HOW TO TAKE THE BEST RESTAURANT PHOTOS
Here’s how to make your photos stand out on your Restaurant website, other Restaurant Website Directories and Google Maps
HOW TO TAKE THE BEST RESTAURANT PHOTOS
GENERAL PHOTOGRAPHY TIPS AND TRICKS FOR YOUR RESTAURANT SETTING
- Take both photos with customers and photos when the restaurant is empty. I much prefer photos of restaurants with customers enjoying the space.
- Ensure you try sunset light to bring to life your interior deco with the lights on.
- Everything should be nice and clean.
- If your restaurant has great views, ensure some of the photos have the great views in their background.
- Tell your photographer to zoom in to the unique details your restaurant has.
- If you have a garden restaurant with plenty of live green plants and trees you want to showcase it nicely with some great photography.
GENERAL PHOTOGRAPHY TIPS AND TRICKS FOR YOUR RESTAURANT FOOD
- Use the right lens that allows you to zoom in nicely into the plate.
- Ensure the light is not too overexposed neither under-exposed, I prefer a little over-exposure.
- Make the photo feel like is going be eaten by a customer, not too perfect over curated.
TOP TIPS WHEN USING A CAMERA PHONE
- Turn on “grid” in settings to line up shots.
- Pick a simple, neutral background. Most of the time, all food looks good on white dishes or on a white backdrop. White/grey marble surfaces or wooden backgrounds look great with nearly any food as well. Parchment paper is a great DIY food backdrop surface if you want to get messy with your styling and don’t have the budget for a nicer backdrop.
- Garnish your dish you are about to photograph with fresh herbs, flaked salt, seeds, etc. Add more visual interest to a boring dish with toppings. Fresh green herbs are great if they make sense for the dish, since they add nice colours to the dish.
- Experiment adding a hand to the frame. Add a human element such as a hand can bring fun and tells a different visual story. Ask a friend to be hand models reaching for food or serving the photographed dish. You use your hand too, if you have a tripod and a timer 🙂
- Avoid shooting in dark places — daylight is ideal. It’s very difficult to take beautiful photos in dark places. I highly recommend that you use daylight to shoot your restaurant photos. A candle or a flash from your phone’s camera just won’t be able to capture what a restaurant or dish looks like in real life. If you MUST take a photo of the food at night, have a friend (or two) turn on their phone flashlights. Then hold the light evenly over your dish. If your natural light source is too bright, diffuse the light using a white curtain, bed sheet, or even a piece of paper. Reflect the light with some white foam board set up directly across from the source of light, this will reduce harsh shadows.
- Try a few angles before you share the best shot. The first photo you shoot might not be your best, add a little extra time trying out different angles of the same dish to make sure the final photo is the best. Sometimes a dish looks better from above. Sometimes you may want to photograph it from the side to show off the layers of a cake or a delicious piece of sushi. There’s no one way to do it.
- Step back or zoom out to capture more. The texture of your dish may look interesting in person, but it’s hard to capture. Getting too close with your camera also misses an opportunity to show off other cool details and a festive, full spread of dishes. My tip is to taking a step back to photograph the full dish —as well as other items on the table. That way the space and vibe of the restaurant will also come through.
- Shoot horizontally AND vertically. Horizontal photos are optimal for Google Maps and Facebook page covers. Vertical photos are optimal for Pinterest. When shooting horizontal, think about the square part you want to share on Instagram.
- Add personality to your photo. Take a bite, leave some crumbs, let the yolk run. Eat and play with your food! Take a shot as soon as it’s delivered to your table, but then get another one after you’ve taken a bite. Some foods look even better after you’ve had a bite, taken a slice, or let it melt a bit. It lets the viewer imagine how great the taste of the dish is!
- Enhance natural colours, but don’t overdo it. There are so many great photo editing apps to enhance the natural colours, exposure, and white balance in your photos. Over-saturating colours will make your dish look unnatural. Similarly, overexposing your photos will make it strangely bright and white. Just enhance the natural colours, which should be intact once you get to post-processing if you used good natural light to shoot.
TOP TIPS WHEN USING A PROFESSIONAL CAMERA
- Have at least two or three different lenses for different purposes.
- A 50mm f/1.2 can help you with detail photos of dishes.
- A 24mm f/2.8 is great for wide angle photos without being fish angle.
GET SOME INSPIRATION
Nothing beats a hands-on demo, so Google Local Guides will have live streaming workshops each week from popular restaurants around the world.
- On Saturday, July 8 2017, a lesson in “Advanced Breakfast Photography” by @missfoodieproblems, whose photos of yummy doughnuts and tasty croissants have brought more than 80k Instagram followers. She’ll join a group of Google Local Guides for a meet-up at top-rated breakfast destination Sqirl in L.A. Watch live on Google Local Guides Youtube page and be sure to bring all your questions about how to shoot and share food photos.
- Other great Google Local Guides livestream lessons on shooting lunch in Delhi (July 15 2017 ), desserts and sweets in Paris (July 19 2017), and a night out in Bangkok (July 29 2017).
TAKING THE BEST RESTAURANT PHOTOS WITH A PRO PHOTOGRAPHER
Hiring a professional restaurant and food photographer will for sure add value to the entire branding of your restaurant. A well prepared professional photo sessions can give you access to photos for the entire visual marketing needs.
A professional photographer will give you access to top quality images including:
- Food photos for your printed menus and social media (Facebook, Instagram, etc)
- Photos for your google Map listings including 360 inside views
- Vertical photos for your Pinterest account.
- Portrait photography of your restaurant team, head chef and owners which are great for your marketing and PR activities
- Exterior photos of your restaurant. This can include your garden or patio.
- Aerial photography. To show people where exactly your restaurant is located.
SHARING YOUR BEST RESTAURANT PHOTOS
Once you have your top best quality restaurant photos is important to share them in some key channels with the right mentions and hashtags.
- Add popular hashtags: #LocalGuides #OnGoogleMaps others.
SOME TOP FOOD PHOTOGRAPHY YOU CAN GET INSPIRED…
- @mynewroots: beautifully photographed, nature-inspired vegetarian treats that are sure to leave you hungry.
- @thesashadiaries: Sasha Gill, vegan foods that are nearly every colour you can imagine.
- @3.bunnies: vegan creative couple presenting delicious dishes in aesthetically pleasing ways.
- @lifeofavegetarian: yummy vegetarian recipes and signature lunch boxes.
- @thevegspace: wonderful vegan & vegetarian snacks and meals whipped up with love, almost all of which can be made in an instant.
- @myberryforest: berries and bright fruits photography
- @vegankrizzleybear: Vibrant, vegan dish photographs any restaurant owner will envy.
- @thisrawsomeveganlife: Dessert photography, you can find recipes and photos of delicious, vegan sweets and treats.
- @gkstories: vegetarian pizza photos, salads, donuts and much more.
- @thrivingonplants: vegan foodie pictures to make your mouth water.
- @gingervegan: background food photography of vegan treats with a fresh feel.
HOW TO TAKE THE BEST RESTAURANT PHOTOS
was written by…
Mauricio Escobar is an Award Winner Digital Marketing Specialist (Masters in Marketing), Certified Facebook/Adwords Professional, Certified SEO Consultant, Top Linkedin Influencer (6k connections), StartUp Investor, Writer, International Speaker. 15+ years experience optimising Digital Marketing Campaigns. Worked for top brands such as Realestate.com.au, News Limited, The Athletes Foot, Thrifty, NSW Government. Mauricio also trains marketers via Strategy Workshops & Training Sessions. His popular Digital Marketing Plan & Social Media Plan templates downloaded by thousands. Mauricio travels the world (37 countries visited) while teaching Digital Marketing or completing creative photography briefs and conceptual photography assignments. Mauricio speaks three languages, football fan, latin dancer. Subscribe to Mauricio’s e-newsletter connect on LinkedIn Instagram Facebook
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