The influence of professional food photography in restaurant branding & how to do it right.

A picture is worth a thousand words.

If you are in the restaurant business it is better to nod yes to that statement. In fact, having great pictures of the food you serve can bring a world of difference in the way you brand your business.

Plus the world is getting smaller. How will you impress your international audience if they don’t speak your language?

The answer is simple – Food photographs.

But I can just use my phone!

There are restaurant owners who prefer mobile photography. While mobile photography allows you to take nice food images with different filters, a professional camera takes your social media strategy from nice to a whole new level of awesomeness.

Professional food photography is more than mere pictures of the food. Instead, every ingredient and prop used are carefully selected, designed and arranged strategically in order to draw attention towards the right items, making it more appealing and appetising to the eyes of the viewer.

According to a study conducted by Social Media Examiner (2018), 32% of marketers feel images/videos are critical to their digital marketing and story-telling strategies, with blogging in second (27%).

A good picture is a strategy.

In order to encourage online traffic and to create promising social media impressions, it is important to consciously create engagement that is worthwhile.

Food is all about its taste, flavours and sensations. Your aim is to make people experience all of it with just their eyes. If you are able to activate their senses and able to make them look at your image, then you are a winner.

The power of food styling.

Food styling makes it possible to create jaw-dropping images of food. It is an important part of food photography.

Food styling is an art of making the food look delicious in front of the camera. It helps to set the mood and tells a story. Apart from making the food look pretty, food styling is also about visualising the taste.

Every food/restaurant review sites today, including Google and Zomato focus more on quality images than the text written on it.

For example, if I ever want to conceptualise a new dish into a mouth-watering image, dictating its mood will be my initial step. For comforting foods like stew or curry, warmer and homier lighting and props will do well. If I am working on a salad or smoothie, I would go for a much brighter set-up and props with a lighter tone.

Spicy hot grilled spare ribs

For props, I prefer plain or matte plates or patterned bowls. However, vintage patterns and baking tins are my all time favourite.

Tagliatelle pasta with fresh spinach

Contrast is the key.

The importance of using contrasting colours is that it creates a dramatic feel to your image. Contrast helps you to invite the attention of the viewer to a single element/ingredient.

For example, chiaroscuro photography, commonly known as ‘dark photography’ uses the contrast between light and dark to guide the viewer’s eye towards a particular area.

Cream soup with shrimps

The trick is to shoot the photos with natural light. Natural light is unpredictable, at the same time it can lead to some astonishing contrasts in images if done by a professional photographer. Food shot in this way seems more natural and real.

Drive more sales.

Professional food photography helps attract attention and crowd. When people land on your page and see what you have to offer, chances of conversion are much higher.

If your restaurant manages to become famous online, food lovers and bloggers will follow. It’s all about likes and shares.

Photography tells a story and it’s your responsibility to say it right. However, without proper equipment and knowledge, food photography can be challenging. Hire a professional food photographer to capture powerful visuals that will share your brand image the way you intended it to be.

What’s Next?

If you’re curious about how to brand your restaurant the right way, feel free to discuss it with us.


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