Have you ever tried to take a photo of your food, just to have it look like a big plate of sad? We get it. It happens. Food photography is an art. And with a few simple tips, you can take your food photos from drab to fab. My name is Francesca Saraco and I’m a social producer at Shopify.
Behind the camera is my partner Patrick, a full-time photographer and videographer. He shoots for some of the most popular restaurants in the city. And I get to help him out sometimes too. Together we’re here to tell you some really great tips to help take your food photography to the next level. Now more than ever, food photography is essential for your business.
So let’s get started. You may be wondering, “Why is it so important that I up my food photography game?” Well, in case you haven’t noticed, we are in the age of social media. People literally find out about new businesses, new restaurants, new food products right from Instagram. Sometimes in a photo is so beautiful, and looks so compelling, your followers are compelled to share it to their feed.
That’s a little something that we like to call “earned reach.” And you can’t pay for it. It’s when your content is so good that your followers feel like they should share it to their followers. It’s a great way to boost the visibility of your brand and business. Another really great reason to amp up your food photography is that people actually eat with their eyes before their mouths. A really beautiful photo of a dish in your restaurant or one of your products can make people more likely to order it or increase foot traffic to your business.
Another reason why having good food photography is so important is that it gives people a sneak peek into what your business is all about. Are you a restaurant that serves big hearty family style meals or maybe you’re a company that makes drink powders that change color as soon as they hit liquid. Whatever the case is a picture really is worth a thousand words.
And that’s no exception when it comes to food photography. Ready to step up your food photography game? Here are a few of our favorite tips. Let’s get into it. Our first and probably most important tip is lighting. Good lighting can make or break a photo. We love shooting food in natural light.
Our second tip has to do with angles. Yes, we know food is beautiful at every angle. But there are some angles that work a little better than others. Some of our favorites include point of view. So shooting from the point of view of the person consuming the food or product. An angle top down that shows a nice angled view of what you’re making and doing.
And third a flat lay, where you have a bunch of different dishes all spread around. It looks super hearty and delicious. While we’re at the topic of angles, you really want to make sure you get close and intimate with the food. Food is not meant to be shot from far away. You really want to get up close and personal. Our next step has to do with clutter.
You really want to eliminate all clutter or unnecessary objects from your plate or product. It just takes away from the beauty of the food. You also may want to consider where you’re shooting. Maybe a table in your restaurant might make a good backdrop or a kitchen or a counter really keeping things clean and simple, but homey and inviting at the same time.
Our next step has to do with adding a human element. This could be like someone cupping a bowl or pulling up a slice of pizza or digging into a fork full of noodles. Whatever the case is, you really want to add in a human element to really soften things up so they don’t appear so sterile. You can also shoot this from a point of view angle just tilt the camera towards your plate and dig in.
You might be feeling a bit overwhelmed right now thinking, “I don’t have a big, fancy camera. I can’t possibly take good food photos” and the answer is you can! The best camera is the one that you have with you at all times. And that’s your phone. If you have a phone from the last couple of years, you’re in a really great spot to take some absolutely beautiful food photos.
You can also do some light editing on your phone as well. Just keep the edits to a minimum, a little contrast boost and a little light adjustment is all you need. Some apps we love for editing are Visco, Darkroom and Polar for their filters, and Mojo for awesome Instagram stories. Don’t have time to take photos at all?
No worries. You can use a free stock photography site like Burst to find photos that are similar to the ones that you have at your restaurant or business. It’s as simple as a click and that’s it. We hope you found these food photography tips super helpful. We cannot wait to see what you create. For more tips on how to launch your business with confidence, check out more videos by Compass. See you next time!