Times are tough for the hospitality industry and, as a restaurant owner, you might be struggling to find fresh ways to entice your guests back to your premises.

A great way to do this is through social media campaigns that showcase the amazing dishes you have on offer.

We realise that budgets are tight and finances are a priority, so we’re on a mission to help 10 Edinburgh restaurants build a new library of beautiful photography.

Check out our social media to stay up-to-date or reach out to us to chat about how we can help build your menu portfolio with a free one-hour photoshoot and up to 20 images.

All we need from you is a freshly cooked selection of your best dishes. Here’s what to think about when choosing the perfect plate for your food photos.

Bigger isn’t always better

This is the simplest, most important tip regarding plating. 

Professional prop stylists will almost never use a dinner plate. Nine times out of ten (unless it’s a rib-eye steak) we choose salad plates.

There are two reasons for this. 

Number one, a smaller plate both simplifies a mass of complicated ingredients, such as pasta, and allows you to get a tighter frame of your food. 

Secondly, because it is small, you can put less on the plate without too much negative space around the food, allowing it to look abundant.

Less plate is more shot. Let your salad plate be a dinner plate, and let your dinner plate be a platter. It’s all about what looks good to the camera.

Deep bowls or flat plates?

If you’re preparing a hamburger, your photographer will shoot it from a low angle, because who wants to look at a bun? 

If you’re preparing a bowl of soup, your photographer will need to raise the camera enough to see what’s in there.

Lower shooting angles require you to use a plate that has a flatter lip (or perhaps try a wooden or slate board). 

In a nutshell, use flat plates or low rims for lower angles, rimmed dishes or low bowls for higher angles.

The team at Medialiciously can help you when styling your food and plates.

Think about the colour of the plate

So you have a red salad plate that you’re dying to use because you’re tired of shooting everything on white? 

It might be a great idea. It might be a bad idea.

It all depends on what you’re shooting. If the colour works with the food and helps the food stand out visually, you’re good to go. Otherwise, move on.

The goal is always to pull focus to the element of the shot that you want people to look at first.

The same goes for patterned plates. Does it distract? There’s a fine line between a slice of cake on a beautifully patterned plate, and a mass of food on a patterned plate that looks like a rejected shot from the 1960s.

Mix the materials

If you want to keep things interesting, don’t forget metal, wood boards, slate, and/or layering all of the above.

Any surface will work, as long as it isn’t so distressing that it looks like a recipe for ‘gross’ territory.

So there it is. Simple, effective, common-sense tools for food photography plating. 

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. 

Contact Medialiciously for a free chat about your requirements.

Looking for more inspiration? Check out our blog “Five reasons why you should use high-quality photos on your website” here.


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