Picture perfect

(23 /06 /2016)

How hard is it to take good photos of food and venues? I’ve seen the foodies on Instagram do it so surely I can to! Actually I can’t. This is one side of my business I spend the money and outsource.

If you are going to take the photographs yourself with your duty-free digital SLR that you bought on your last holidays but haven’t used at all because it doesn’t fit in your pocket like your phone, here are some things to think about.

1. Choose the right dishes to photograph. This doesn’t mean the best sellers or your favourites. It means the ones with the most contrast, texture, colour and style. When you start looking for food on your menu to shoot, you might be surprised at how many meals have large quantities of brown in them, which doesn’t make for a very exciting picture.
2. Set the scene. Make your table setting look fabulous and stylish, and choose a place with natural light. If you usually have paper on the tables either replace with a table cloth or get someone who is really talented to cover it in beautiful art – but don’t just leave the paper on the table doing nothing and looking cheap.
3. Use angles. This doesn’t mean holding the camera at an angle. Instead try a variety of shots – at table height, from above and at head height (helps them to image themselves seated and ready to eat!).
4. Look at what is in the background and surroundings. It is easy to get so caught up in what you are photographing that you fail to notice the ugly telegraph pole or customer in the background picking their nose.
5. Atmosphere shots. Pictures of people enjoying your food and space are great for engaging your audience. It is not always possible to take photos mid service so consider a mock lunch time service. Late afternoon between you two rush periods can produce stunning lighting. Ask your staff and friends to come along and be part of the action. Don’t forget to get a mixture of intimate shots and big picture shots.

If you decide to book in a photographer always ask to see their portfolio and choose someone who is an experienced food photographer because it is certainly a specialty.

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