Capture mouth-watering food photography for your hospitality business with these quick tips.
Perspective and Focus These are at the top of the list for a reason because these are two things that can take your photography to the next level. Perspective is about angles, take a few different angles of your dishes, straight on, slightly above, to one side of the frame or a wider angle to see which one shows the dish in its best light and shows all parts of the dish you would like to feature. Bonus tip: don’t crop too close as you can always crop in slightly later and you want to make sure you can fit your dish in the frame on all your social platforms. Focus helps draw your eye to the most important part of the photograph. Ensure the parts of your dish you want to highlight are font and centre and in focus. If you are using an phone camera try using portrait mode to give a shallow depth of field (blurred background) which can give it a polished look.
Backgrounds and Flatlays When photographing your dishes be aware of your backgrounds. Is the surface you are putting it on going to ensure the dish stands out or is it going to blend in, what is visible in the background is it too busy and distracting from the dish you want to feature? Flatlays can be a great way to showcase the details of special dishes. With flatlays background is important as well the composition. Centred is usually best for single dishes if it’s multiple dishes play around with the spacing between dishes, do they look better spaced evenly or some closer than others. Also ensure they will fit in the frame for all your social platforms. Think about adding featured ingredients, or any additions like herbs or condiments for added interest and colour.
Bright Natural Light Think about your branding and colouring if it’s bright and colourful then natural light could work for you. Natural light can make colours brighter and warmer than artificial light. When using natural light ensure it’s not direct sunlight or too bright on a particular section of your dish. Filtered through a window or taken in a slightly shaded spot could be a good solution if the sun is too high and the light is too strong.
Artificial Light If your branding and decor is darker then indoor or artificial light could be for you. Artificial light can alter the colour of your photo so be aware of the lighting you are using is it warm or is it cool? Directional light can give an extra dimension to darker photos so play around with using a lamp or your phone torch to get a light that focuses on the best parts of your dishes.
Imperfect is Perfection When photographing food you are aiming to make it look as tasty, inviting and ready to eat as possible. Include those gooey dripping sauces, melted cheese and sweet glossy glazes. Let some of those ingredients bust out of those burgers, water drip down that cocktail class or crumbs fall off that cake. This is not to say you want it to get messy, but a little bit of spillage is ok as it shows your customers the real dishes and makes it easier for them to imagine eating those delicious meals right now.