• Maya

5 Tips for Food Photography

Your food is the main draw of your restaurant, but how can you show off what you have to offer before customers come in? The key is mastering food photography. It naturally helps marketing when you splash them across your website and social media to show off your best dishes.

Food photography also helps push items on the menu. Does one particular breakfast dish do worse than the others? Add a mouth-watering photo next to the description and sales for it will grow by themselves. Give customers a taste before they order with great photos.

food photography

Eaters Collective on Unsplash

It can cost a lot to hire a professional. Instead, your restaurant can handle taking pictures itself with these 5 tips:

The Key to Great Food Photography

The pictures you use to portray your restaurant and its dishes affect your brand association in customers’ minds. Therefore, it’s extremely important to cast your business in a good light—metaphorically and literally.

1. Setting

Your backdrop and general surroundings affect picture quality. Use natural lighting to avoid glare, but also avoid direct sunlight that can cause bright spots and distract from the subject. Don’t use flash and take it during the daytime so the dish looks appealing from all angles. Take a few pictures and experiment with location and lighting to see what works best.

2. Add Oil

You know your ingredients are fresh and delicious, but sometimes the transition to 2D can make food appear dry. Add oil or water to freshen up the view and highlight the most appetizing parts of the meal. When you get it just right, the food should sell itself.

3. Clean Surroundings

Crumbs and messes can distract from the main point of the photo. That will draw the eye away and make the photo look unprofessional. Be careful when handling and plating the food; some food photographers use tweezers to get it just right.

Background matters too. Choose a plain, non-distracting backdrop that emphasizes the dish. You can also incorporate certain aspects of your décor or general atmosphere to give viewers a feel for what dining with you would be like. For example, if you want to emphasize your patio seating, take pictures outside.

4. Garnish

Considering the importance of plating, you can make any dish pop by adding something extra on top. Experiment with various garnishes to see what looks best on camera. Garnish can be the perfect addition on top to make a picture go from good to great.

5. General Picture-Taking

There are certain photography “rules” that will bring your food photography to the next level. For example, the depth of field determines how much is actually in focus, so use it to highlight focal points of the picture like particularly tasty-looking garnishes.

Also consider the rule of thirds, which determines that food is more appealing when it’s not placed in the dead center. Instead, imagine splitting the photo into three rows and three columns. It should fall into one of those “thirds” to most effectively draw attention.

Maddi Bazzocco on Unsplash

Your Food Photography

Now you know how to sell your dishes through great pictures on your website, social media and menu. They’ll generate engagement, interest, and ultimately more profit as guests are drawn to add more to their carts. Next, make sure your customer service is as strong as your food photography skills when you upgrade your Point of Sale system.

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