When it comes to whetting the appetite of potential customers, you’ll want to make sure your food photography is visually appealing.
We’ve put together eight of our best food photography tips to help take your website to the next level.
Number one: Use a tripod
A tripod will help to capture crisp, sharp images, which is important when it comes to food photography.
Camera shake is the biggest contributor to out-of-focus photos and it significantly reduces the quality of the way you present your menu items.
Not only can a tripod help with camera stability, but it can also help you to create beautiful compositions. If your hands are free, you’re free to style the scene and see it with your eyes as opposed to behind the lens of a camera.
Key message: Pack a tripod.
Number two: Use negative space
Give the viewer some room e.g. don’t zoom all the way in. With negative space, you allow a clean visual that’s easier on the eyes and mind.
Number Three: Use your dish’s biggest key feature
What’s the biggest feature of the dish you’re photographing? Is it the freshness? The texture? The colour?
Think about these things when deciding the correct light, angle, and composition for the dish.
For example, if you’re photographing a bowl of fresh soup, you’ll need a higher angle and perhaps your background could be composed with fresh garnishes/ingredients.
Number four: Invest in equipment
Like most things, your equipment is your tools. You don’t always need to spend a stupendous amount of money, but there are a few key pieces that will take your food photography to the next level.
LED lighting with a reflector and/or diffuser will have a significant positive impact on the quality and visual appearance of your photographs.
Number five: Shoot from three levels
Shooting from three levels – master (level three), medium (level two), close-up (level one) – will give you more options and allow you to tell your restaurant’s story.
- Master shot: With this shot, you’re going to feature not only the dishes you serve but also your brand and style. Using different lighting, incorporating different elements from your restaurants, such as the cutlery and tableware, will give the viewer a unique view into your restaurant.
- Medium shot: The medium shot photo is closer up, focusing primarily on the food but adding depth of field for aesthetic value
- Close-up shot: The close-up shot is your money shot, purely selling the food. For these types of photos, you don’t need to go for perfection. The audience expects food photos to be authentic and look real. They want to see imperfections like sauce dripping off the burger and cheese melting over. You still want to spend some time staging the food but embrace the imperfections.
Number six: Use natural lighting
Good lighting is the number one secret behind good food photography whereas bad lighting immediately screams, “amateur photographer!”
Natural lighting is the easiest way to make sure photos come out looking appetising. You can use sunlight or window lighting. Natural light (except in harsh sunlight) is a soft light that helps to show the focus of the object. When shooting outdoors, always shoot in a shaded area for even light. Direct sunlight creates a lot of shadows and will add a lot of distracting spottiness to your photos.
If you don’t have access to good, natural lighting, this is when a LED light and defuser come in handy.
Number seven: Avoid front and middle
This may seem counterintuitive to novice photographers, after all, you want the dish to be the centre of attention. But with photos, this doesn’t work well and the food comes across as unappealing. Same goes with the dreaded camera slant—it’s just plain distracting and not artistic.
Number eight: Have fun
Last but not least, have fun! Spend time with it, take as many pics as you can, and start playing around with them on your social media channels. See what resonates well with your audience and highlight different dishes throughout the week.
Hire a food photographer in Edinburgh
Professional food photography can help you bring the rest of your restaurant marketing ideas to fruition.
As you develop your website and prepare your food photography, it pays to consider the details.
Looking for more inspiration? Check out our blog “Five reasons why you should use high-quality photos on your website” here.