I can hear you guys think it from here: “he’s really lost it now!”. But please hear me out.
The only thing that people can relate to is (are?) the “imperfections” they share. And since relating to people and making them feel special is all that counts, at least to me, imperfect truly is the only path towards success.
Whether it’s in my photography or in the way I welcome people here for our culinary adventures, I always try to create the best possible sensory experience of course, but I also make it a point to keep things as casual (OK, casual chic) and authentic as possible.
As an example of authenticity and imperfection being perfection, take a look at the picture below. It was taken more than half a century ago and is of very poor quality, but it feels so genuine and true. Nothing had been organized or posed. But wouldn’t you love to have been part of that picnic by the side of the road on that warm Summer day? That’s my great-grandfather on the left there by the way :0)
Let’s take food styling for my photos as another example.
Mimi and I were having this discussion the other day and in our humble opinion, when it comes to food styling, less is often more! Oh how many times have I eaten cold food just because I had to take a hundred pictures of a dish so I can finally get it from the exact right angle and present it to you?! Hours, arranging cutlery and placing wine glasses and bread crumbs just so. Hours I will never get back! Damn you blog readers! Damn you! (just kidding)
Now I just take pictures as I eat…
Food photography is part of lifestyle photography (at least it is to me). And lifestyle photography is about creating a beautiful world in pictures so that people feel like they are (or could be) part of it. We have to make an effort to make each dish look as delicious as possible of course, but the main goal should be to make the experience feel accessible. If a reader looks at a photo and says to herself “there’s no way I can cook that or present it so well”, then I’ll have lost her and I have failed at my own dream of making joie de vivre a reality for my fellow “bon vivants”. Most of us want our blog posts to stand out, but by trying to make everything look perfect, we run the risk of loosing people’s interest and trust.
All this to say that true perfection in this world lies in its imperfections. Perfect isn’t perfect. Imperfect is. “Perfect” people and things bore the hell out of me (needless to say that I am not at risk of being bored with myself anytime soon).
OK, this post is getting way too long. Just remember that in food and lifestyle photography, as it is in the way we live and share our passions, the simpler and the more authentic, the better. People don’t relate to perfection. They relate to authenticity and good storytelling! Sharing bad Iphone pictures can make people smile or feel just as good as a 100000000 pixel count DSLR masterpiece would! Even dirty dishes or a messy cheese platter can make us dream of a fabulous feast…
Let’s stop trying to be/seem perfect! It is a waste of time and it only impresses idiots. You know, the ones we didn’t want to be part of our lives in the first place!