We’re in a golden age of food photography. Artfully dripping ice cream cones, ropes of cheese falling off the edge of a slice of pizza—we sure have come a long way from Women Laughing Alone With Salad. One particular innovation in this field, and one I feel absolutely compelled to discuss, is the Stacked Sandwich.
You know the ones.
Unlike aerial views of pristine dishes of pasta or high-resolution images of beautifully textured fried chicken, the Stacked Sandwich concept is unique in that this is never how anyone on earth has authentically held a sandwich in their entire life. It’s precarious, it looks uncomfortable to grip, and the pressure of holding each side together risks smooshing the innards out of the sandwich entirely. You would never bring it up to your face for a bite this way; it’s stacked only for the photo op.
I’m not a fan of the Stacked Sandwich, but maybe it’s a matter of expectations. In my mind, a good food photo lets you imagine that you, the viewer, are about to dive into that order of poutine or that platter of crackling crunchy pork roast. With the Stacked Sandwich, I’m mostly just stressed about the balancing act that’s going on, and whether the sandwich will maintain its integrity after being subjected to a vice grip.
Is there a food photography trend that irks you, maybe for no reason at all?