Please Note: All images contained in this post were taken and are © property of Jay Swift/4th & Swift, no permission granted for use without consent of owner.
Most food journalists are hungry for content, something new to write about. This is evidenced by the wide range of frivolous topics you may see on some food blogs. Unlike real news, in the food world it’s not everyday that something new and different happens. Many topics have been written about already and it’s a struggle for writers and bloggers to either find fresh topics, or have the instinct to create something original and different.
Having readymade content for writers and bloggers is a huge plus. When they decide they want to write about something, it’s a good chance their deadline is only a few days away. I keep a database of recipes and, now that I’ve started taking my own food shots, a file full of photos to match those recipes. Just last week my publicist sent me an email forwarded from Nations Restaurant News from someone wanting to write about savory applications of vanilla. We do a vanilla poached asparagus every spring menu. I have two or three different shots of the dish, as well as a recipe on file. If I had needed to write the recipe and take a food shot, or wait for them to send a photographer (if that was even an option, print outfits are on super low budgets these days.) then I would have most likely missed that opportunity to have my food featured in a national publication. We had a recipe; a few quotes from me and a gorgeous photo back to them in only a few minutes. The article actually appeared on line only two days later! This actually happens quite often these days. My food shots have appeared in a The Atlantan magazine, the Air Tran on board magazine and a few other places, just because I was ready with a sexy food shot when the call came.
This doesn’t even begin to discuss the value of having readymade content for the web for marketing your own business. When I was learning Photoshop and trying my first composites, I took an interior shot of our dining room that I really liked. No small feat for me because interior shots, given the challenging lighting in the dining room and other factors, are something I still have much to learn about. I layered it up in Photoshop with my 4th&Swift logo, set the blending mode on the logo jpeg to “multiply” as to eliminate the white background, and luckily came up with a pretty cool shot. I threw it up on our Facebook page for the hell of it. Two weeks later, I log onto Eater.com National. (They have a local version for each city and a national one), and there was my interior shot, logo and all!! Someone from the national blog page was on our Facebook page, liked my shot, and snagged it for their blog. Instant, free, national advertising for my business!! It’s all about creating content, people.