Food photography plays a crucial role in the menu design as well as establishing a strong social media presence for your restaurant. Whether you run a bakery or operate a food truck, the best way to capture the attention of your guests is by having appealing food photos. For this, you need to conduct a professional photo shoot. If hiring a food photographer and a food stylist is not feasible, here are a few things to bear in mind while taking food shots.
Follow these simple food photography tips that can help you capture those Instagram-worthy images:
Tip #1 - Light it up: A well-lit environment is crucial for taking pictures of food. By doing so, you will not have to rely on the camera flash and can instead take pictures using natural light. This is because flash photos typically create harsh reflections and glares which are difficult to edit.
Tip #2 - Pick a colour scheme: Rather than editing food images to match your restaurant’s look and feel, why not recreate it during the shoot itself? This means selecting backgrounds whose colour and tone match those of your restaurant brand. You will be able to fully capture the essence of the restaurant by doing so. You can also play around with the colour tones such as using a contrasting white background with richer and deeper colours in the foreground or by adding pops of colour on the plates if the background is neutral.
Tip #3 - Work in triangles: When you are taking pictures of multiple dishes, try grouping them in 3’s, ideally shaped like a triangle. Triangles help add a dynamic angle to photos, so when you group three elements they add structure and simplicity to the final shot. Triangle shots can balance out the elements in the image as long as you have taken the shot right.
Tip #4 - Show hands: Try adding minimal human elements such as hands to your images. This can help add a more personal touch between the restaurant and their customers. Such images, when posted on the restaurant’s social media pages, help break away from the monotony of static images.
Tip #5 - Declutter your set: Remove unnecessary items which are not playing any role in the photograph. Placing items like salt shakers, napkins, glasses will only add more clutter and disrupt what could have been a clean shot. By keeping fewer items, you will be able to draw your viewer’s attention to the main attraction: the food!
Tip #6 - Include a tablescape shot: A tablescape shot comprises of setting up multiple dishes on a table and capturing them. Doing a tablescape shot allows you to showcase a variety of vibrant dishes in one single frame. If you are having trouble arranging your set for the shot, simply bunch your dishes in 3’s and layer them above each other to capture that perfectly balanced tablescape picture.
Tip #7 - Get creative: A major chunk of food photographs are shot at the restaurant, usually using the table as a backdrop. It’s not a prerequisite to have them taken on your restaurant’s table. If your restaurant has a view that your visitors absolutely love, then include it in your shoots. Go outdoors or explore places near your restaurant that can elevate the subject of your pictures.
Tip #8 - Choose the right camera: DSLR’s are the go-to camera for every professional photographer. As they can be slightly expensive to obtain, unless you are well versed on how to use them, investing in these may not be feasible. Research for cameras that are able to supplement your photography needs. Consider renting cameras instead of buying them.
The process does not end once you have completed the photoshoot. In fact, it is just the start of a tedious process of editing, and finalizing the food photos. At times, it also includes re-shooting some images until they are ready to be featured on your website, menu or social media.
You can also consider hiring restaurant consultants, such as Ribbon Consulting, who can execute the food photography for your brand with their expertise in this area. Our restaurant consulting solutions can be tailored as per your requirements, including food photography direction, prop finalization, and arranging the photographer and food stylist.