysiological processing of the stimuli as reaction of human perception. In culinary photography, the sensory perception is stimulated by visual perception. Immediately after visual perception, is triggered the cognitive processes. At this moment, the customer will interpret the photography using the symbols and its memory. The symbols are the association between colors and social routines (a nice green of the salad means that salad is fresh) or the association between shapes and style (a table arranged pleasantly means interest and style on the part of company).

A professional culinary photography, with beautiful color selection and appropriate typographic treatments will certainly grab the attention of a consumer.

The relationship between visual perceptions and stimuli is much more profound than we think at first glance.

     Already several seconds before we consciously make a decision its outcome can be predicted from unconscious activity in the brain. This is shown in a study by scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences in Leipzig, in collaboration with the Charité University Hospital and the Bernstein Center (Center for Computational Neuroscience).



      At the end of the study, John-Dylan Haynes, neuroscientist and co-author of the study from Max Planck Institute, said that decisions are made by unconscious with 7 seconds before to be conscious. Our study shows that decisions are unconsciously prepared much longer ahead than previously thought.

     When we will look at a photo with food, our subconscious will decide in the first seconds, by using our experiences, if we will eat or not that dish. So, the first seconds are decisive for us like clients.  One 2011 study found that looking at pictures of food may turn people off from the real thing, but only if the food in the image has a similar flavor to whatever real item is about to be consumed. A 2012 study, for example, found that just looking at pictures of food may be enough to cause an uptick in ghrelin, a hormone that causes hunger. These studies have demonstrated that the culinary photography must have a impact on subconscious, if we want to use this type  of photography as a instrument in marketing.     

We must keep in mind that, the sensory perception is influenced in culinary photography by the Art of Plating and Food Styling.

In this direction, Barry Smith, Founding Director of the Center for the Study of the Senses, has joined by a historian, a neuroscientist, an artist and a chef in order to explore the many dimensions of food and taste. Together they reveal how our experience of flavors is shaped not only by taste and smell, but also by our environment, the context of the meal we are eating, and even visual cues such as the shape and color of our plate. Through this they found how tastes are developed and acquired and why we like some foods more than others.

The cognitive neuroscience research applies in Culinary Photography demonstrates the profound effect that viewing a Culinary Photography can have on neural activity, physiological and psychological responses, and visual attention, especially in the ‘hungry’ brain.


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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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