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10 Tips on How to Take Amazing Food Photos for your Restaurant

Food is a multi-sensory experience. Before savouring a bite, sight plays a key role in anticipating the pleasure to come. And before trying out a new restaurant, consumers look for photos on Google Maps and Instagram to help them decide. That's why food photography is crucial for any restaurant that wants to attract customers and create a strong and appealing brand image.

If you want your dishes to look as delicious in pictures as they do in real life but you're not an expert with a camera, here are 10 tips on how to take good food photos for your restaurant. Lights, camera and... Action!

How to Take Amazing Food Photos for your Restaurant

1. Lighting is Key

Light is a critical factor in food photography. Opt for natural light whenever possible. Place food near a window or on a terrace to take advantage of soft daylight. Avoid direct sunlight, which can create harsh shadows. If you are shooting indoors, use soft, diffused lighting to illuminate your food. Softboxes or diffusers are useful for even and soft light. Choose a main light point that illuminates the most important aspects of the dish and keep it throughout your food shoot.

2. Chosing the Right Angle

Experiment with different angles to find the perspective that best enhances your dish. The most common angles are from above (overhead), at a 45-degree angle and from eye level. Choose the one that best highlights the details and texture of your dish. Don't be afraid to play with composition and symmetry to create an attractive image.

3. Composition and Layout

Composition is the key to good food photography. Use the rule of thirds to align the key elements of your image. Place complementary elements, such as utensils, ingredients (that are part of the recipe), flowers or table linen around the plate to add visual interest. Make sure there are no distractions in the background and that the focus is on the food.

4. Keep it Simple

Often, less is more in food photography. Don't overload the plate with distracting garnishes or decorative elements. Keep the focus on the main dish and, if necessary, add subtle touches to enhance the presentation.

5. Play around with Depth of Field

Using a wide aperture (a low f-stop number) will allow you to create a blurred background effect that highlights the food in the foreground. This adds depth and focus to the image. Experiment with different aperture settings to achieve the desired effect.

6. Food Styling

Before taking the photo, make sure the dish is spotless. Clean any splashes or stains around the edges and use a brush to polish the ingredients. A few drops of oil or a fine spray of water can make food look fresh and appetising. It is common to use inedible artificial elements to replace those that spoil quickly. For example: replace volatile beer foam with shaving foam.

7. Focus on Details

Details are what make a food photograph memorable. Capture the steam rising from a hot plate, the melted cheese stretching as you slice a pizza or the icing dripping from a cake. Close-ups of fresh ingredients can also be very effective.

8. Do not Over Edit your Photos

After taking the photo, do some careful editing to bring out the colours and enhance the appearance of the food. Use photo editing software such as Adobe Lightroom or mobile apps such as VSCO. But don't overdo the editing to avoid making the food look unnatural or unfair to the dish the consumer will find on their table.

9. Be Consistent

Maintain a consistent style of photography across your website, social media and menus. This will help build a strong and attractive brand for your restaurant. Choose a photography style that reflects the personality of your establishment and your type of cuisine. It is essential to build a brand manual with guidelines about your brand personality. If you don't have one yet, we are here to help you.

10. Practice, Practice, Practice.

Pratice makes the master and it is the key to improving your food photography skills. Experiment with different dishes, angles and styles. Don't be afraid to make mistakes; you will learn from them.

In short, food photography is a powerful and indispensable tool to attract your customers and make them drool over your delicious dishes. With the right lighting, careful composition and attention to detail, you can create images that bring out the beauty of your food, so get creative and start shooting! Your customers will thank you with every bite.

If you need help with a quick and cheap restaurant food photo shoot, contact us. We specialise in telling stories and we'd love to tell yours with pictures.


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