Food to be photographed is sent via overnight express to New York. “Just as if it were an order,” Florencia says.
The agency uses conventional film photography and shoots in natural daylight, which gives a fresh, open, inviting feeling that artificial lighting often can’t replicate.
Where’s the Beef?
Florencia points to her background in meat processing, and says she thinks real chefs have more respect for products that reflect an expertise in meat-cutting. “Cooking always hides that. … If the product is sold raw, they should see it raw and know they get it raw,” Florencia says.
The catalog paper used is Opus dull coated bright white. “It’s a cooler white, so especially in the Market section where you have the red of the meats, you want a nice cool white against which to display that type of photography.”
By contrast, most of the gift meats on the final spread are shown cooked—a better way to present them, explains Cohen.
Florencia says showing the meats small is a psychological maneuver: “So you don’t feel visually full, or as if you’re going to get fat by the time you finish the catalog: ‘Will I eat too much if I buy this?’
“I always felt it’s not wise to overwhelm the customer with visual calories,” she continues. “We keep things small, dainty and enticing, like when you go to a French restaurant and they serve five small courses. After each one you wish you could have one more bite.”