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How to Take Great Pictures That Will Make Your Guests Order Right Away

A great picture is the most powerful tool you have to turn lookers into diners. Review these tips for taking eye-catching shots of your food that will have your guests drooling

Photographing food is harder than it seems. 

A high-quality picture of every plate on your menu is the single most important tool you have to boost your sales. Remember a good picture will be the very first impression in your customer’s eyes and bellies. If you don't have a professional camera, don't worry, a good cell phone camera works as well!

At Dine.Direct we care about our clients so here you have the best pro tips for taking the pictures for your restaurant's menu.

  1. Lighting is everything.

    Try to take advantage of natural lighting. Take pictures in broad daylight for the food to look more appealing. You can always use overhead lights, lamps, or your built-in flash as an option but make sure the pictures don't look weird or fake. Always be aware of the intensity of the light, and how it hits the food. Learn to adjust it accordingly.

  2. Bring attention to the tastiest part of your dish with a depth of field (focused and blurry section)

    Try taking photos from multiple angles. Some plates of food look better from above (like, pizza), or from the side (burgers), or at a 45-degree angle (drinks). 
    You can try by taking several pictures, choose different angles, and move the dishes or items around so you can select later your favorite one.
    See the source image
  3. Minimize clutter.

    Presentation is key when presenting a plate. In photography, we need to keep in mind the composition of food styling (arranging the items). Starting from the kitchen (no spotted or cracked plates), make sure everything looks sharp and tasty. Be clever and see whether that spoon, napkin, or busy background adds to the photo. Focus on what’s most important, but don’t zoom in so close that viewers can’t tell what the food is. Only add elements that are eye-catching and are related to each dish or drink. 
  4. Move around to find the best light source.

    Don’t feel confined to take photos in your kitchen. Go to different areas of your restaurant and take a few shots to test the lightning. The bar, tables close to windows or, if you have the possibility, outside. 
  5. Use “Small Picture” as your Default Image View.

    Even though a big picture shows a better view of your menu's dishes, a small picture display gives the customers a chance to see a whole list. Keep in mind most customers look at your menu from their phones. If they're interested in buying something in particular they'll probably change to big picture display on their own. See here for a quick reminder on how to set that up. 

          small pics view

Did you ever wonder how some of the hamburgers in the fast-food industry look so big? Wide-angle lenses are the tool that helps you do that because of the wider view they provide. The food will look bigger or appear as it's closer than what it really is. This helps when you have to take pictures in a small place (such as the kitchen) and you don't have to worry about where to position yourself.  

Bad examples:

Messy background, bad quality, what's that leaf doing there?

Very bad lighting, messy plate presentation

If you absolutely don't have the necessary tools or don't know how to take pictures for your menu, we offer a pack of illustrations to add for your menu items. Let us know you want this option via chat bubble.