How to Take Photos of Your Menu Items

Proper Lighting When Taking Food PicturesLighting: 
When taking photos of your menu items, lighting can be one of the most essential factors in creating an appealing photo. When a photo has bad lighting, people will not be attracted to purchase that item. However, with near perfect lighting, customers get to see the item, become drawn to it and could even purchase the item solely based on how the lighting affects the meal. Some easy lighting practises you can utilize while taking photos of your menu items include remembering how your light source affects the subject of your photo, with a bright light source the food item will appear bright and cheery as opposed to a dimmer light source where the food item might appear dull or dark. Another thing to remember is the positioning of your lights. You may want to try a head on light while also having a light that brightens your background to improve the contrast between the food item and the things around it. One more thing you may want to keep in mind is that your light will reflect off of bright surfaces. Meaning if you have white items surrounding your subject, the light will appear greater than if the surroundings were black or another dark color. Which brings us to the next tip, background.
How To Make A Proper Background For Your Food PhotoBackground:
While taking photos not only do you need to consider your subject but also the background and the things surrounding the food. A background should be out of focus and the main subject, the food item that you were trying to sell, should be the main focus. An above average background should utilize contrast and direct the customer's eyes to the product. While setting up your shot, you must make sure that the background of all your photos represents the establishment’s tone. This means if your restaurant is something like a steakhouse, which tend to have darker themes, the background could be something like dark wood. Contrary to a steakhouse, ice cream or Frozen yogurt shops tend to be happy and lighthearted. In this scenario you may want to consider a white background. One more thing to consider about the background of the photos, is that the restaurant could even be used as the background. This can create a sense of familiarity between the customer and the subject of the photo, promoting them further to purchase that item. Utilizing your own space as the background proves to be one of if not the best methods to create a visually appealing image.
Proper Theme When Taking Food PicturesTheme:
It's important to recognize the restaurant's theme because all things revolve around it. For instance the menu, the photos in the menu, the atmosphere and the employee uniforms all revolve around the central theme of the establishment. Proper utilisation of the central theme can create an extremely visually appealing experience utilizing things such as photography and interior design. Photos that your restaurant uses for menus or adverts should match the brand of the restaurant. This could mean anything from color or logo, to what the restaurant's bigger meaning is. Using theme, you can create a menu that draws customers in, encouraging them to purchase certain food items that you may want to sell more than others.
Be Aware Of Color When Taking Food PicturesColor:
Similar to theme, color also ties the tone of the restaurant into visualization of the photo. Matching your logos colors to the colors within a photo can create a seamless menu design. Color should also reflect the food item itself. For instance, at an ice cream parlor, the colors are usually bright, scattered and unique. At a more formal setting, the colors in the photos are more elegant and classy. Furthermore, using colors on a grayscale can also prove to create a modern experience that is the look you are trying to achieve.


Proper Angles When Taking Food PhotosAngle:
One of the Fundamental principles of photography is the angle at which the photo is taken. When taking a photo of food or any other item, the angle can decide whether or not a customer will purchase that product or move to the next. While deciding the angle of your photo it can also be extremely beneficial to think of other principles such as the rule of thirds. Rule of thirds can easily be visualized by slicing a photo into thirds both horizontally and vertically, thus creating nine squares. By placing the subject in the location where the imaginary lines intersect, you can create an extremely visually appealing photo in both a landscape & a portrait format. Proper utilization of the rule of thirds can create an angle in which the subject becomes the forefront of attention. When combining the rule of thirds with other principles such as lighting and background, you can create a truly delicious photograph that will be sure to make your customers' mouths water.
A proper meal should also come with a drink and perhaps a side. Naturally putting these items in your photographs is a great way to promote them. When adding more and more items to a photo you'll find that it quickly becomes difficult to squeeze everything onto one image. Because of limited space, layering the multiple items in a photo can not only maximize efficiency, but also maximize visual attractiveness. For example, a standard combo meal may contain a burger, fries and a drink. When deciding the order of layering, you want to think about the main subject of the meal. For this example it would be the burger. Placing the burger in the foreground, the fries behind it, then the drink off to the side, you create not only a layered photograph, but also a visually stimulating one too.