8 Tips For Adding Perfect Food Photos To Your Web MarketingImage Credit: Arnaud DG
"The appearance of foods and drinks can make people “see” flavors before they actually taste anything, a phenomenon that can influence their flavor experiences, food likes, and dislikes."
Instagram is a foodies haven, so it should come as no great surprise that part of any restaurant's social media marketing strategy should include mouth watering pictures of the food on offer. Tweets advertising menus are great, but Instagram posts and Twitter posts with good quality pictures can be much more effective.
Food photography is an essential part of social media marketing, so it's time to stop describing your food and start showing people exactly what you're made of - get your customers tasting your food before they've even stepped foot in your restaurant.
But blurry or badly designed photos won't cut it. In fact they can turn your marketing strategy backwards and put people off. Much like a rubbish takeout menu with plastic looking food in bad lighting can stop you ordering from a take away - your images need to be the right images in order to have a successful impact on your social media marketing strategy.
Here are some useful tips to help you create the best food photos for your social media.
Use Natural Light
Dark photos, bright photos where there's no contrast between colours on the plate, or food photographed under odd lighting - all bad news. Use natural light to your advantage - look for well lit areas that are bright but not smothered in sunlight.
Take photos in a few different areas of your eatery - try tables by the window, tables outside and even window ledges - don't worry about where the photo is taken if the surface is clean and flat, and the lighting is right.
If there's a particularly mouth watering part of your dish like gooey melted cheese, juicy meat or a particularly colourful salad - don't be afraid to do a close up of that particular component to highlight that particular part of the dish.
Perhaps it could be a close up of the side of a perfectly cut steak - take a good photo of it and advertise your locally sourced meat. Sometimes you don't need to market the whole meal - close ups add intrigue to your photos.
Play With Angles
Don't be afraid to play around with different angles. Try taking photos of different sides of the dish, from above, around and even from below depending on the dish. For example if you've got a delicious stacked burger, a photo from below making it look tall and impressive could work really well.
Don't Be Afraid To Show Something Less Than Perfect
Perhaps a photo of food about to go in the oven, a burger that's just been bitten into, or even a garnish as it's being sprinkled could work.
You have to show that your food is 'real' and doesn't look like some perfectly constructed meal that's been preened for hours - your food needs to look accessible as well as delicious.
Show The Human Side Of Your Business
Take pictures of staff holding ingredients, customers eating meals (with their permission of course!) or even suppliers holding the ingredients they supply you with - show a human side to your business so people feel like they are really connecting with your brand.
Post During Peak 'Hunger' Times
You might take the most incredible food pictures, but find they don't make much of an impact on your social media marketing response. This may be down to a couple of things.
Firstly, you might be posting similar meals or food angles over and over again so basically your images are becoming samey and boring - remember it's a fast paced online world - you need to stand out to get people's attention.
It may also be that you're not posting during peak times, IE a short while before breakfast, lunch and dinner. Think about it, when are people most likely to be responsive to food pictures? When they're hungry of course.
Sometimes the ingredients can be much more of a talking point than the meal itself. Perhaps you have some particularly beautiful tomatoes on the vine in today, or large juicy watermelons - if you have some good looking produce, don't be afraid to photo that as well.
It will make your followers feel more informed and assured about your freshly prepared food.
Make Sure The Background Isn't Suspect
Make sure the background is blurred out, or that it is clean or plain. You could have a photo of an immaculate looking dish of food, but if an ashtray or table stain can be seen in the corner it completely distracts the viewer and decreases the value of the photo.
You should also try to make sure you contrast the plate and the background, especially when using camera phones.
Play With The 'Little Details'
Jamie Oliver is great inspiration for how little details make a big difference. For example, food in a pan can look OK, but food shot from the side with a cleverly positioned wooden spoon suddenly turns a one pot wonder into rustic delight.
Sliced meat on a plate is great, but what about sliced juicy steak on a chopping board pictured with the knife? Suddenly looks so much more interesting and somehow, more tasty! Try to add little details, even if it's just a sprig of thyme, drizzle of olive oil or even a few dustings of icing sugar - these differences will take your eatery photos from standard to showstopping.
People truly respond to storytelling, which is something you can do through a picture. Consider encouraging your followers to 'see themselves' in your eatery. Perhaps it's hot (for once!) - consider taking a photo of a burger and chips with a cold beer in the background.
Or if it's the school holidays, maybe a picture of a child getting stuck into a homemade soft serve would relate to your followers. Tell a story with a picture - make a scene that your target audience will be able to see themselves in.
Remember be creative and enjoy showing off what your business has to offer! You might even surprise yourself at how delicious your food looks with a simple change of photo angle or use of props. Your social media marketing strategy needs to include pictures of your food, so why not make those pictures count?
We offer a wide range of services web marketing and design services including food photography that will help you stand out from the crowd. To talk to us about your challenges and how we can help, get in touch today.
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