Hot shots: food photography & video content for autumn

If you want to build a little bit of mystery and excitement to your upcoming content for autumn, there’s nothing better than a well-timed blast of smoke. But the benefits of dry ice aren’t confined to the theatre, dance floor or ghost train. Incorporating smoke and steam into food photography and video, works to add the same level of intrigue. And creates the mouth-watering suggestion of freshly cooked dishes, served straight from the oven.

Check out our guide to the best opportunities for creating autumnal themed photography and video content, using steam and smoke.

Autumn is the smoky season: 

The leaves are falling, temperatures are dropping, and the nights are drawing in… which means the season of smoke is here! Autumn and winter are prime time for shooting hearty stews, soups and pies; cosy cups of hot chocolate and those lusted-after pumpkin spiced lattes. The waft of steam rising from the bowl or mug shows just how hot, fresh and comforting these drinks and dishes are, making them even more tempting to the consumer.  

And there’s another very important reason to fire up the smoke machine in October… of course, Halloween. If you’re shooting a spooky spread, the wisps work to create the moody, sinister atmosphere you’re looking for and can add some great movement on video too.  

Everyday freshness: 

Smoke and steam aren’t just for seasonal content though. It has an important role to place in day-to-day food photography too. More than anything, it represents heat, and is perfect to suggest that something has just come out of the oven – perhaps a freshly baked loaf of bread or bubbling dish of lasagne. Or it could be to highlight cooking, just like a succulent steak on the griddle or sizzling hot plate of fajitas. The suggestion of life and movement injects real dynamic action into a shot, illustrating human interaction to build more of a story and really capture consumer imagination.  

Adding mystery to mixology: 

Beyond heat and Halloween, we can also make excellent use of smoke in shooting cocktails and other alcoholic drinks. This is an effective technique as it draws on our associations of smoke with excitement, intrigue and something special. Everything you would want from a spectacular showpiece cocktail or a night out in a buzzy new bar. We love using dry ice in this way, on-shoot for hospitality businesses, creating alluring shots that invite viewers to take a sip.  

At our fully equipped Manchester and Leeds studios, we’ve created the perfect environment to capture the natural, hypnotic movements of smoke and steam. Taking complete control of the light intensity, positioning and backgrounds, we’ll make each wisp stand out in shot – and we have a few tricks up our sleeve to help steaming hot dishes look at their most delicious. Contact us today if you have a smoky idea in mind! 

Thoughts from the Eat & Breathe kitchen

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