Jedi Mind Control Tricks That Every Food Photographer Should Know

Yoda "Hmm. Control, control. You must learn control." – Yoda

Her viewers’ mind, The great photographer controls. Control you must, successful you will be. Okay! Enough of Yoda English. All jokes aside, all well-known successful photographers know this – “Jedi Mind Tricks” work. Always.

Mind Control and Food Photography

Making great food photos is complex process. We have talked about the food photography process in great detail. First there is the subject, then there is the table, and the silverware and the plate. Oh, you need to control the lighting and orchestrate the equipments. Then you have to think – how to position, where to place the props and the food styling. The camera and the lenses?

There are so many things to remember and adjust and modify. How can someone who is getting into food photography remember all the minute details. So, rather than remembering the every little knob you need to turn and press every small switch, you can do something that is much simpler and when applied effectively, always works.

“What can I do?”, you may ask. Here’s the answer – learn mind control. Learn how to control your viewers’ mind. Photographer and mind control?

Yes! A great photographer is a master of mind control. She decides where a viewer should look, when he is looking at her food photo. She also implicitly communicates in what areas of a photograph should a viewer direct his attention. She moves her viewers eyes. She control his mind.

In the most simplistic terms, isn’t that what’s photography all about? You, the photographer, have a vision. If you have defined your vision in your mind clearly enough, you will know what part of the scene is important to you and what you want your viewers to see. You then take a photo and capture the scene as your vision was.

You add certain elements that you want your viewers to notice. You remove certain items from the frame and the readers can no longer see. In the entire process of photography, from the time you get the vision, to the time the photograph is captured and processed and published, you are controlling what you want your viewers to see and what you want to eliminate.

This idea is very simple and resides at the very core of photography. If you understand this idea, photography becomes simple. This simple idea is little profound and difficult to digest.

If you have answered the most important question in photography, you already have a vision. You have decided what the final photo should look like. The aim then is to manage your viewers’ attention and direct it to an area in the frame, where you want the viewers to focus.

As a photographer, you need to tell your viewers, what should they look first and what they shouldn’t look at. This can be achieved by understanding the mind control techniques used by successful photographers. I am sure you have used some of these techniques, knowingly or unknowingly.


Mind Control Techniques for Food Photographers

Effective mind control or managing and directing your viewers’ attention is the only thing that makes a photograph engaging. A strong photo clearly directs viewers’ eyes and attention. The photographer defines the main elements in the photograph and communicates this by capturing the photo in such way.

You too can control your viewers’ mind. Here are few techniques most frequently used by photographers:

Sharp Focus

Our eyes always run to the part of a photograph that is in focus and is sharper than other elements in that photograph. If you want your viewers to look towards a certain area or an element, adjust the focus so that your subject/required area is sharply focused.

Depth of Field

An element that is differentiated from rest of the elements, attracts more attention that the rest of the elements. Shallow depth of field is a wonderful technique to get that differentiation. If you have one element that you would like your viewers to see in the photograph, control depth of field to make this element pop out.


Colors attract human eye. We focus on brighter colors first. We look at shades of red and yellow and orange, before looking at dark green or dark blue and other darker colors. This works only if the photo has true colors. Wrong colors make a photo unappealing. If you want your viewers to direct their attention towards a certain element, make sure its brighter and that you get true colors in photographs.

These are just three main techniques and some of this may not be a big surprise to you, but it is funny how we entangle ourselves into all the complexity around us and forget the absolute basic of all this. There are many other photography techniques to control your viewers’ mind and direct their attention to areas where you would like them to see. What are some techniques you use?

To get the most out of this post, I would request you to think about the simple concept of “what is photography?” Digest this idea and leave your thoughts below.

Read the next part of this post: How to Make Strong Photographs

Your Mind Control Tricks

What are your mind control tricks? Have you used any of these tricks? What are your thoughts on mind control and photography? What other photographic techniques can be used for controlling mind? Tell us. Leave a comment.

May the force be with you.

Yoda photo by arycogre

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  • you have such and engaging way of writing. I enjoy reading your posts you make me think of things I hadn’t before

  • I am not aware of using any mind control tricks in my photos. But is is certainly something to think about. Thanks Neel. Great post.

  • Great, great, great article! Now if only I had time to practice my photography skills between watching all the World Cup games!
    Thanks for all the great info. I will get back to this post when the games end, I promise.


  • Brilliant post – I love the Yoda intro!

  • Emil

    It’s a great idea. This guide is very important in order to create the images to be more interesting. It’s also very important for photographers in improving the quality of the photos he made.

  • You have a very amusing introduction. Thanks for sharing the techniques in food photography. It really helps a lot. 😀

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  • Great post! I remember slightly that are read something about where human eye looks first, left or right. But i can’t remember. I will find out and post it here.

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