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Photography Tips for Taking Great Food and Beverage Shots

June 24, 2021

With a few photography tips, you can capture great photos to help market your brand and tell a compelling story. Especially in the food and beverage business, a good photo can help drive new customers and sell more products. Have you ever heard that people eat with their eyes first? We believe that to be very true! Here are some photography tips to help you capture excellent food and beverage shots.

    Lighting is very important when capturing your subject matter. It’s best to shoot in natural daylight rather than under artificial lighting. Avoid using overheads, lamps, or cell phone flash. These can produce a yellowish tint to the picture or give glares from the artificial lights or flash. Shooting during overcast days helps to capture a soft light and subtle shadow. This is opposed to shooting during a sunny day, which can cause severe light exposure and shadows in the photos. If you have to shoot indoors, set up your display near a window that receives the most natural light.

Vegetable Pizza with broccoli, peppers and ricotta cheese on round plate Photo: Natural light helps to showcase the vibrant ingredients on the Vegetable Pizza served at Tavola Restaurant + Bar

    Color is another key component when taking photos. Color can help depict the mood you are trying to convey. You want the food, beverage, plates, and background to all create depth and contrast. You can do this in two different ways. One, by using similar colors that blend with one another, such as earth tones. Alternatively, you can use contrasting colors to make the photo pop and vibrant. Understanding color harmonies and using these methods will help your photos stand out and match one another.

Light Blue Frozen Drink with Toasted Coconut Garnish in Tall Glass

Photo: Using the bright red berries against the light blue drink and soft gray background creates a very compelling photo of the Jack Frost Colada at Tavola Restaurant + Bar

    Try moving around the subject to take photos from different angles, that way you have a variety to choose from. There are generally three types of angles to shoot from for food photography – above, from the side or on a diagonal. You must decide which angle is best to capture your composition. For example, by taking an aerial shot of a pizza you are able to capture all the details of the pizza. Taking a side shot of a burger to capture all the details of the burger. A diagonal shot is great if you want to capture the top and side view of your subject like a cocktail.

KoreanChixSand_2Photo: Taking the side shot of the Korean Chicken Sandwich at Tavola Restaurant + Bar showcases how beautifully the ingredients blend together to create a mouthwatering bite.   

    You don’t want to make your background too busy that it undermines your subject. Your subject should be the main focal point. If you decide to decorate, make sure that it compliments your composition. Some examples would be cutlery, food items, non-food items, or flowers -to name a few. Next, you want to arrange your food in a neat manner and position all your elements, with careful placement. Make sure you clean up any splatter or spills before taking the photo.

Caprese Salad with Sliced Mozzarella and Tomato on a white plate with arugula garnish

Photo: By using a white plate and clean background, the Caprese Salad at Tavola Restaurant + Bar is able to shine.

Now that you have the secrets to success for taking the perfect food and beverage photos with these photography tips, go out and try to take some shots! If you are still feeling overwhelmed or that you just can’t get it right, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team for help with anything from a simple tutorial, editing resources or a full photo shoot.


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