Food Photography Tips for Businesses

Photos are one of the best ways to attract consumers to food products and restaurant dishes. This determines their decision to purchase food or not, based on whether they find the photo appetizing. In fact, businesses with high-quality images — or those with great lighting, angles, and color — get 5 times more orders than businesses that lack photos. As such, businesses in the food industry must take high-quality photos of their products in order to keep attracting customers and boosting sales.

With that, here are a few food photography tips for businesses:

Use a Proper Camera

Like cooking, you need to use the right tools to get the desired outcome. A recommended tool for food photography is a DSLR camera that operates with a fixed, digital sensor.

Sensors determine the quality of the images that a camera produces: the larger the sensor, the higher the image quality. Large sensors have bigger pixels, allowing them to work better in low-light settings. It also reduces noise, meaning it doesn’t produce a grainy veil that makes pictures look bad.

These features all help with food photography, which requires producing the best image qualities only. Some DSLR cameras with large sensors are the Canon EOS 6D Mark II and the Nikon D850.

Get Creative With Plating

Aside from using the right equipment, you also need to make sure your subject looks good. Thus, you need to get creative with “plating” or the art of presenting food in a visually appealing way. After all, a study shows that aesthetic appeal influences a customer’s purchase decision and satisfaction.

For more sophisticated dishes, make use of brushes, spoons, or squeeze bottles to display sauce on the plate similar to what an artist would do. For soups, garnish them with croutons, parsley, or green onions so they don’t appear too plain. The key here is to make the food attractive to customers so that they are encouraged to buy it.

Limit the Colors in the Image

While colorful images catch the eye, they can also take attention away from the main product: the food. Therefore, limiting the colors used in a photo ensures that the food remains the main event.

A salad, for example, already has a lot of colors because of the vegetables and ingredients it includes. As such, its background should be composed of neutral colors. The same goes for other props like utensils, plates, trays, and placemats. Another tip is to use contrasting colors. When taking a photo of a strawberry tart, a dark metal tray can emphasize the bright red of the strawberries.

Make Use of Diffused Light

Direct lighting makes harsh shadows, making the food look unappetizing. However, diffused lighting reduces the chances of getting harsh shadows. To add, it highlights the textures of the food, which is beneficial when taking photos of sandwiches for example.

Diffused lighting can be achieved by using a softbox light. A diffusion panel diffuses the light coming from the source. There are several types of softboxes, like the square and octagonal.

The square produces an even soft light that has equal shadow edges and is preferred when trying to mimic window light due to its shape. True to its name, the octagonal is rectangular in shape, producing a narrower light spread. Among the high-quality softbox light brands available today are Inkeltech and Raleno.

Choose a Complementing Angle

Taking photos of food does not only consist of using a proper camera and diffused light. Make sure that the angle chosen complements the food.

For example, when taking a photo of a burger, take the photo from the side to showcase its layers and the different ingredients included. On the other hand, a charcuterie board requires that the photo is taken from a top view. This is to showcase the various foods included on the board like the different types of cheese, nuts, and cold cuts. The important thing to remember is you must take the photo in a way that best showcases the qualities of the food.

Take Advantage of the Editing Process

Despite using the right tools and techniques, a photo cannot completely replicate what is seen by the human eye. This is when the editing process comes in. Using photo-editing programs like Adobe Lightroom or Photoshop, fine-tune certain qualities of the photo.

For example, you can increase the saturation or intensity of the colors, so that the colors in the photo appear as close as possible to real-life. This is especially advantageous for food with colorful ingredients like smoothie bowls. Additionally, you can adjust the contrast, also known as the separation between the darkest and lightest areas of the photo. Increasing this provides more detail, perfectly highlighting the food subject.

Taking high-quality photos of food is a must for businesses in the food industry. Hopefully, these tips allow you to get better shots of your products for the benefit of your business.

Jonathon Spire

Jonathon Spire

Tech Blogger at Jonathon Spire

My diverse background started with my computer science degree, and later progressed to building laptops and accessories. And now, for the last 7 years, I have been a social media marketing specialist and business growth consultant.

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Jonathon Spire

I blog about a range of tech topics.

For the last 7 years I have been a social media marketing specialist and business growth consultant, so I write about those the most.

Full transparency: I do review a lot of services and I try to do it as objectively as possible; I give honest feedback and only promote services I believe truly work (for which I may or may not receive a commission) – if you are a service owner and you think I have made a mistake then please let me know in the comments section.

– Jon