Event: Make Martha Cringe! (Good food behaving badly)

(scroll down for event rules)

Let’s talk for a second about the current state of food photography. These days, it’s all about natural beauty. We want to see food glow, basking in just the right amount of gorgeous natural light. We want to see just how fresh and green that spinach is (maybe it was just picked- maybe there’s a second bunch of greens in the background of the shot with the dirt from the garden still gracing its roots)! We want to see how each grain of organic bhutanese red rice clings delicately to the next. I think we could all agree that the current trend in food photography is a good one.

Now… here’s the deal. Yes, we can make our food look gorgeous, fresh, and vibrant. It’s a challenge. It’s fun. We love it. But sometimes it’s just so… pristine. I don’t know about all of you, but every now and then I just get an itch to rebel and make my food look really, really tacky. Maybe it’s just me, but with so much “pretty” food around I think it might be pretty satisfying to see some food looking outlandishly kitschy and garish. Hey, it wouldn’t be the first time, anyone remember the 70’s? Lookin good!

I really love the “garni” on the plate in the back. Classy, no?

Sexy! (I believe these are called “Tomato Wheels”)

So let’s do it. Let’s put our skills to good (or bad) use and revive gratuitous food styling, at least for the purpose of this event. Now, let me make this clear… I’m not interested in bad food, or even bad photography. The food should be something that actually tastes good, and the photographic composition should be deliberate. As for the styling, go wild! Bring on the tacky lighting, fussy structuring, inappropriate props and garni, and arranging of food in compromising positions. Let’s have fun with it. Let’s break all the rules. Let’s Make Martha Cringe.

Yeah baby! (Shrimply delicious??)

Update: There is no restriction on ingredients this month.  Go crazy!

Here are the rules:

  1. Prepare (or create) a recipe involving, style it to your heart’s content, and write a post including your cringe-worthy photo and the accompanying recipe. Please link back to this announcement in your post. Posts must be new, although I seriously doubt that you have any old posts that would be appropriate for this event 😉
  2. You MAY use photoshop or another editing program to alter the color/lighting of your photo.
  3. E-mail me (caitlin DOT larussa AT gmail DOT com) Please make sure that Make Martha Cringe is written in the subject line.
  4. In the e-mail please include:
    • the URL of your entry
    • your name, and your blog’s name
    • the name of the dish
    • your approximate location
  5. The deadline for entries is Sunday, April 20, at midnight (eastern standard time). (I will post a roundup sometime the following week).

The winner (judged this time by me) will receive a mystery prize and will have the privilege of helping me judge the next round.
I can’t wait to see some really awful styling. Bring it on!

If for some reason you need some more inspiration, I’ll just leave you with this…

Good luck!


6 Responses to “Event: Make Martha Cringe! (Good food behaving badly)”

  1. Mrs.W Says:


  2. Kyle Says:

    I love this idea, Cait. I’m definitely submitting something. Time to brainstorm…

  3. Amrita Says:

    Haha, this is so funny! i’LL try my best, no promises ;o)…..this is a tough one!

  4. Alex Fitzgerald Says:

    Hey Caitlin, I was lurking your blog today and this post made me think of an image I’d found awhile ago that I thought you might appreciate.

    It is a “meat tree”

  5. Alex Fitzgerald Says:

    ah! it didn’t work, here’s a link


  6. cathy x. Says:

    Hi! Arranging food in innapropriate positions? This does look hard (harhar!). I think it takes food styling to a totally different level. The most exposure I’ve had to forementioned cheesy props would be browsing through a healthy eating book from the 80’s brought in by a work colleague for the pure hilarity factor.. Chicken nibblets, tuna jelly… Mmm.. My mouth is watering uncontrollably from the thought alone.

    Did you by any chance list this event at Is My Blog Burning (IMBB)?

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