Nowadays, with the consistent uprise of food blogs and visual social media platforms such as Instagram and Pinterest, consumers have developed a keen taste for food photography, which they judge very harshly. In a time when foodies take artistic pictures of every dish they see and have learned the tricks of the trade, chefs need to keep up with them and ensure that what they post online looks appealing, professional and Internet-worthy. So, even if you contract a professional photographer, or decide to take some shots yourself, here are the things you need to know:
1. Lighting is everything
Unless you are a skilled photographer, you should always opt for natural lighting when you take pictures of your food. So be sure to never use a flash and to choose well-lit rooms. This way, your food has no weird hues, no shadows or unaesthetic creases.
2. Don’t be afraid to play with angles
Depending on the type of plating you are dealing with, your food might look better from above, from the customer’s perspective or from a closer angle, which lets show colors and textures. Try them all and choose your favorite.
3. Don’t cook food entirely
When you prepare something especially for photography, make sure it’s not entirely cooked, as this will keep colors more vibrant and make food look fresh and tasty. Ensure all vegetables are “al dente” and that meat is rare.
4. Be fast
Some foods that contain ice cream or sauces only looks good for a couple of seconds, after they are taken out of the kitchen, so make sure that, by the time they arrive, you finish your setup and decide on the framing. Once it is in front of you, move quickly, to ensure you catch the right textures at the right time.
5. Don’t forget the props
Some chefs and photographers focus so much on the actual food, that they totally forget to use background to their advantage. Make sure your scenery is complete by using nice accent pieces which complement the decor – napkins, silverware, glasses can help you emphasize a dish’s colors or composition. Find the setup that best suits your food and restaurant style.
6. Go with your instinct
Sometimes, your dish might look great in the kitchen, but, when shot on camera, you might feel that something is missing. Don’t be afraid to get creative and add color to it, by using some herbs, garnishes or spices that make sense and actually go well with your food.
7. Understand that some dishes are just not made for photography
Sometimes, a dish in your menu might be a delicious crowd pleaser, but it might just not look good in photos, because of the plate it needs to be served in, its ingredients etc. Understand that not everything can become a visual masterpiece and focus on the meals that are really worth photographing.Follow these steps and your photos will definitely draw more customers in! Still, don’t forget that, once you get people into your restaurant, you need to deliver, so make sure you always respect your plating and make foods look as close to the ones in your shooting as possible.
Follow these steps and your photos will definitely draw more customers in! Still, don’t forget that, once you get people into your restaurant, you need to deliver, so make sure you always respect your plating and make foods look as close to the ones in your shooting as possible.
(Photo Source: Flickr)