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Professional food photography on your own

Marta Szczakowska

Associated with UpMenu for over 8 years. Builds effective relationships with partners & clients.

Table of contents

Food photography makes great online marketing opportunities because photos remain viable for years. Probably none of the content published on your restaurant’s social media will bring so much attention. Good photos will help build your restaurant’s brand online and can increase the number of online orders.

However, bad pictures that look unprofessional will have exactly the opposite effect. How to prepare a good photo?

Follow trends of food photography for restaurants

Observe what is popular on the Internet. Browse the profiles on Instagram and Facebook of other restaurants. Stay updated.

When you are aware of the images that bring the most reactions in the industry, such as likes and comments, you will be able to assess your photos yourself. Observation of social media will also help you in seeking inspiration to create your own content.

overhead shot of food preparation

Take care of good work tools

You will not take a good photo with a weak camera. On the internet, people like to see pictures that look unposed or not entirely professional. But quality must always be the best.

Therefore, when planning an online marketing strategy for restaurants do not forget about a good camera or a smartphone that has such a camera. An Apple smartphone is the best smartphone for taking photos. If you have iPhone 8 or 10 – one problem less on your mind. Samsung smartphones also have good cameras – e.g., Galaxy s8 or Galaxy s9.

You’ll also need a photo editing tool. The Instagram application, despite its intuitive and simple design, has many filters and editorial functions. If you think that this is not enough, download the application, e.g., Vasco – which has a database of free filters, you can also buy additional ones.

Photo of dish made with smartphone camera

Illuminate with the sun, not a bulb

To take a good quality picture, a good camera is not enough. You must ensure adequate lighting. The good photos you use in your restaurant advertisement should be lit with natural light.

The light of the bulb breaks the colors. If you do not have the opportunity to take pictures in the sunlight at your establishment, go outside!

Hero dish food photography shot

More doesn’t mean better

When taking pictures of your dishes remember to ensure that all the elements in the lens fit together. One of the trends in culinary photography in online marketing is arranging items and food products around the dish’s plate that will match both color and theme. Remember that in this case more does not necessarily mean better. This dish is supposed to focus the recipient’s attention!

The orientation of the photo will also be important. You should not publish horizontal photos. The new Facebook layout is adapted to mobile devices; similarly on Instagram. On social media, share photos and graphics in portrait or square orientation. These take up more space on the screens of smartphones.

How do restaurants take food photos?

  1. Illumination

    Illuminate the subject of your photography with correct lighting. Natural light is the best, so don’t be afraid to move things around

  2. Work with color scheme

    Select color scheme that is matching restaurant’s decor to capture essence of your eatery. Shoot dishes that work well with restaurant’s brand color scheme.

  3. Choose simple compositions

    More does not mean better, remove unnecessary clutter from photos like water glasses and pepper grinders. Concentrate on the main topic – food.

  4. Work with 3’s

    Triangulate composition of dishes. Sets of three items create dynamic triangles, composing harmonized but dynamic balance.

  5. Utilize hands in photos

    Adding human element brings atmosphere of togetherness and confidentiality. Shoot hands holding dish, glass or cutlery to distinguish your food.

  6. Take a table scape shot

    Utilize all previous tips to make a great tablescape photo. Show a wide variety of dishes set in triangles, add hands reaching for food, and don’t forget about lighting. Tablescape photo should show everything that embodies the unique character of the restaurant.

  7. Balance

    Combine single dish shots with broader table photos. Stay within the chosen color scheme and utilize photos on every possible communication channel(website, social media page, mobile app)

What’s next?

Read more about creating content for social media:

8 of the best restaurant Facebook post ideas

Read our article about marketing trends and ideas in 2020:

Restaurant marketing ideas and trends for 2020.

And if you want to increase sales and reduce the commission costs for food online ordering portals, please contact us. We will help you run your own online orders on your website and on a mobile application!

Marta Szczakowska

Associated with UpMenu for over 8 years. Builds effective relationships with partners & clients.

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