KOCHI: One less-explored segment of photography deals with food. To click a ‘delicious shot’, one has to put in a lot of creativity, patience and dedication, one reason why there aren’t many players in the field.
But, Vishnu Thilak hailing from Guruvayur, is not one to bow down to such odds. A foodie, Vishnu is equally passionate about clicking food pictures, and that’s how he launched the startup ‘Promising Pictures’ in 2018.
"My first stint with food photography was at my brother’s cafe, ‘Big Bun Theory’ in Guruvayur. He gave me total freedom and my gear was iPhone X. Then I began working with a Kochi-based lifestyle magazine in 2018, clicking pictures at Le Meridien and Taj Hotels. These experience piqued my interest," says Vishnu.
The startup grew with the aid of social media, especially Instagram. Vishnu’s body of work was impressive enough to earn him more assignments. “I don’t want my images to look normal. So, I try and give them a feel. The image must look stunning enough to trigger your appetite,” he adds.
He is aware of the job’s nature. “It is exciting and challenging at the same time. This is the ultimate test of our creativity. We should have already visualised the final image. That’s where food styling comes in. The backdrop and the cutlery are just props,” says Vishnu.
His clients include East India Street Café annd Aromary in Kochi, Shake Story and The Cafe Addict Bistro in Thrissur and Naviluna Artisan Chocolate - Earth Loaf Artisan and Raw Pvt Ltd in Bengaluru.
“Now, I work on a monthly subscription package scheme. The cafes and restaurants need photos for marketing through their social media pages. So I take as many as 10 pictures every month.”
Vishnu says in two years many photographers in Kerala will turn into food photography. “Cafes and food joints are coming up at every nook and cranny and marketing is mainly via social media and food vlogs. So, an attractive picture is a must,” he adds. “Instagram helps a lot. I get a lot of enquires through that.”
His team now consists of a stylist and assistant. Moving from the virtual world, Vishnu now is planning to set up an office in Kochi.
“Some eateries lack the space to shoot. So, we need a studio floor and kitchen in our office. The restaurant can send their chef and we can shoot here. I am planning to expand my work to Bangalore as well,” he sums up.