You might have heard the saying, “you eat with your eyes first”. And this certainly applies to restaurant photography. In a world where many potential customers will check out your fare online before they even think about walking through your doors, it’s important that your food photographs should whet their appetites.

Getting started is as easy as pie

Although it’s better to pay for the services of a professional photographer, this might not be affordable for some restaurant owners. Fortunately, the advent of smartphones means that you now have access to better photographic equipment than the best restaurateurs from the last decade. Show off your food to its best advantage, ensure that it’s beautifully plated on eye-catching crockery with fashionable tablecloths to match. Make sure that the food is well-lit and consider putting the finishing touches with filters or programmes like Adobe Photoshop.

Overhead photography takes off

Food photography is reaching new heights with the current trend for overhead shots. One explanation for their popularity is the use of drones which provide a unique viewpoint of common subjects. There’s also no denying that an aerial shot of food has an appeal all of its own.

Solitary food composition

Creative food photographers can use a specific emotion to inspire the viewer. The effect of seeing a piece of fruit with a bite missing or a solitary slice of cake on an expansive hardwood table will entice the viewer to participate. To make full use of this effect, photos should include one food item against a monochrome background colour.

Put the mood in your food

Think atmospheric shots with your food taking centre stage. Use beautiful lighting to highlight every mouth-watering texture and colour. Photography can capture the different elements of food incredibly well and give the viewer an idea of the taste, texture, colour and cultural elements associated with it. But remember that styling your food and taking your shots correctly are key requisites.

Move up with cinemagraphs

If you’re looking for a way to help establish the cool factor for your restaurant, you should stay in touch with the current trends on different social platforms. GIFs are short videos which have become popular on the internet and are entertaining for their humour. Then there are cinemagraphs which are well-suited for the restaurant industry. They are similar to GIFs but only one part of the picture moves. It looks like a photograph but has just one element that moves continuously. Think of a waiter pouring coffee with just the liquid moving. These are cutting-edge images and can be used on the internet, websites or social media posts. They show off your offering in an unusual and appealing manner.

The bottom line

Food photography can evoke a range of emotions among patrons. After all, food is not just a biological necessity for humans, it can inspire them on a whole new level.

We might have given you food for thought about food photography, but don’t forget that your establishment’s success rests on your restaurant’s fare and your customers’ experience at your eatery.

For more holistic advice on the secret ingredients for a successful restaurant, check out our e-book.

Author : Rudi Badenhorst