About 78% of hospitality guests first look up an establishment via social media before making a reservation. So such a first online introduction has to be good. Good photography is very important here. It determines the first feeling a guest gets at your establishment. But how do you go about it?
Tip 1: Get inspiration
Photos tell a story. Your story. It is therefore important to think carefully about the story you want to tell and what kind of photos fit that story. Create mood boards, check Pinterest, your favourite cookbooks or other catering businesses on social media and get inspired. Look at how they play with light, how styling is applied, and especially what appeals to you and what does not.
Tip 2: Styling is key
Nice-looking plates, pretty colours, a well-styled space: styling is an underrated part, but so important. The presentation of the food on a plate, the décor and the props you use are very decisive for the final result. Make sure the overall picture matches well with the atmosphere you want to set.
Collect different props and try things out too. Think of a stone tray, wooden shelves, plates and containers in all sorts of colours and materials or a vase of flowers. What matches and what doesn't? Very colourful dishes, for example, are better served on a white plate, whereas a soup will look better on a decorated plate.
Tip 3: Keep the composition exciting
The right cropping of your photo is very important. You don't always have to put a plate all the way in the photo, and the bed in the hotel room doesn't have to be perfectly aligned in the middle. Is it a flat object? Then photograph it from above. Instead, are you capturing something with more height or depth? Then choose the side. Also make sure you keep the surroundings calm, otherwise it will be distracting.
Tip 4: Find the ideal light
Great photos require good light. You can use studio lights, but that is not a must. Daylight is very nice to work with, preferably soft daylight. It is therefore best to shoot next to a window where the light comes from the left. If the sun is too bright, you can cover the window with a white cloth. Do not use a flash, as it will reflect off the food and create unnatural light. Check the room you are shooting in beforehand and decide what time of day the light is best there.
Bonus tip: On your camera (yes, even on your phone) you can turn on a grid. This will help you take even better photos.
Tip 5: Take action
A photo with action is exciting to look at. Your guests will respond to that! Cheese being freshly grated and still swirling above the plate, a fork just poking into a cake, a piece of meat being cut or a cocktail being shaken. Make something happen in your photo and make the viewer curious.
Tip 6: Make it personal
Faces score on social media. Besides, an empty shop does not attract guests! Make your photos personal and show the face behind your business. This is not necessary in every photo, but it works very well for variety in your feed. Take the photo yourself, use your staff or ask friends to model. And no, you don't have to be a real model. The more real, the better!
Tip 7: Eat with a healthy glow
Are you using vegetables or fruit in your photo? Mist them with some water, this will look fresher and give them a nice sheen. Meat and pasta dishes can be rubbed with a little cooking oil. Just don't use too much, it will make it look greasy. This, in combination with the right light, makes the dishes pop off the plate. This will make it look even more appetising.
Bonus tip: In any case, make sure you avoid shiny cutlery or crockery. That reflects too much in photos
Tip 8: Take your time
The tips above actually say it all: taking great photos takes time. Sometimes you have a certain image (or styling) in your head and find out while shooting that it does not work after all. Take your time, use different props, change the layout and keep going until you are satisfied.
Tip 9: Beautiful photos without too much hassle? Schedule a photo shoot
Taking beautiful photos really doesn't have to be difficult. You just shouldn't think about it too easily either. It does require preparation and experience. Have you tried all the tips, but it's still not for you? Or don't have the time? Make it easy on yourself and schedule a photo shoot. We have a lot of experience in organising photo shoots and are happy to help.