One of the most important aspects of a food eCommerce store is the photos of your food items. If they don’t look their best, people won’t want to purchase and consume them, just as they wouldn’t want to dine at a restaurant where menu photos look unappetizing.
Good pictures of your food products will reflect the quality of not just your offerings, but of your brand, which is why you need to do what you can to take the perfect photos. To help you build your online catalog with items that do your products justice, the following are some tips to help take your food photography to the next level.
1. Figure Out Your Food’s Aesthetic
Depending on the type of food you’re photographing, you can go with a neater or messier setup. For instance, salad and other foods that appear more natural allow for less organized plating. While the food should still look somewhat arranged, you don’t need to make it look perfectly pristine. Meanwhile, for foods with more structure, make sure your plating is neat and highlights the different elements.
2. Choose the Right Angle
Many businesses make the mistake of photographing all of their food items from the exact same angle, such as a shot from the side or above. Instead, it’s best to select the right angle for each food item. The angle you choose to shoot from will help tell a story about your food.
For instance, you might have food products of varying size, height, and shape, along with an overall appearance that you want to effectively showcase. Selecting the right angle will make sure you accurately capture the item. Some items may benefit from having photos taken from above that show the entirety of the food and the fullness of the ingredients, while others may benefit from a side shot offering a closer look.
3. Choose the Best Surface
The type of food you’re photographing, and the overall tone of your business will also help determine what surface to use for your photos. While plain white plates can highlight more colorful food items, you may want to opt for a rustic look with picnic tables and cutting boards.
4. Select a Focal Point for Your Photos
When photographing different items, select a focal point, or hero object. Typically, this hero object will be the main food product, which you can then be surrounded with garnishes or other props. Again, the right objects, along with the angle, can help tell your food’s story. For instance, you might surround your main dish with sauce bottles, jars of herbs, or cooking utensils.
5. Play Around with Color
To make your product photos look more vibrant and eye-catching, consider the role that colors play in them. Colors should complement each other and work cohesively to paint a full picture of your food items. Different patterns and textures can also contribute to the composition of your photos and make them even more aesthetically pleasing.
Keep in mind that specific colors are also good at getting certain reactions from viewers. Shades of green can make your photos feel more natural, while warm colors such as reds and yellows can actually stimulate people’s appetite.
6. Use Natural Lighting When Possible
While well-set up artificial light can bring out the best in your food, it’s normally better to go with natural lighting. This lighting can help your food items look more organic and generally appealing than bright lighting that’s too even. However, you should still try to modify the lighting to make sure it’s just right for each item. If you’re shooting under direct sunlight by a window, for instance, consider using a diffuser between the window and the food item.
7. Consider Focus and Depth of Field
Another couple of aspects to consider when photographing your food products include focus and depth of field. Focus can help emphasize different elements of your food. At the same time, depth of field refers to the distance between different items in the photo and can complement focus. Focusing on the right elements with the right contrast between the main item and others can further improve composition.
8. Make Use of Lines and Layers
Once you’ve decided which props to use in your images, you should figure out what the best layout is for them. Taking depth of field and focus into consideration, you can also arrange items in lines and layers to keep people focused on the main item. This will help ensure that the surrounding props don’t detract from the centerpiece of your photo.
9. Sharpen Your Images
After photographing your products, make sure the photos are sharp. Although clear lighting and a steady camera can help sharpen images, you can further edit them in Photoshop or other software. Doing so will add more definition to your images and further make sure they look their best when adding them to your eCommerce platform or using them in marketing campaigns.
10. Make Other Necessary Adjustments
Sharpening your images is critical, but you may need to make other adjustments to enrich your images. Some of these adjustments may include modifying brightness and contrast, saturation, and white balance, the latter of which is the tint in your images’ white sections. Making these adjustments will help fully prepare your images before using them online.
All of these tips can help you get the most from your food photography, but the most important step is to have fun with your shoots and get creative or hire a professional with experience in food photography.
If you decide to tackle this on your own, don’t be afraid to add some artistic flair to your images and make sure your products look as rich as they can appear. With top-quality product images complementing equally enticing descriptions, you’ll be able to appeal to your customers and drive more sales.