Photographing Ice Cream

Ice cream is one of those products which makes some photographers tremble. Like a lot of things if you haven’t had much experience in shooting ice cream you can end up in difficulty. food photographer Graham Precey suggestion would be to do some test photography on your own to get an idea what its all about before you do a commisioned job. Ice cream melts and thats your big enemy.A lot of my ice cream shoots have been on the hottest summer days so you have to know what your doing!  So you need a freezer, ideally a chest freezer so that its easy to access the ice cream. The freezer needs to be set on very cold to enable you to get as much time on your side. You can also hire dry ice which can freeze the ice cream to rock hard very quickly. This will give you plenty of time to handle the ice cream, I tend to use who can post the dry ice to you next day.They are easy to deal with and very professional. Dry ice evaporates around 11% per day in an unopened box so you need to get in more than you actually need. I prefer the small 3mm pellets which are easy to manouver around the product. If the pellets are too big, the ice cream can get marked by the pellets so be warned. Also, never handle the ice cream with your fingers. A, you can get stuck to the product if its very cold but B, you will almost certainly get a melt mark where a finger has touched the icecream. Most annoying when you have a perfect scoop. I can usually judge a home economists proficiency by the way they handle ice cream. I have a set of dental tools which allow me to handle the ice cream and lift and position the product into the shot without marking it.

Scooping, well I’ll leave that up to you. Everyone has their own way of doing it and there are only so many trade secrets I’m prepared to give away! :}
Use a straw to blow gently onto the ice cream to eradicate the frosting.
Nb. There was a time when all ice cream had to be a rock hard ball but modern photography allows for a more relaxed approach and the ice cream can be quite soft, even melted., so you need to go with the flow and find out exactly what your client wants you to do.

When you get a moment, check out my new ice cream photography at

Thanks for reading and all the best till next time.


Fast food photography



Fast Food photography by Graham Precey


Food photographer  Graham Precey has photographed  fast food for a number of years now, for the likes of McDonalds, KFC  and O’Neils and numerous smaller independent chains such as Polo Campero. Trying to make those burgers and chicken legs and breast look good is quite an art in many ways. Firstly, you need an excellent home economist/food stylist. The home economist  must be very patient and  accurate and able to visualize exactly what the client wants. Most of the time they will have a visual reference to go by but some companies train their home economists on how they like their food to look and how to achieve this.

To make a burger for instance, they need to create a ‘build’. What is a build you might ask? Well, its making the perfect burger. The best buns will be chosen. Sometimes there is a bun and burger casting. Yes, a casting. We photograph a large selection of buns and cooked burgers . Each one is numbered and then people vote for their best buns and burgers. Sounds barking mad and it is!

Some companies dislike and don’t allow the retouching of their product. They want the food photography to be exactly as the product actually is. Each component is weighed accurately and a log is taken when and where the photograph was taken. So, if someone at a later date says this burger isn’t what it is supposed to be, the company can say, actually it is and further more, we have the proof to back it up.

As for chicken, invariably the purchase of a lot of chicken is required. It is not unusual to have a large van with trays upon trays of chicken breasts and legs laid out carefully. Invariably , pieces of fried bread crumbs are still needed to be stuck with super glue to make the perfect chicken leg or breast.

Other companies are more relaxed and don’t mind a little bit of retouching to make the product look good especially foreign companies who don’t appear to have such stringent rules and regulations on accuracy as we have here in the United Kingdom. But on the whole. I would say the fast food we photograph is real. It is just made to look very good. Liken it to a fashion model who has been made up to look good for a shoot.

As for lighting,  food photographer Graham Precey  tries and make it look as close to natural light as possible. Invariably, the main diffused light is to one side, close to the still life table. Then he adds smaller lights to the side and back. Depending on what the art director wants. Its important you don’t over light food. A bit of shadow isn’t a bad thing. On saying that some companies hate shadow. Its invariably a compromise!

This blog was created on the 3rd July 2014 by food photography expert Graham Precey. Graham as well as food photography, also shoots drink photography

Image 2492


some latest work for a well known fried chicken company.

About Graham Precey food photography


Blog Post 08/03/2014


As a well established London food photographer  Graham Precey is  a food photographer who has photographed most types of product. Recently he has shot burgers for the McDonalds summer menu to web recipes for Marks and Spencer to recipes for Budgens. The range  of work is enormous. But I think its fair to say that working with a talented food stylist helps a great deal. Preparing the food is very much taken for granted but Graham always believes the stylist does most of the work. Or perhaps he is just being modest!. The most important traits for a good home economist are attention to detail, and technical ability. Able to work as a team and being good with clients is also important.

London food photography is blessed with many top prop houses. At Grahams studio many clients are impressed with his enormous selection of props and backgrounds. His wife Jackie is constantly sourcing new props and backgrounds and although he still hires props from the prop houses less and less props are now hired as Graham and Jackie grow their excellent prop collection.


Needless to say at, there is an excellent kitchen, situated in the main studio. With two ovens, a microwave, 4 fridges, two of them large as well as two chest freezers. Being able to kep the food fresh is very important.

Without exception, all Grahams visitors are enormously impressed by the studio itself. For many, the best they have ever visited. Beautifully designed with a very high ceiling , gives a relaxing and airy feel.

Graham is also able to supply off street parking for his clients and visitors. Something very important nowadays as many clients travel by car. Turnham Green and Acton Central are at both very close walking distance.

Taking better food photography for social media

Often, when an advertising or packaging agency or other client requests food photography, they have a very specific print or large format application in mind. Increasingly, however, they will also request food photography for the web, and in today’s online landscape, social media affords abundant opportunity for content to be widely viewed, ‘liked’ and shared. But how exactly can you take better food photography for social media to the end of increased business?


One all-important step is simply realising the importance of the most professional food photography for your establishment’s social media page. Our world is one in which people frequently post out-of-focus, poorly lit and badly framed photos of their food on Tumblr, Instagram and Pinterest.


However, this should not give a restaurant or similar establishment an excuse to compromise on its own professionalism – especially when so many more people may see the social media page than the print advertisements for which the finest food photography is typically requested.


There are some basic approaches that can be taken to improve the quality of one’s personal food photography, such as investing in a reasonably affordable point and shoot camera with a macro setting, as well as shooting from a minimum of eighteen inches away at the highest resolution.


The best food photography often has a clean background to ensure a colour contrast between it and the food, while certain food should be shot with a particular white balance. Meat looks more appetising, for example, when it is shot in warmer tones than fluorescent lights, with their blue-ish tinge, typically allow.


Natural lighting also ought to be used whenever possible, so shooting near a window is frequently a good idea. Using a tripod removes the need to manually hold the camera still for long periods of time, where there are all kinds of other angles, details and props that can be used for more effective food photography for a social media page.


However, this is where you may also consider the services of a seasoned, professional food photographer – one who has all of the necessary equipment, such as Sinar and Canon digital cameras as part of the most functional photography studio, as well as Elinchrom flash and all of the props and backgrounds that one could require for imaginative and engaging photography. Such a photographer should also have a freezer and refrigerated storage within a fully working kitchen, where food can be prepared for perfection ahead of being photographed.


This is not a level of professionalism that can be easily achieved by the well-meaning restaurant owner with a smartphone camera. For the very best food photography that gets results on social media, it really is best to seek out a professional who has the finest track record in this very field, with a long list of prestigious clients to their name.


There are many ways of increase your company’s exposure on social media – and the right food photography can be absolutely central to achieving this.




How are different items of food photographed?

Food photography is unquestionably one of the unsung arts. For all of its traditions in the still life paintings of many centuries ago, continuing into the early photographic age in the 19th century and more recently the worlds of Instagram and smartphone cameras, food photography is rarely explicitly recognised.


Perhaps the most seasoned and capable London food photographer  is a victim of his or her own success in presenting food in an attractive way that places the focus firmly on it, rather than on any photographic or preparatory tricks or techniques. Much of the success of a good food photographer is in simply having the right equipment and preparing well. For example, a working kitchen in close proximity to the studio is a must, with a range of props and backgrounds and the latest cameras also making a big difference.


However, various styling techniques have also had a big part to play in making food photography so engaging down the years, whether it is witnessed on an advertising billboard, online, in a catalogue, on packaging or as part of an editorial feature. The food photographer may use dry ice or  a combination of chemicals that give off smoke to create the illusion of steam, while certain liquids – such as water or diluted glycerine – may also be sprayed on the food to keep it fresh in appearance.


Cooked meats and poultry may have their brownness enhanced by a range of browning agents, while there’s also the age-old problem of cereal too quickly becoming soggy in milk, which can be solved by switching from milk to heavy cream. A food photographer may also ensure the freshness and crispness of salad greens by misting them with cold water before composition, and herbs and spices may also be sprinkled over a wet salad to give it the appearance of dressing, given that actual salad dressing can make the food difficult to style.


Other foods that can lose their visual appeal quickly, and hence pose a particular challenge to the food photographer, include hamburgers – given the tendency of the buns to easily dent – and sandwiches. The assembly of a burger for photography may therefore involve toothpicks being used to hold the ingredients in place, as well as folded paper to position the burger into place.


These techniques as used by a food photographer can complement such methods for drinks photography as applying matt lacquer to create the effect of condensation on the outside of a glass, as well as the use of artificial ice cubes rather than real ones, which would – of course – melt. Such approaches are all to the end of the excellent overall result that creates desire in the consumer, as is the aim and routine achievement of any highly rated food photographer – like Graham Precey of









How you can achieve the most flavoursome looking food photography

If you’re in food and drink marketing, you’re selling the sizzle. Your customers aren’t buying 10 beef burgers – they’re purchasing ten juicy, beefy, meaty mouth filling morsels of bovine succulence. Customers want to know it’ll be delicious. And people eat with their eyes, which makes food photography one of the most powerful techniques for getting attention.


A picture says a thousand words. So ask yourself what your current food photography is saying about your products. Is it capturing the glint on a glass of Glenlivet, or the fizz on the first Gin and Tonic of the afternoon? If it’s not, your drink sales might be flat.


Sell them the slurp. Get the photographer to take a crisp, close up of the glass that’ll be just a few inches from their customer’s face, and the brown peaks on the pie that they’ll be breaking a spoon into. If you wouldn’t eat in the dark, make sure the lighting is just right. Every advert you show the customer is a window into a dinner party held by your company. It needs the right ambience, and the food’s got to look fabulous like a host inviting the morsels into their mouths.


In marketing speak, this all part of the ritual of product use. If you can capture the moment on film when someone who is standing a foot away from a buffet says to themselves ‘ooh that looks tasty’, then people will live that feeling vicariously though the food photography. It’s a lot to accomplish on the side of a cardboard box. That’s why there’s so much skill to food photography.

And that’s why we recommend, like London food photographer Graham Precey of




How well-equipped is your chosen food photographer? /Blog Post 13/12/2013

From the earliest days of the camera obscura and early fixed images to daguerreotypes, dry plates and the emergence of modern camera film and digital cameras, so much of the history of food photography is about the equipment that was used to make some of the most iconic images of all time. Graham Precey of ( knows his photography history, but much more importantly, he is also excellently versed in the photographic present, which helps to make him one of the leading professionals in his field.


Precey has long attracted widespread praise as a food and drink photographer. All manner of advertising and packaging agencies, as well as food and drink brands and stores that contact him directly, have praised his commitment and working methods, in addition to the photography itself. For example, CADA Design Group’s Head of Design has described him as “a pleasure to work with”, while Gerard Murphy, Business Development Chef at Kerry Foodservice, has said that “He really understands how to bring the food to life on the menu.”


But such consistently strong results, both in large format print and for the web, would not be achieved without the right equipment. Of course, the exact definition of the ‘right equipment’ for professional food photography has differed somewhat down the years. Nonetheless, in the early 21st century, you should at least expect your chosen food photographer to have the most up to date, sophisticated and effective equipment so that he can capture food and drink in a way that truly makes the viewer salivate.


Of course, not all techniques in food photography are necessarily the most technologically sophisticated, although the days have long gone when white glue substituting for milk in photographs of cereal was  a common practice – these days, heavy cream may be used to ensure that the cereal does not become soggy too quickly. Other simple, but nonetheless proven food photography techniques include spraying food with water so that it continues looking fresh, enhancing the colour/brownness of cooked meats and poultry with various browning agents and in the case of cold beverages, applying dulling spray to give the effect of condensation on the outside of a glass.


Graham Precey knows all about how the simplest techniques and props can make for the most compelling digital photography of food and drink, with his own studio storing a series of props and backgrounds. But he also has a fully working kitchen with a freezer and refrigerated storage, which helps to ensure that the food looks absolutely immaculate the moment the camera hovers over it.


Furthermore, Graham’s actual cameras are of the highest standard, with his Sinar and Canon digital cameras, together with Elinchrom flash and daylight, instrumental in making him one of the most  in-demand purveyors of food and drinks photography. Contact him at ( today to learn more about his services.




What qualities should you look for in a London food photographer? /Blog Post 07/11/2013

Whether you are an advertising or packaging agency, printed publication, website or food brand, it’s vital not to underestimate the importance of truly impactful food photography – or for that matter, the sheer work and artistry involved in achieving those stunning results that can be so easily taken for granted. But what is it, exactly, that makes ( the best place to look for a food photographer in London?


Our website is, of course, the website of one of the most renowned food photographers working in the English capital today, Graham Precey. As a result, he knows a thing or two about the factors differentiating average food photography from truly great food photography. Naturally, the best food and drink photographer will know all of the tricks of the trade, from choosing the right camera technical settings to knowing how to arrange food and drink for maximum visual impact, including the right backdrop.


But with 21st century food photography being the descendant of traditional still life painting, a good London food photographer will also have their own vision of how food should be presented in order to get prospective customers salivating. At the same time, this presentation should be in line with the specific needs and demands of the client. It is his ability to achieve all of this, time after time, that has given Graham Precey such renown among a wide range of respected organisations.


Margaret Mo-Yuen Eldridge, Art Buyer at GyroHSR, has described Graham’s food and drink photography as “consistently excellent”. For the Head of Design at CADA Design Group, Darren Callcott, Graham is “pro active, creative and always willing to help throughout each stage of the project process”, while Nick Paterson-Jones, ByInstinct Creative Director, has spoken of his “great work, huge experience and a flexible approach”. It should go without saying that any good London food photographer should receive highly positive testimonials like these.


The long list of other clients for which Graham has provided food, drink and packaging photography, which includes McDonald’s, Marks & Spencer, Subway, Closer Magazine, Hook Norton Brewery, Bulmers, Diageo and more, vouches for his considerable reputation in these fields. But no photographer can work in isolation, as he also requires the most suitable, fully functioning digital photography studio.


Sure enough, Graham Precey can offer precisely that to his commercial photography clients, with his London studio featuring Sinar and Canon digital cameras as well as Elinchrom flash and daylight. Not only that, but he can also access a comprehensive range of backgrounds and props, as well as a fully working kitchen, freezer and refrigerated storage. Of yet further convenience is the free off street parking that we can offer to every one of our clients.


Does your current London food photographer combine all of these characteristics, at a competitive price? If not, never hesitate to give Graham Precey, at (, a call or email to discuss your exact requirements.




A short history of food photography /Blog Post 18/11/2013


Almost for as long as there has been food, there have been ways of depicting it that seek to bring out its best qualities. One only needs to look at the still life paintings from many centuries ago of artists like Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, to appreciate where today’s food photographer – like Graham Precey of ( – derives inspiration.


These painters were concerned with so many of the aesthetic aspects that today’s food and drink photographers now use to considerable advantage, including composition and light, as well as allegory, which might be thought to have fallen out of favour. That is not to suggest, however, that today’s food and drink photography does not reflect an interest in meaning, with certain foods remaining synonymous with certain social classes, lifestyles and aspirations.


In a time long before photography, some of the world’s most renowned painters were eager to highlight their technical panache and ability to arrange items, in the depiction of naturally beautiful food. The realism of these portrayals of food mark them out as real predecessors to today’s more commercial photography. Then, as now, so much of the point of such depictions was to make the viewer salivate, and feel that they shared a room with the food.


It is thought that food in art dates back to the ancient Egyptian era, when its representation in tombs reflected a belief in its availability in the afterlife. The Romans, meanwhile, had a penchant for decorative mosaics that flaunted the food of the upper class. However, when food photography finally came into being in the 19th century, it was still life paintings that exerted the greatest influence.


Early 20th century food photography was characterised by experimentation with repetition, diagonals, close-ups and cropping. But by the latter half of the century, food photography had largely become full-blown commercial and advertising photography, used by manufacturers throughout cookbooks and magazines.


In the process, there wasn’t always much respect shown for the most natural appearance of food, the ’60s and ’70s being the era in which one would add shine with a toxic product like glycerine, or perhaps keep morsels rooted to the spot with hairspray, or even simulate the ‘straight from the oven’ look with cigarette smoke. Even better known was the widespread substitution of milk for glue.


Back then, in an era of 4×5 film cameras with long exposures, the lighting techniques used resulted in a consistent, rather than imaginative look. Flash and tungsten were in vogue, and in-focus topshots were favoured over all other formats. It’s a far cry from the present fashion for much more natural, albeit still appetising food photography that reflects the skill of the cook.


Today, Graham Precey of ( is a leading London food photographer showing the possibilities of this art form in the early 21st century. Contact him at his studio in the capital to learn more about how he can provide the highest standard of photography for your own organisation’s requirements.




The art of effective food advertising photography /Blog Post 26/11/2013

The renowned London food photographer, Graham Precey of ( is contacted on a regular basis by advertising agencies that have taken notice of his highly appealing and artful approach to food photography. Certainly, these agencies do not underestimate the considerable work that is invested into getting food and drink photography right.


However, not everyone necessarily has this level of appreciation. The emergence of ostensibly sophisticated smartphone and tablet cameras has led so many complete amateurs to believe, quite mistakenly, that they can easily achieve the same impressive results as the professionals with very little work. But advertising photography is its own art, and the sub-genre of food photography is no different.


Think about it… the right subjects need to be chosen, and the lighting made just right. All of a camera’s technical settings need to be set to perfection, and the end result needs to make the viewer salivate. The food that is photographed needs to look literally good enough to eat. Certainly, the food needs to be carefully prepared, with certain aspects of it showcased in photographic form in order to create as much desire within the viewer as possible.


That is the ultimate objective of any advertising photographer who is seasoned in taking pictures of food and drink, and over the years, the leading advertising agencies have turned repeatedly to Graham Precey, on account of his ability to create more engaging, attractive and effective advertising food photography than anyone else.


Advertising food photography can end up in so many contexts, from newspapers and magazines to online, as well as static advertising like bus stops and billboards. But it all has the same overarching aim – to boost sales of certain foods and drinks. Graham Precey knows as well as any other advertising photographer, that great results don’t happen by accident. It’s why he works so diligently to refine his skills, invest in the latest relevant equipment and set up the most suitable studio.


This commitment to going to every length to satisfy his clients’ needs certainly shows in his fully functioning digital photography studio, where one finds Sinar and Canon digital cameras, complemented by Elinchrom flash and daylight. There is also a comprehensive backgrounds and props section for adding interest to even the most challenging subjects.


Also to be expected in any leading food and drink photography studio is a fully working kitchen, alongside freezer and refrigerated storage, as Graham Precey also knows how to work to maximum advantage. The outcome is truly stunning commercial photography, and with clients also being given free off-street parking, it’s not the only aspect of Graham’s service that they’ll be delighted with.


Contact Graham Precey at ( today to find out more about how he can cater for your food photography requirements, in relation to all manner of food and drink products. Alternatively, peruse his online gallery at your leisure prior to getting in touch.