Tips on how to take the best photos for your business social media pages

Posted on 15 november 2016

It is common knowledge that we eat first with our eyes, and then with our mouths.

We sat down with renowned Australian food photographer Rob Palmer and got his tips on how to take the best photos for our business social media pages.

Rob Palmer has been working as a food photographer for almost 15 years. Travelling across the world, Rob has worked in the UK, Italy, and China for television series' and food magazines. Closer to home, Rob's beautiful work has featured in campaigns for Sunbeam, Nestle, and a variety of cookbooks from Penguin and Random House.

berries
A sample of Rob Palmer's Food Photography

Food porn. It's the biggest thing to hit the Internet since Facebook. Why do you think amateur food photography on Instagram has become such a massive trend?

It's always been said that food is the gateway into other people's lives. Seeing what and how they eat gives us great insight into the sort of people they are and how they live.

What are your top tips to restaurants looking to get professional food photography done?

1. Understand your own brand and who your customers are. How you brief your photographer is crucial to the style and end result you will receive. If you are a fun and friendly local bistro then there is no point in shooting your dishes to looking like you are a Michelin Star restaurant. It's important that the final images work for you and improve your business.

2. Keep it real. Don't try and trick the food up too much simply to make the image look more interesting.

3. Depending on the level of your restaurant, use a food stylist. It may seem excessive to pay someone to bring extras props and plate the food for you, but these guys know what they're doing and are experienced at making food look great in front of camera. Plating for a customer and plating for photography are often two very different things.

USING AN IPHONE? Here are Rob's simple tips to the perfect shot…

Try not to taking your picture under the overhead lights inside your restaurant or store. The simplest way is to set up your picture next to a window but not in the direct sunlight.

Set-up side on to the window so that your subject has a bright side where the light hits it and a dark side in shadow, this will give it some form. Then simply use a piece of white card or paper to bounce or reflect some light back into the dark side so that it cleans up the shadows and holds some detail without getting too dark.

Simple side lighting will make a world of difference to your images.

Who does it well? Gelato Messina @gelatomessina

What: Ice-cream
Number of followers: 147,000
Posts: Daily Pictures: Largely ice-cream
Tone: Witty, playful
And: They occasional use video, which increases their likes from around 2,000 to an incredible 167,000

ice cream

The Grounds of Alexandria @thegrounds

What: Café, event space
Number of followers: 122, 000
Posts: Varies from twice daily to a couple of times a week
Pictures: Mix of food, events and people
Tone: Friendly and intimate
And: The Grounds always use the hastag #thegrounds plus #groundsevents #groundsmarket #thepottingshed #espressobus, depending on the picture and part of the business they're promoting

Halcyon House @_halcyonhouse

What: Privately owned hotel
Number of followers: 55,500
Posts: Every few days
Pictures: Design elements of the hotel, food, views
Tone: Luxury, informed but friendly
And: A great example of understanding the customer demographic and consistency in representing the brand. Posts are very much picture-led, focusing on the beautiful design elements of the hotel.

Matt Moran @chefmattmoran

What: Restaurateur
Number of followers: 76,800
Posts: Daily or even twice daily
Pictures: Plated dishes, his restaurants, recipes, personal meals, produce, travels, events
Tone: Genuine, warm
And: A very 'real' account. Pictures are not slick and professional, but that adds to the charm. The feeling Matt creates with the frequent peeks into his non-professional life are of a 'good bloke' who followers can relate to.


For more tips, tricks, and actionable insights, download a copy of the Hospitality Industry Success Index (HISI) Report here.

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