Who loves looking at photos of food?
WARNING: This page is going to make you hungry!
Make sure you look at every crumb, we’re all members of the “Clean Plate Club!”
Click images for enlargement.
HOW-TO DIY YOUR FOOD PHOTOGRAPHY
Below are a few examples of what I call fun food photography I took with my iPhone to show friends when my wife, or I cooked a dish or things we’ve eaten while on vacation. This isn’t pro work, but this is what restaurateurs and patrons will capture with their mobile devices. Before you click an image for an enlargement, take a good look at the large photo above this section with the duck and the red wine. Notice how beautiful the lighting is, and how sharp it is from front to back. Then look at the “fun” photos I took with my iPhone below.
Click an image for enlargement.
So, what should you do; take your own food photos?
What if your customer’s photos look better than yours do?
What if they are using the same camera as you? You could ask them if you could use their photo in your marketing, but you’ll pay them something for the usage. How can you differentiate your pictures from those of your customers?
ABOVE: The scene was captured using a mobile phone camera after I set up multiple lights to illuminate the scene. This is typically what a customer will capture. The lighting in your restaurant sets the scene, so whatever lighting you have setup, that’s what your customer will use as their main light.
ABOVE: The I moved some of the items around to make a better composition. Then, using a 35mm DSLR with the studio strobes precisely placed to accentuate certain parts of the food, I captured the shot. You might be asking, why does the lighting look so much different from the iPhone? It’s because the modeling lights on the strobes are not as bright as the strobe that pops. Then I processed it to bring out more details, and more color.
Look at how much more shape everything has, because of where I placed the strobes. Notice the detail, the crispness in the food—it’s wonderful!
AT RIGHT: I had an opportunity to photograph a similarly prepared dessert item at a restaurant of a different style. The balls had a similar appearance as the one’s above. Look at how I lighted the subject this time. Look at all the dimensionality, the texture, and the little details that make your tummy rumble. The point is; it’s not just what a better camera can do, it’s the elements outside the camera that without, it would just a glorified mobile phone picture.
The right gear, the right lighting, and the perfect food; Game, Set, Match!
HOW TO TAKE PHOTOS OF YOUR FOOD FOR MARKETING YOUR RESTAURANT
CONSULT A RESTAURANT PHOTOGRAPHER
A professional restaurant photographer understands more than how to use a camera. They understand the most important element of food photography—how to light. They also photograph more than just your food. Don’t forget the restaurant interior. Many food photographers also have skills in architectural photography. Lighting food is one thing; lighting a large space can be quite another. Below are some interior photos I have shot. Click for enlargment.
MOUTH-WATERING FOOD PHOTOGRAPHY
A food photographer will create their own soft window-like light and add additional lighting to bring out other parts of the food on the dish. They may even rearrange things on the plate to suit the composition, and if you’ve ever gotten really close to something with your camera, you will know that the background can be quite blurry. A professional photographer will know how to bring more of the items that are on the plate into tack-sharp focus, so not just the nearest objects are in focus. The photo near the top of the duck with the red wine glass is a perfect example of this kind of sharpness.
A well, light-sculpted place setting will look stunning, and don’t leave out your house drinks; they will glow with color and texture at the hands of a professional restaurant photographer.
Check out the photos below that most restaurant owners might overlook when shooting their own photography: house beverages, and their Chef!