What is the Difference Between an Art Photoshoot and a Content Photoshoot?

And which is best for your brand?

The photoshoot. Absolutely necessary for marketing – whether print or digital – photoshoots serve a wide range of purposes when it comes to showcasing your brand. Images visually convey the emotion behind a brand. When someone visits your website, a photo may be the make or break between them clicking through or exiting. On social media platforms like Instagram, images and video determine whether customers will engage and promote, or unfollow. One of the more common questions we’ve been receiving lately is the difference between art and content shoots. The lines between art and content can seem blurry, especially thanks to the rise in digital photography. However, there is a stark difference between photos that serve as content and artistic images that can serve as the flagship advertisements for a brand. 

Whether you’re photographing a surf and turf dinner or a glass of prosecco, there are a million different ways to capture the meal—and they all serve different purposes. Let’s take a look at the differences between art and content through the lens of food photography.

Let’s Breakdown Social Media Content

If you’re looking to maximize your reach on social media, you need to be posting consistently, which means most days of the week. Carousel posts (posts with multiple images) perform better than single image posts. With 365 days in a year—that’s a lot of pictures. If you’re lucky, you can repurpose User Generated Content into your feed. However, to create a cohesive look for your brand, you’re going to need a lot of pictures.

Introducing the social media content shoot. In the space of a day, the goal for a social media shoot is to capture hundreds of images. This may be shooting the same item shot in 3 different places at several different angles, so that the same product can be promoted throughout the year without repeating the same exact image.

Like most production shoots, the key to success is efficiency and planning. For the client, this may involve the preparation of the entire menu. An example is the kitchen producing food items one by one, so the food does not “die”, but that also in an order that compliments each other so that they may be shot together. The photographer will use the available light (ideally natural light) to capture photos of each plate from as many different angles as possible. While these images will look professional and crisp, this is a rapid fire process. The process still requires set-up and planning (an assistant to keep the shots rolling throughout the day is key), however does not require the level of detail as an art shoot. 

What is an Art Shoot?

The easiest way to think about art in food and beverage photography is as a painting. Art images are typically captured with a high quality camera and lens complete with a full lighting rig. These pictures are more conceptualized and more difficult to execute than rapid fire content photography.

The goal for an art shoot is different from a content shoot. Whereas a content shoot will generate hundreds of images over the course of a day, a successful art shoot might only yield 10 final photos from an entire day’s worth of work. But, it’s worth it. These all important flagship pictures can separate a brand and make it stand out from the crowd. True art photography is of a high enough caliber to be used in ads, billboards, and magazines.

Art photography can also be abstract, showing movement from a splashing cocktail or pasta twirling on a floating fork. These photos make you stop and examine the food – and the brand – in much closer detail. Psychologically, you associate the brand with the way the image is portrayed. A luxury brand’s photography should match the quality of the product it is selling. Another way to look at art versus content photography is content photography is what your food is and art photography is what your brand can be.

Is Art or Content Right for Your Business?

So, here’s the big question: is an art shoot or a content shoot right for you?

The answer is both!

They each serve different purposes and to market your business effectively, you need both art and content. 

You’ll need content photos for daily posts on your Instagram, Facebook, and Google My Business feeds. This keeps followers engaged and coming back for more.

And, you need art photos to serve as the signature images on your website, in print and digital ads, and to send out in replies to press inquiries.

Take Your Food Photography to the Next Level

Ready to wow potential guests with beautiful photography of your food and drinks? Meerkat Media Group has you covered! Our team of professional photographers and artistic thinkers can help elevate the way you present your menu. Contact us today for more information on setting up a photoshoot.