Marketing is a bit different than it was 10 years ago. Let’s face it. We’re in the age of online marketing, and restaurants can feel the heat (pun intended) when it comes to competition. So why is it important to utilize professional food photography for your restaurant or hospitality based business? And why won’t dull, reposted mobile photography have the same effect?
When traveling, it’s almost customary to check a restaurant’s online presence before booking a reservation. I’ve had more friends ask me where a ‘cute’ place to go get breakfast is, rather than where the best tasting breakfast is.
So here they are, the Top 5 Reasons you should be hiring a food photographer for your business:
Number 1 (and the most important): Our Technical SKILL
Food Photographers are trained in lighting and composition. They’ve had time to hone their skill, know what angles are best, and how to keep the lighting interesting for each dish. I mean, what’s worse than seeing your favorite dish in bad lighting making it appear dull, and straight down so that you can’t see the detail and hard work put into each ingredient?
Number 2: For Use in Social Media Interaction + Community
With powerful marketing and social tools like Instagram and Facebook, just about anyone has the power to share last night’s incredible dinner with their buds. Because of this, you instantly get tags and free publicity! Great! Those same people that are sharing are also browsing hashtags and profiles to figure out where to get the best Avocado Toast for Sunday Brunch, or the best Whole Branzino to share with their friends on a Friday. Use this to your advantage! What are they more likely to reach for in the end? The bright, detailed shot of the yolk pouring out of it’s white ‘cage’ -OR- the dull, overhead shot where you can just only kinda make out what’s underneath the egg? We wanna see that bright yellow pour! Damn right we do!
Number 3: To Stand out from your Competitors
661, 000. That’s roughly the amount of restaurants in the United States. Six hundred thousand! So how in this incredibly large industry can your restaurant or culinary business stand out from such a large competition? Sure, location has a great deal to do with it, but by utilizing professional photography for your business, you’re increasing the odds by pulling in more attention. This one ties into the above, but I had to make it Number 3 so that it really meant something.
Just remember that it’s the outstanding photographs that make your mouth water. The average smartphone user may even take a decent food photo, but there are decent food photos all over social media
Number 4: We know WHAT to Capture
Sure, when shooting restaurants, the menu is a given. But what about all the other details that your guest is going to experience? The chairs, the new marble bistro tables you just got, the linens that you sourced from a local company. All these details also help drive in the customer and paint a picture of comfort or elegance or professionalism.
Same thing with the chef and other staff. Who works there? Who is making their food? Do you go to the farmer’s market once a week? What is the atmosphere like? These are the kind of things that photographers are aware of when finishing off the shot list.
Number 5: Styling Food and Plating FOR the Camera
While it’s true that chefs are talented when it comes to beautiful, artistic painting, a food stylist is just a bit different. Just as a chef is used to plating for his/her restaurant’s guests, a food stylist or multifaceted photographer is plating for the CAMERA. Most food photographers and stylists have the knowledge and experience needed to capture the eye, and allow the dish to tell a story. Each ingredient needs to look beautiful, fresh and glisten but just the right amount to pull in the viewers attention. It’s really quite a difference, isn’t it?!
As a close, this wasn’t written to make you feel overwhelmed by your future food photography project, but instead to inspire you to work with someone in your area that can take your PR and Marketing to the next level with stunning visual media that tells YOUR story! Okay? Okay.
Are you ready to make the commitment and kill the marketing game with a food photographer? OR do you have any questions that weren’t answered? OR are you still just not convinced? Email me!
Jordan Wise is a Food Photographer and Marketer/PR girl for Culinary and Hospitality based companies. Before committing to her creative media business, Jordan worked as a Line Cook, and had other Front of House positions in the Industry in various restaurants around San Francisco.