Food Photography 101: Tips to Help Your Menu Shine

When dining, people often need to like what they see before they decide to go for a taste. This is why before growing those marketing skills, a carefully considered and creative concept for content must be planted as the seed of your growth! Food businesses like yours feed on superb quality food photography to catch the eye of hungry diners. 


In a sea of similar types of food and cuisines, how can you stand out from all of these choices?

The Basics

You don’t need expensive high-end equipment to bring out the appeal of your photos. The materials you need are probably the ones you already have – a good camera, a nice table, and an enthusiastic photographer. And the ones that might be helpful might also be just around the corner – a tripod, white background, and a light source. 


Of course, your main tool here is your camera, which can be a mobile phone with high megapixels like the iPhone 13 or iPhone 14 models. But if you want the wonders of a real digital camera, the Sony a6400 is a small and easy-to-use camera with 12 megapixels which is more than enough to bring you images with fantastic quality!


But your main driving force here is your photographer – which, to cut costs, can be yourself! 

The Basics

Create a Concept

What are you trying to convey through the art of your food? Align your product photography concept with the idea of your marketing campaign. What is the central vibe that you want your photos to exude and how can this vibe reflect your brand? You may aim for the calmness and warmth of coffee, the natural freshness of smoothies, or the enthralling sloppiness of burgers. 


You can steer your execution to how you want your food to be perceived – loud, exciting, elegant, casual, and etc! Visualize what you want your Instagram feed to look like and start from there.


Prep Your Plate

How you arrange and present your food is probably the most important step of this process! First, determine what kind of aesthetic you’re going for – you may want a more raw-looking messy setup if you’re photographing burgers, pizzas, or tacos. A more neat and organized setup is also good for fine dining selections with exquisite dishes. 


To feel more inspired, look through photo inspirations on sites such as Instagram and Pinterest! Think of it as painting on an empty canvas, with your prepared food as the elements giving it color. Be careful not to make your photos too identical, add some room for a little variation. Don’t be afraid to be as meticulous and artistic as possible with how you arrange your food until it turns out exactly the way you want it to – after all, it is YOUR artwork!


Angle & Lighting

A well-prepared plate can be best emphasized through the use of flattering angles and lighting. When experimenting with angles, remember to feature the part that you want to emphasize. Transform your 2D photos into 3D feels by bringing out its textures and make it as mouth watering as can be! 


To arrive at the best lighting angles, you can use a light from the side to balance shadows, textures, and colors. But look out for too dark shadows that may cause your food to look pale and unappealing. Use natural lighting as much as possible to prevent these harsh shadows from ruining your photo. Lastly, avoid angling your light at the front as it would fail to create the contrasted texture effect that we’re aiming for and instead would make your food look dull.

Start a Food Vlog


Now, we know you’ve already captured the best photos – but a little retouch on them could go a long way. You may adjust the lighting, contrast, saturation, and exposure to reduce dull areas of your photos. Alterations to your color balance must be done cautiously so as not to make the photos appear ‘too edited’, remember that even with the use of editing softwares, our aim is to still make it seem effortlessly natural!


Once you’ve arrived at the perfect combination of edits on these tools, you may save it as a preset for your future photos to form an aesthetic feed!

Hire our photographers

Grow with Savorite

Savorite helps restaurants expand their digital marketing efforts and fulfill their full online potential with authenticity and data-driven strategies in today’s ever-evolving world. See how Savorite can help you grow your business here! 

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