Chewing the Fat: The Dirty Secret Behind Food Porn

Why come Whataburgers never look as good as on the billboard? ThisPiggy.com addresses this common lament with a photo gallery comparing fast-food marketing photos and the often pitiful reality.

It begs the question, though, how do they get the food to look so good for the ad? Not squishing the bun helps. But the shiny and radiant glow must come from somewhere, right? Well, Photocritic.org put together an odd list of tricks and materials used by photogs to create beautiful food porn.

Motor oil and shoe polish are just the tip of a clever iceberg of tricks.

Many of the techniques were devised to assist photographers as much as marketers. Hot lights can melt cold items and wilt lettuce while ketchup and mustard might ooze out or soak the bun--all long before the photographer gets the shot.

Now, how do Chinese restaurants get their buffet line crap looking so good for publication?

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Daniel Daugherty
Contact: Daniel Daugherty