Website Marketing for Bars and Restaurants

8 Secret Tips from Professional Food Photographers

Posted by Niko on Aug 14, 2015 12:35:00 PM


Successful restaurants know the importance of irresistible food photos. Their pictures look as good or even better than their food really tastes. And whether it's on their website or social media, great pictures are awesome for bringing in customers.

Here are 8 simple tips showing you how to take great, professional studio quality pictures with your smart phone, so you too can show everybody how great your food it. 

And if you are still not up to the task, at the end of this blog you'll learn how to get a free professional photo shoot.


1. Never Use Flash


Flash is the quickest way to ruin a picture. This is the number one rule used by all professional food photographers. Use natural light instead. If you don't have enough natural light, watch the video on the bottom of this blog for a great simple trick you can use to ampify the amount of natural light.


2. Pick a Spot with the Most Natural Light

Sushi picture with natural light

Unfortunately most smart phone and point and shoot cameras have small lenses. This means that not a lot of light can come through. Make sure you always move your dish close to a window, or wherever you have the most natural light in your bar or restaurant.


3. Use Aluminum Foil to Amplify and Reflect Light

bright picture with light on both sides

Since your restaurant is not a photo studio, you may need to amplify your natural light. Put your food between a window on one side and aluminum foil on the other. The foil will reflect the light back onto the darker side of your dish. This is explained in detail in the video on the bottom of this blog. 


4. Use Props

Pizza Photo with Props

Props can help you show what your place is all about. A cool salt and paper shaker, black pepper grinder, vase, flowers, fresh fruit or vegetables, colorful napkins, white tablecloth, or anything else that will give your potential customer a good idea for what your bar or restaurant is all about. 

(Schedule a free photoshoot and learn how to do this from a professional photographer. Not available in every city) 

5. Make it Colorful

intense red chili peppers

There are two things that best translate visuals into perceived flavors: Color and Texture. So add bright things, even if not normally served with that dish, in order to enhance the perceived flavor intensity. Some ideas are tomatoes, radishes, chili peppers ... for bright red; broccoli, fresh peas, lettuce, green peppers...for green; carrots, melons, oranges ...for orange;...The more color contrast the richer the flavors will seem. Bright colors also signal freshness. 


6. Show Texture

Delicious Oranges with Texture

The second most important visual element that enhances the perceived flavor and taste is texture.  The more color and texture, the less bland your food will look. Don't be afraid to zoom in. Also, professional photographers use sponges and widgets to prop things up, to make them look taller, fuller, with more grooves and deeper shadows.  


7. Show What Your Food Tastes Like, Not What it Actually Looks Like



Which burrito would you rather have? The first one may be an accurate depiction of what it looks like, but that doesn't sell. Customers can't tell what it tastes like. We have a pretty good idea what the second one tastes like. This is one of the most common mistakes seen in DIY food pictures. They show what their dishes literally look like, instead of showing what they taste like. 

(Schedule a 30 min free photoshoot and learn how to do this from a professional food photographer. Not available in every city)


8. Oil, Oil, and More Oil

Cake with Fruit covered in oil

Your food can lose that sizzled fresh out the oven look within minutes of being plated. But instead of having to remake it in order to get that perfect shine, just  brush it with oil. That will give it that fresh, juicy, "I cant wait to try it" look. 


There are many instructional videos about food photography, but this one might be the most comprehensive. It covers everything we talked about in more details, and it shows a few additional tricks. 


In addition to being able to take great pictures, you can also use your phone to instantly upload them to your website. All you need is a couple of right apps

9. Get a Free Photo Shoot

And if you think you can't pull off your own photo shoot, that's OK. Just click the button below and get a free professional photo shoot (if available in your city)

Get Your Free Photo Shoot


We'd also love to hear your thoughts. If you have any comments about this blog post or anything else related to website marketing for bars and restaurants, please let us know.

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