Truth in Advertising
Since both Florencia and Amalia wanted the photography executed in a way that would respect the culinary expertise of the professional chef or butcher, all of the food (with the exception of the meats) is shown on white tableware.
This conforms to culinary guidelines, and doesn’t distract from the presentation of the food, says Cohen. “To consumers, that might not be as important, but to professionals, that’s something that matters,” Cohen adds. “We wanted artful food styling that’s spontaneous and aspirational to add personality to the photography.”
Indeed, over-propping or overuse of lifestyle shots can be a dangerous route for catalogers. Consultant Tony Cox of Dallas-based Catalog Solutions, says, “A lot of people get so into the artistic presentation that it’s unclear what’s for sale.”
But he finds that Haute@Home stays clean in its presentation, and clear as to what it’s selling. Florencia confirms, “We wanted to stay focused on food, and didn’t want to ever be confused with a tableware catalog.”
Florencia attends all photo shoots. “For me, one of the biggest issues is staying authentic to culinary relevance. For example, I’m picky about what garnishes are used … it had better be something you either eat with that food or is part of it. I don’t like using crazy vegetables or silly fruits that are tiny and cute just for color or a splash. I try to stay true to food.”
Further, she doesn’t encourage use of artificial props and tricks to enhance a product’s look. “I don’t like supergluing food together or using lard instead of ice cream.”
At the photo shoots, AGA relies on Florencia to share her knowledge about food, such as a sauce to be added, or the right shaped dish to have the merchandise laid out on, Cohen says.