August 2, 2015


Chances are you have recently found yourself sitting at a table in your favorite restaurant so wowed by the food in front of you that you felt inspired to take a photo of the culinary treat and share with with the world.

Us too. All of the time, actually.

Whether we are enjoying a delectable champagne brunch with friends, or we just sprinkled the final chocolate shavings ontop of our hubby’s homemade birthday cake, we’ll probably want to capture these moments and broadcast them to our peers. As we know, people have an innate desire to share our joys and victories with the world.

In the marketing realm, visual content continues to make powerful waves, and image-driven social channels – such as Pinterest and Instagram – continue to rapidly grow.  This importance of creating engaging food photos is especially key in food and beverage industries.

Lucky for us, the evolution of technology and social media has created virtually effortless methods to snap high-quality, fabulous photos and immediately publish them to the world. Sounds easy, yes? It’s supposed to be simple, right? Then, why is it that sometimes our food photos turn out looking like blurry, tragic kitchen catastrophes?

Well, it really comes down to a few simple rules to follow when capturing food images. As PR and social media professionals regularly working with dining clients (and as passionate foodies), we’ve spent some serious time ironing out the kinks and doing our homework on what it takes to create an awesome, publishable food photo.

Curious what we’ve learned? Here are a few tried-and-true tips to creating mouthwatering food photos:

Lighting: Natural light and ambient lighting make for great photos. This can be tricky as many restaurants prefer to operate in darker settings. Is there a candle on the table? Slide it near your food. Is there a window nearby? Grab your gorgeous salad and snap a photo of it in front of the window’s natural light..

Picture quality (a.k.a. Don’t force it): Try to avoid dark, blurry or overexposed photos. The cameras on our phones are quite fantastic these days, so you have a technological advantage. And keep in mind that our eyes are very discerning – we generally prefer symmetry, clarity and brightness. There’s no reason to post a washed out, blurry photo. If you try your best and the photos are still looking alittle whacky, maybe wait until your next culinary outing (with hopefully better ambiance) to post pictures.

Filters: Don’t be scared to use them! Instagram’s filters add depth and beauty to your photographs. But, sometimes the orginal lighting is best. Trust your eye!

Cropping: Remember: a photo sharing app like Instagram crops in 1:1 ratio. In other words, all photos on Instagram are square. Also, focus on the details. Zoom in and create close crops when you can, so that your subject can easily be seen on a mobiledevice.

Be creative and tell a story: Let us see the world through your eyes. No one can tell your story better than you. First, trust your instincts. Then, play. Experiment with camera angles, tone and food styling. The more you experiment, the better and more unique photographer you will become.

So, there you have it! These tips should get you started on creating fun and powerful visual food photos. Whether you’re a restranteur, social media manager or a passionate foodie, the ability to creatively share your story through images has never been more relevant (or fun!).  And, if you’d like further assistance, just give us a call! We’re always looking for new ways tohelp clients generate creative marketing content.