Before we flick on the burner, you should know that Dennis The Prescott is of Ron Jeremy status in the food porn industry. He does it all — cooking, photographing and writing for an audience that will likely have breached 150,000 by the time you’ve read this article. Also, like many of America’s favorite stars (i.e. Drake, Justin Bieber, Avril Lavigne), he is Canadian. We are beyond thrilled to have Dennis’ unique voice and unmatched insight grace the pages of our Harvest issue, and we think you will to. Enjoy.
Food porn. It’s everywhere. And we’re all into it.
The moment that the plate is served to us at a restaurant, we reach for our phones. Photo time. And we’re completely fine with the food being just a tad bit on the cool side, if it ensures that we get ‘that’ shot. That Instagram loving, “like-guaranteed” food photo.
Not long ago, the food-obsessed photog was an odd duck, and almost guaranteed to raise some eyebrows when climbing on a chair at a restaurant to get that perfect top down shot. So what changed? Honestly, I have no idea. But it seems the world has gotten wise to how freeing it is that food is… fun again.
Gone are the stodgy, uppity, nose-down days where dining, even at a burger joint, required an invisible suit & tie. Playing with your food is not only ok, it’s encouraged. And getting that perfect shot might mean trekking to the top of the Statue Of Liberty with a sandwich, shot high in the air, but it’s entirely worth the effort.
Food is community, and connects us to people all over the world. We all love noodles, we all love pizza and we all love the visual portal that social media provides us in being able to see into kitchens, homes and dining tables from New York to Tokyo. We live in a global community, and food is a massive part of that. When we see a great food photo, we change our dinner plans.
Food porn isn’t slowing down any time soon. People are joining Instagram in droves, ready and armed with a whisk & a phone. We might not be able to hop on a plane and head to the other side of the world for that ‘bucket list’ vacation meal, but we can grab our phones, open an app, and immediately see what our dream restaurant is serving that night. No plane ticket, airport security, or jet lag required, just an appetite.
Though Dennis pretty much laid it out picture perfect above— no pun intended— we wanted to dig a little deeper into what goes into an immaculate #foodporn shot on social media. Even more so, figure out what the experience of that dish provides when you have an amazing photo or post to look back at to remember it. Here’s what one of the biggest social media foodies in the world has to say about it.
What makes the perfect food photo/Instagram?
For me, the perfect food photo changes your dinner plans. It highlights the hero, or the dish, in the same way that a portrait photographer shoots a subject. The burger, or whatever, is the centerfold, the star. Along with choosing your hero, you should determine your visual story. Is it a party, a date night, a feast? Where do you want the viewer to visualize being and what emotions are you attempting to evoke through your image?
What does each photo represent for the dining experience?
Community. We either relate to the food in the photo or relate to the dining experience within the photo. Food is all about community and the way that we are connected with each other through food.
It’s more than taste and smell, it’s visual, what do you think social media has done to make that experience more enjoyable and memorable?
We eat with our eyes first, and food photography helps to inspire us to want to try new foods, restaurants, and recipes. Social media has made this accessible. You can log on to Pinterest, Instagram, or Twitter and decide within minutes what your next meal will be. It’s incredible that we now have a portal into kitchens all of the world — the inspiration is endless.
The food in the photo or the photo of the food, what’s resonates with you more?
The food. My first love is cooking, and food in general. Though photography is a close second.
Dine in, take out or cook at home?
Cook at home. Always. I mean, I love eating out, trying new things, and being inspired by amazing chefs that are changing the food game. But my love for cooking makes it hard to want to leave.
What’s Dennis Prescott’s go-to dish to shoot and eat, equally as fun in experience?
Noodles. They’re so fun, versatile, and completely delicious. Noodles have a ton of natural movement that makes them wonderful to shoot.
If it were you’re last day on earth, and you could choose any dish from any restaurant in the world from Canada to California to Cambodia, what would it be?
Last day on earth? I’d hop on a plane and head straight for Nashville, TN. First stop, Hattie B’s Hot Chicken. For my money, Hot Chicken is comfort food personified. It’s perfect, and a fitting last meal.
What’s Dennis Prescott’s life like without food?
Boring. And lonely. At least I think that’s what it would look like — there hasn’t been a day that I haven’ t been either in the kitchen or shooting at restaurants for a few years.
Thanks Dennis, not just for supplying us with an endless stream of food porn, or giving us insight on how the industry works, but for inspiring us to be better about pulling out the phone at lunch or dinner. We’re going to go eat our faces off now. Ciao.