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School Nutrition Workers Learn to Take Better Food Photos With Their Phones
Thursday, July 17, 2014 8:30 AM

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I hit Instagram after a long weekend, and I'm bound to see dozens of poorly lit, blurry shots of my friends' brunches. While I'm sure those stacks of out-of-focus blueberry buckwheat pancakes were delicious, they don't usually appear so in hastily snapped cell phone photos. Need I remind you that carefully marketed domestic diva Martha Stewart once tweeted this photo of her lunch?

It's easy to make yummy food look disgusting if you don't know some photography basics. Informal food photos have gotten so ubiquitous that some New York restaurant owners have banned them, arguing the practice ruins the dining atmosphere, the New York Times reported last year.
 
So it's with great interest that I note that today's schedule for the School Nutrition Association's annual conference in Boston includes an education session on taking better food photos with a phone. From the program:
 
"If you own a smartphone, you have an effective marketing tool right in the palm of your hand. The old adage about a picture being worth a thousand words is even more accurate in today's social media world. Learn to use your smartphone for taking/sharing photos and getting healthier results from every marketing effort. Bring your smartphone to this session and discover 12 easy ways to take better school food photos every day after."
 
It's not surprising that school nutrition workers—on the front lines of the war over what's yummy and what's yucky to our nation's pickiest eaters—would take an interest in snapping more tweetable shots of what's on that plastic tray. Such a skill could tip the scales of public opinion, for both children and adults. And many school nutrition departments now operate their own Twitter accounts, like this excellent Minneapolis school food feed, currently boasting about the city's summer food efforts...READ MORE