5 Easy Photography Tips To Make Your Hotel’s Food Look Fantastic!

If you’ve ever scanned through photos of food on Facebook, you might notice that there are vast differences between the quality of the pictures, with some of them looking fantastic, whereas others look positively anaemic and unappetising.

Take a look at the group “Rate my plate” and you’ll see what I mean.

I’m sure a lot of the food is fantastic, but the presentation looks awful, and the pictures do them no favours at all.

So how do some get it so right while others make food look so bad?

Well, the issue here is that if you want to get it right, you need to look at food photography in the same way you do normal photography, that is, you don’t just take a picture of your plate, you make sure the food is presented well, the background is perfect and your lighting is absolutely spot-on.

So, with that in mind, here are five really simple tips that will help you ensure your hotel food looks fantastic every time.

1 – Preparation is everything

The worst photos are the ones where the chef brings out a meal and the photographer thinks, “That looks great, quick, take a picture!”

From what’s being cooked to where it’s placed at what time of day and who’s taking the photo, it all needs to be organised and handled properly. Don’t leave any of it to chance.

Write down every step beforehand and then make notes as you go through them so if you don’t get perfect results, you can do it again and understand your mistakes.

2 – Get the background right

Where you place your dish to be photographed is extremely important.

Have you noticed that nobody ever takes a photo of a traditional Christmas lunch outside on the patio?

No. When you imagine a big festive roast dinner of turkey, it’ll have a roaring fire and decorations in the background.

It’s an extreme example, sure, but if you follow the same principles, then you’ll be on the right track.

For example, if your restaurant excels in selling smoked meats, then set up a platter on a wooden block with the smoker in the background.

Selling light summer salads? Take the plate outdoors and try to match colours in the salad with items around the plate. Reds, greens and yellows usually work really well.

Getting the background right can really set off your plate and make it ‘pop’.

3 – Lighting

While summer food can benefit from brighter lighting, traditional winter food would probably do better in a darker environment, but you still need to light up the food itself.

Here’s where presentation of the food itself can really help.

Brushing olive oil over the roast potatoes and veg can really make them stand out, and with some good lighting, the whole meal can look fantastic.

4 – Get close

It might be tempting to take a photo right above the food, but it’s not about getting a picture of everything on the plate, it’s about capturing the experience of eating, so getting low and taking the photo from the side is often much easier, and it looks better.

5 – Make hot meals look hot

Hot food looks appetising, but capturing steam takes amazing timing and some clever photo techniques.

So why not cheat?

Grab some cotton balls and soak them in water, then pop them in the microwave!

You’ll need to experiment because all microwaves are different, but in mine, it only took 20 seconds, and there was steam rising gently from the cotton wool which I was then able to pop on a small plate behind the food!

With these tips to help, the rest is just a matter of experimentation!


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