Successful Food Photography
Businesses such as hotels and restaurants who engage in a proper food photography project can win out out over the competition, simply by virtue of creating compelling and emotive images. It’s true to say we eat with our eyes and food photography when done right has the power to connect emotively with the viewer. It has the power to create a want factor in the mind and heart of the person. Those who see a particularly emotive image of food don’t just view it, they connect with it. We have all experienced this in the area of food magazines. You have turned a page to reveal a beautifully portrayed image and immediately we are instilled with a desire to have this. We want it and we want it now. This is what makes for successful food photography.
We all realise that food is ‘primal’ and this is one of the areas that can be pursued by savvy business owners in the food industry. Attract many new customers imagery that connects with the target audience and gain. Restaurant owners may not often understand what a good food photograph should be and certainly personal preferences towards a food image may not always be what will work the best. What is important are the results achieved, in other words conversion is central to food photography – such as to entice the viewer to take action and book a table for example. The more successful the image is, can ultimately be viewed by it’s ability to convert the viewer to take action.
What Makes For A Successful Food Image
It’s not about shooting an image of food on a plate or for that matter creating artistic close up food details. This type of food photography will not be emotive enough to appeal to everyone, except maybe a fraction of people at best, and that’s only if done right. What is needed is an overall ‘visual food strategy’ that will connect into the heart and mind of the viewer. By creating a compelling food visual presentation and story is what will ultimately achieve the highest conversion.
What Is A Visual Food Strategy
This can be done by looking at the customer viewpoint and understanding who the customer is, where are they coming and what are their expectations. The ability to place one self in the mind of the viewer is what will be the driver of the visual story. It’s also about what the restaurant or hotel stand for. What is the message to get across. Is it about the experience? Is it about the chef’s talented ability? Is it about sourcing local fresh produce? Is it about organics? Is it clear and compelling? Will it create a loyal following? Will the message be shared? Is it worth sharing?
Of course the question will get asked, ‘is it really worth pursuing a visual food strategy?’ What is the value? Will I get my ROI on this? To a restaurant owner or hotel manager, this type of thinking may not be at the forefront of his or her day to day business activities with all the diversions that will unfold. It can get passed over or put on the long finger. Of course the value of food photography is not lost on magazine publishers. They have had a quantifiable and measureable result from creating compelling printed pages. That after all is their business, the business of creating visual worlds that connect with people’s emotions.
The proof if needed as to the value of pursuing a food photography project is simply to witness the extraordinary rise of visual social media platforms such as Instagram and Pinterest.
Let Me Explain A Case Scenario
One day recently, I came across a restaurant website that had something like twenty photos of plated food not to mention with a yellowish tinge because of the over head incandescent light. To my eye all twenty images did not have any discernable difference. It begs the question as to why anyone would one want to do this? Why would you want to repeate the same process twenty times, bad and all as it was. What the plated food shots shown twenty times on a website was actually saying was – here is repition! we like repition, we like multiplcation, do you like multiplication? we do! and that’s it. A visual mathematical formula to nowwhere!
Of course it’s not the fault of the restaurant owner. He had done what he thought was the way to go about this – by hiring a so called professional food photographer to shoot for his restaurant, for half a day. In his mind he thought “I have hired a professional food photographer to shoot my dishes, that must be it, job done”, pay the photographer and get the images up on the website. Now everyone will see how great my food is and come running. How wrong could that assumption be.
to be continued………….
An insightful food photography videos here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZtitrLeZgag
Mike Kenneally is the author of this article on food photography