University Of Tasmania

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Contemporary food imagery: food porn and other visual trends

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-19, 18:16 authored by Taylor, N, Megan KeatingMegan Keating
Within food media, especially within the digital domain, still images play a central role in communicating cultural meanings associated with the presentation and representation of food. However, limited attention has been given to how design, styling and photographic tropes of these images contribute to these meanings. This paper examines key pictorial elements of popular food imaging through the lens of visual art and art history in order to highlight their aesthetic and symbolic qualities. Using pictorial analysis, the research identified four stylistic frameworks and observed a continuum of imaging trends between popular and historical food representation. In this paper, we discuss key devices of each image framework and suggest that a pervasive strategy of creative disruption is used to create a sense of intimacy and draw the gaze through activating desire-based triggers to engage the viewer. This research also identified a normalisation of exaggerated styling in contemporary food imaging that has been typically associated with food porn and that the terminology previously used to describe this genre as erotic also suggests other attributes such as human aspiration and reassurance.


Publication title

Communication Research and Practice








School of Creative Arts and Media



Place of publication


Rights statement

Copyright 2018 Australian and New Zealand Communication Association

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Visual communication