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The problem with really good eye candy is that it leads directly to mouth candy - not reading. At least for me.

Thats probably true, Jerry. 

Ive always marveled at how folks in your profession can shoot dishes over and over again, searching for good light and whatnot, and not touch them. It makes me so hungry watching a thorough photographer work with food. I sat through an entire cookbook shoot last year in Shanghai, and saw 64 dishes congeal in late afternoon sun. It still makes my stomach grumble thinking about it. 

Actually, when shooting food I touch it all the time, usually to drizzle water or oil or something on top so it doesn't look dried-out and cold. Or to bring colorful bits to the top.
Or, better yet, I try to shoot when someone is actually making something so there is some movement in the photo.
Point being, when taking photos of food, I rarely notice the food.

You're correct in your observation. A picture paints a thousand words

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