Cornelia Poku is a Washington D.C. Food Blogger and influencer @blackgirlseatdc. Saval Foodservice reached out to see if she could share with restaurants a few of her go-to social media tips and lucky for us and all of you- she already had a social media guide for restaurants ready to-go. As an influencer and all-around nice human, Cornelia created this guide in July to help restaurants handle the COVID-19 shut-downs.
Special thanks to Cornelia for donating her time to help and support local restaurants. Check her out @blackgirlseatdc on all social media platforms!
It can be exciting and overwhelming to take a photo that will be distributed to an audience. But it is a necessary chore in the business of selling your products! Don’t worry, taking appetizing food photos is doable and ultimately can be easy when you get the hang of it!
The objective of each post is to entice the audience! You want them to see what you see. Naturally, our human eyes can see the three dimensional object and experience, but photos are flat so it’s up to you to bring more dimension and excitement to your photo.
Step 1: Taking the Photo
What makes a photo great? Clear quality, good lighting, composition and a strong caption.
Good Quality: You can definitely buy a high quality photography camera if you would like. Do your research to see which one serves your needs. DSLR Canons and Nikons are very popular.
However, whether it is an Apple phone or an Android, most phones made after 2015 have the capacity to take excellent pictures. It all depends on what you’re trying to accomplish.
Having a tripod for whichever device you choose to use is helpful as well; tripods stabilize the camera so you decrease the chances of blurry photos and can help you maintain a consistent angle.
Lighting : The source of light should be facing the food. Natural lighting is best, but a white vlogging/ LED light is a good second option. Whether it’s the sun, a camera flash, or a ring light, the light should be facing and accentuating the subject, not behind it.
With natural light, the best angle changes throughout the day and the weather can also affect the best angle. Sometimes there is competing light in the space so you have to move the food a little bit until you get there.
You know you have achieved your best angle when the colors are as close to vivid through the camera as they are in person.
Composition : The way your food is set up matters! There is not a “one-size-fits-all” approach for food because food comes in a wide variety. The way the food is presented is not always the best way to photograph it. Don’t be afraid to touch the food, move it around and get “photoready.”
If the food generally lays flat or is in a bowl: aerial shots are generally best.
If the food has some height: eye-level shots tend to work best.
Sometimes food just is what it is and you have to try a few angles or move the food around to get the right shot:
Don’t be afraid to take restaurant interior or exterior photos, behind-the-scenes photos and video, or staff photos (with staff permission).
Pay attention to the background of the photo. Is there a stray crumpled up napkin on the table? An old dish on the table? Ask yourself how else you can spruce up the photo. Is there a prop you can add to the background like a newspaper, a book, a drink?
Video : Don’t shy away from video. Sometimes the best way to capture the food item is to record it being served, walk around it to show the many dimensions, or do something fun like a pour-over, or cutting into it. Make sure you apply the same lighting techniques!
Next step, editing! Download the full guide below to learn more!