4. Food Photography // Restaurants vs. Instagram

Sweet Life Patissre

One of my favorite things about twitter thus far has been discovering interesting articles people tweet about. I have come across articles from advertising professors creativity by brainzooming, and even food photography 101. At heart, I am a giant foodie. So I was thrilled to discover this retweet from J school Professor Suzi Steffen on food photography.

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Lets talk about the platform on which food photography is dispersed. I would argue that food photography is mainly distributed through  instagram. Not that it isn’t done through other social media hubs such as: twitter, facebook, tumblr, and most definitely pinterest, but I find most of my friends post food photography on intstagram. Instagram is the perfect outlet because it allows “filters” and unlimited amounts of hashtags- #yummy, #foodporn, and #delicious, to easily track subjects. Unlike facebook, on Instagram you can “like” the photo without your friends seeing, and bridges the gap between high-end DSLR cameras to simplistic iPhones.  It even has created the phrase “foodstagram” and “instagood” because of the popularity.

Anyway this tweet led me to an entertaining post written by foodie Matt Duckor who explains detailed tips on how to take GOOD food photography. Mr. Duckor proves that food photography can and be done well. These basic tips can allow delicious chocolate cupcakes and tantalizing steaks to be proudly displayed on various social media sites such as Instagram for viewers to enjoy.

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However the New York Times article “Restaurants turn Camera Shy” reports how many higher-end restaurants are banning food photography forever. The chefs and restaurant owners describe that food photos are“ a disaster in terms of momentum, settling into the meal, the great conversation that develops,” he said. “It’s hard to build a memorable evening when flashes are flying every six minutes.” (NYT) Restaurant owners argue that taking photographs while in a restaurant disturbs other guests, and disrupts the ambiance of the restaurant, and plainly produce bad photos. Foodstagraming has become so popular that wait staff has had to “reprimand” those photographers.

This seems absolutely ridiculous to me because ,frankly, its FREE advertising! People are taking these pictures not to be stored away in a photo album to show family members while sitting down on the couch to recollect memories, but to be SHARED  via social media sites, texted to friends, or posted to websites. Food photography, when done properly,  can be a productive form of free advertisement.  I understand that chefs are worried about whether or not the food looks good or how taking a photo is disrespectful to guests. Yet simply word of mouth is one of the best advertising techniques there is.

The above picture is a picture my roommate took a couple of weeks ago and then posted it to instagram.  If restaurants are so consumed with the disturbance of photography they need a solution. Here Is my creative solution to this problem. This small picture I created (foodstagraming 101)  can be printed on the back of menus and hung in store windows. This minimal amount of space will limit “disturbance” to other guests at a restaurants while allowing food photographers to conduct their photos while advertising at the same time with #’s.  Below is a mock-up for Cornbread Cafe a 1950’s vegan diner.

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What do you think of the food photography instagram revolution?? Do you think my idea would be effective?

-Rachel

(Food Photography courtesy of Carolyn Gilchrisse)

3. Pantone Color of the Year: Emerald

Pantone recently announced  that their color of the year for 2013 is Emerald. Pantone defines the color Emerald as:

“Lively. Radiant. Lush… A color of elegance and beauty
that enhances our sense of well-being, balance and harmony.”

Emerald, Color of the year

I think Emerald for 2013 is wonderful. It not only connotes “Elegance and Beauty” but also a richness. Green is also an underlying symbol for growth, renewal, prosperity, replenishment, as well as success. In addition, envy ,one of the 7 sins, is almost always represented by a greenish/ emerald hue which relates to our current materialistic mind frame of Americans in the past years. 

Whether you believe that colors can be defined or not, Pantone’s color of the year is to be taken seriously. Not only does it affect the fashion industry and consumer choices but many other industries as well. “For more than a decade, Pantone’s Color of the Year has influenced product development and purchasing decisions in multiple industries, including fashion, home and industrial design, as well as product packaging and graphic design,” the pantone news release said.  (LINK)

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However, some critics disagree. Here is an article published in the LA times last month playfully mocking the new 2013 color.

http://articles.latimes.com/2012/dec/06/news/la-lh-pantone-color-of-the-year-for-2013-emerald-20121205

Color in advertising, whether emerald or lemon yellow, is important. Although not the most important factor of a digital or print campaign, color tells a lot about an advertisement. It catches the consumer’s eye and gives off a certain mood or tone. For example, if an advertisement is done in black and white, the reader may think the product is from an older generation and has a sense of importance and significance. While a bright aqua and neon pink colorful advertisement may catch the consumers attention and demonstrate the youthfulness of the brand or product.

After researching some of the new Superbowl ads for 2013(different blog post), I discovered an Axe advertisement ,released this year, featuring the color emerald-green. The model/swimmer is wearing an emerald-green bikini after being rescued by the lifeguard.

Is this a coincidence? Maybe, maybe not. Even so emerald-green is sure to make a sophisticated splash in 2013.

-R

2. Tom Ford’s Men’s Fragrance Campaign and Sexuality

Tom Ford Fragrence for Men 2007Keeping with the fashion theme for this week, I was going to write about the sexuality in the 2007  Tom Ford campaign.  Tom Ford is an American fashion designer who is most acclaimed for his sex-related advertisements. Instead of a boring post on sexuality and female nudity in the advertising industry, I am going to analyze Tom Ford’s drastic brand change, demonstrated through advertising campaigns in the past 6 years . If you’re interested in learning more about Tom Ford’s background, here is a wonderfully,well-written bio of him by the New York Times.

http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/f/tom_ford/index.html

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“What Tom Ford did for fashion, more than anything else, was to add sex to the equation. He created an identity for Gucci — the jet set, vaguely 70s superbabe (or guy) who traversed the globe in high style. The Gucci woman was sleek and fiery, and the Gucci man was, well, Tom Ford. More than any designer since Coco Chanel, he (Tom Ford) was his brand.”

At the top, is one of Tom Ford’s most well-known advertisements for his first men’s fragrance in 2007, which increased stronger sales for the brand compared to the year before. Not only did it increase sales but created quite a stir within the community for exploiting the female body.

The next image is from 2010 just 3 years later. This image is advertising Tom Ford men’s sunglasses and is still using a nude female model. This is less drastic than the previous ad, but still very forward and sexual.

Finally is an ad that was just released 1 week ago for his spring 2013 collection. Suprisingly, the model is fully clothed and has minimal sexual undertones.

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The 2013 Tom Ford collection is drastically different from the Tom Ford brand that we have known in the past. Grazia Daily describes it perfectly “It’s a new minimalist direction for the designer with no controversy, gimmicks or loud statements, so the focus is 100% on the clothes. Good job.” However, there are still sexual undertones with the chain-mail style dress and over-the-knee metal warrior boots. But why is the concept without nudity or overt sexuality? Mr. Ford describes his 2013 spring collection, “If you look too chaste, too buttoned up, you will always look a little dull, but if you go all-out sexy it can look perverse. This collection is about finding the balance.” (Grazia Daily)

There may be confusion because this advertisement is for his women’s clothing line where the model has to be wearing clothes unlike the previous images.  But wait, below  is a 2013 ad for Tom Ford sunglasses. The model is  buttoned up fully featuring the sunglasses not her body unlike the 2010 sunglasses ad.

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Why has sexuality disappeared if the Tom Ford Brand was built on this very value? The 2013 ad is sleek,minimal, and focuses the actual clothing. Even fashion writer Suzy Menkes said Tom Ford “refreshed his former image” (LINK) Sure the model is wearing a chain-mail style dress, but this image is a far cry from the 2007 fragrance ad.

Why is it that Tom Ford changed his sexy advertisements to a balanced reserved campaign only 6 years later? Was the over-sexualized  2007 Tom Ford advertisement a way to grab attention and create buzz about his brand? Maybe, yet all brands change, not just the Tom Ford brand. If Tom Ford continued to do nude girls queezing bottles of perfume between their breasts for 20 years people would say that he isn’t creative enough or is becoming boring. Brands evolve over time, even within the span of a year, and advertisements have to demonstrate that. Whether through drastic changes such as those shown or proving a new way of thinking.  That being said, today I still relate Tom Ford with the 2007 fragrance image. Is this supposed to be good advertising and branding (the 90% crap) because I remember it? I think not.

-R

1. TED Talk by Cameron Russell and Body Image

While trying to figure out twitter and the land of hashtags, I stumbled upon a retweet from Tyler Carrington (UO Advertising Alum) about a recent TED Talk by Cameron Russell:

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In general, I love TED! I think their content is intellectually stimulating and extremely interesting at the same time. I also enjoy that TED talks range from medical innovation to inspirational personal breakthroughs  to creativity explained (One of my favorites TED talks by SIR Ken Robinson illustrated by RSA: LINK). I am not an avid TED watcher, but I strongly believe that it is important to take a detour from reality television and cultural phenomenons ,such as Jersey Shore, to expand your horizons and really stimulate your brain.

Back to the talk, this TED presentation was done by Cameron Russell-a famous American fashion model that has modeled for Vogue, W, and Calvin Klein.  I found Miss Russell’s talk so interesting because she references she was lucky and had all right genes. Russell states:

 “Saying that you want to be a model when you grow up is akin to saying that you want to win the Powerball when you grow up. It’s out of your control and it’s awesome — and it’s not a career path.”-Cameron Russell

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(Images from TED)

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When Miss Russell comes out onto the TED stage, she changes from a skimpy tight body-con dress to a long flowy skirt and sweater within a minute,changing her appearance from slut to common housewife. Image, whether an advertisement or home photo, is “powerful yet superficial” and can be altered drastically. Sure Cameron is beautiful in person, but with the right professional hair dresser, makeup artist, and photographer she is absolutely stunning and creates beautiful photos.

Is this superficial to portray yourself differently in these types of photos? I don’t think its superficial, but an illusion. Cameron is masking her true self and  could not have created that beauty on her own. Without the help of those specific professionals she could be anyone, but instead is just blessed with the right proportions. Most women in the United States have struggled with body image and to hear that

“[Models] have the thinnest thighs and the shiniest hair and the coolest clothes, and they’re the most physically insecure women probably on the planet.”(Russell)

from one of the most beautiful American models makes women, and myself, feel more confident and secure with our own bodies. Cameron Russell’s talk was not only inspiring but eye-opening. It is definitely one TED talk worth checking out.

-R

Welcome!

Welcome

Welcome/WTF am I doing?! To say I am scared to create this blog for the world-wide-web and to open my self up is an immense understatement. What if I have nothing interesting to say, make a mistake, or no one but my mom reads this? Well, I guess the last part is okay. I am not blogging to become Oprah-Winfrey-well-known but to share my thoughts on everything creative. I hope I can inspire and create a discussion on various topics while throwing in useful tools and insight. I am very excited to start my blogging journey! Talk to you Soon!

~R