To take food photos that will dazzle your customers all you need is a smartphone and great lighting. Great Lighting= Great Photos
Nothing will entice customers to visit your restaurant or hire you to cater an event better than mouth-watering images of your food.
All you will need are two things a smartphone and proper lighting.
Lights, Camera, Action
I’m sure you have read this all over the web but lighting is so important. Proper lighting will make a bad photo better and a good one amazing.
You must experiment with lighting in every situation.
For example, I find the best lighting in my restaurant is in the kitchen.
As soon as the chef puts the plate down I will snap a photo or two just before the server takes it away.
I have catering events at venues where the lighting is amazing and the photos are incredible.
Here are a few example of good lighting
Indoor Wedding Buffet with Good Light
This was taken with my iPhone 4 not the best lighting situation but did have some natural light.
We received several calls for wedding consultations and booked 2 weddings from this image.
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This is Grilled Chicken Greek Salad. This image has been featured on my restaurants website and makes frequent appearances on my Facebook page.
I cannot tell you how many customers have come in for dinner because they saw that salad on Facebook .
Crisp, clean, colorful and mouth-watering.
This was taken on its way out of the kitchen to a hungry customer with an iPhone 5. I am a big fan of tight food shots.
Take Advantage of Color
I took this at an outdoor wedding with an iPhone 4.
For dessert we had a Make-your-own-Cheesecake Bar.
Guests adding the toppings of their choice to a slice of cheesecake.
I used the colorful toppings in the foreground as a focal point since the cheesecake is very plain.
Your eye is drawn to the color and makes it way to the height in the background.
Cool catering idea too.
This photograph is so colorful I just love it.
I took this in the kitchen of the clients home with only natural light.
You can see how the sunshine has kissed the vegetables with brightness.
I just love Sausage & Peppers. The colors are an eye-catching and the aroma is tantalizing.
Don’t you just want a sandwich?
3. Not Everything Should be Photographed
This is a hard thing to wrap your mind around but some dishes taste amazing and customers rave about them but they look awful in a photograph.
I have been called out many times in the past from viewers who tell me the food photos look bad.
I have developed an eye or at least I think I have to identify what will look good and what images need to be deleted.
You need to recognize this and not post unappetizing photos.
I took this with my iPhone 4 at Olives in the Bellagio in Las Vegas.
Well, I can tell you that as bad as this dish looks it tasted that AMAZING.
The combination of colors and flash did not work here. Trust me I would go back to Olives to eat this again!
Consider the following items may not photograph well:
- Anything brown- like meat loaf, some steaks, burger without a bun or condiments
- Dishes covered in gravy
- Select dishes with melted cheese. The cheese needs to bubbly and golden
- White sauces without any type of garnish. Please I beg you no curly parsley
This is a triple offender.
- Melted Cheese
- Bad Light
Great tasting and very popular dish but did not photograph well.
I used Diptic for the image above. Lots of great options with Diptic but that is a whole blog post itself.
Diptic is available for purchase on Desktop, iOS and Android.
Multiple images keeps the eye engaged and allows you to showcase several photos without boring the viewer.
This theme is outdoor picnic.
There are so many interesting and fun apps available that make editing and sharing with your social platforms a breeze.
All photos in this article are my original images with the lighting and smartphone I had at the time. Still have my iPhone5.
It took lots of practice and deleted images to get them but all have served their purpose well.
Experiment with your smartphone, lighting, color and apps.