Restaurant Photographers

Tips For Becoming Successful Restaurant Photographers


Tips for Becoming Successful Restaurant Photographers

Tips for becoming successful restaurant photographers. If you want to become a food photographer, you will probably start photographing photography of your career photography restaurant. That’s how most food photographers start. The restaurant has a smaller budget, so it is open to working with new photographers.

Restaurant Photographers
Restaurant Photographers

However, it is not so easy to shoot for restaurants. Not only must you be adept at taking a photo of food, but you also need to be able to photograph the interior and portraits of the chef and other staff.

Restaurant photography can be a lot of work, and there are a lot of ins-and-outs that you need to know to make sure you don’t end up being burned by these very specific types of movies.

Request a list of shots

Before you can give potential customers an estimate, you need to know what you’re going to think of to estimate how long a shoot you’ll take. For example, a drink can take longer to pose for photos than a plate, as managing reflections in glasses can be time-consuming and challenging.

You should base your budget on the scope of the project. If you can’t estimate how long a shoot will take, you can’t price it to match your service. Get details about how many images of food are needed, how many drinks, and so on.

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Some restaurants want you to bring surfaces, dishes, your own bedding, and others for a more magazine editorial taste. In this case, note that it will take longer to shoot these kinds of scenes than to pose for their own dishes at the restaurant table.

Scouts for Location and Light

Look at the previous location so you know what you’re rejecting in terms of lighting. You also need to find out where you can deploy your equipment and workplace. This must be done with the consent of the manager or owner.

It is important that when the restaurant is open when you shoot, you only interfere with the customers as possible. See if a customer can close the restaurant area where you can work without disturbing anyone and vice versa.

Discuss food styles

When you’re shooting for a restaurant, you first need to explain that you’re not a food stylist and therefore aren’t responsible for what food looks like.

Eating S-style is another job. This requires know-how other than photography. Your job is lighting and drawing, not a food store.

Of course, you should always pay attention to perverted jewelry and powder, and in general, make sure the food looks best for the camera. I’m known for sending back a burger that looks sloppy.

The bottom line is that customers need to make sure their chef is up to the task. Otherwise, they should hire food stylists to guide them. Food stylists can be expensive and unexcited for an already tight budget. If customers refuse to rent one, they should know that the appearance of food on a plate eventually falls on them.

Make sure you specify this in your contract. You have a contract, don’t you?

Bring food style equipment and some basic props

Even if you don’t go to coat and arrange food, you still need to use basic food-style kits that contain things like tweezers, cotton wool, and small brushes to minimize faulty decorations or clean unwanted powder and drops from the plate. You want to do the best job you can do with what you give.

It’s good to be ready with some props as a backup. Bring piles of leaves in different shapes, sizes, and colors, and maybe some cuts. Sometimes customers want their own schedules, flat equipment, and dishes shot as a customer experience, but many have a branding direction in mind that requires a certain look or atmosphere.

For example, if a customer wants me to take dark and atmospheric pictures for them, I bring a small, dark, and vintage cutlery – compared to the great white dishes you see in most restaurants.

Using Tripod

If you only shoot in natural light, you know that most restaurants are too dark for Photography.

You need to shoot with windows and use a tripod so you can reduce the speed of shrimps and make longer exposure. However, this will not work to photograph people as they blur at slow speeds.

If an image appears only on the Internet or on social media, you can ring an ISO and correct the noise in your image later in postproduction.

As I explored the place, I tried to take some test shots and see what they looked like in the lightroom before Deciding on my lighting.

Shoot dramatically

Have a conversation with customers about how to take pictures. Most restaurants only need images for their websites. Interactive web design often requires images to be taken in the transverse direction.

When a customer prints multiple images in the menu, it may require a vertical format (and a higher resolution). Be sure to discuss the best image orientation with customers. Note that if you want both, you can take up to twice as long to take pictures because you not only need to adjust the camera, but you need to regret each image.

Tethered Shooting 

I always connect my camera to my laptop so customers can see pictures taken from my camera. Triggering the docked allows you to see larger shots more accurately than you can get from the screen behind the camera. You can use Lightroom or Catch One Pro to pass. Make sure you have a high-quality tethering cable.

Collaboration with customers

In the end, you want to do a good job to make customers happy. To do this, customers must be involved in this process. You must be present at the shoot to give creative direction and approve the captured image. In this way, they can’t go back and tell you they don’t like it, or that they don’t agree with the branding or aesthetics they have in mind.

I have a clause in my contract that says I’m not going to start filming photos without someone representing a restaurant. Also, the customer loses the deposit if I have to pack my things and go. Trust me, you do not want to get into this situation.

Collaboration with chefs

Involve the chef in as much process as possible. When you make an appointment to record a place, ask if you can meet the chef.

Making a chef feel like an important part of the process can make a big difference in your recording results. The shoots that end up being the simplest and funniest ones are the ones where the eager chef works with you and makes the food look best for his time in the spotlight.


Another thing. Before entering a restaurant with a camera, make sure you have liability insurance. Many restaurants won’t always think about it, but larger customers will often ask for proof of liability insurance. If someone stumbles over an advanced cable or agrees to sue the restaurant, you can file a lawsuit.

Buy the best insurance for you and read the fine print carefully. You need insurance for the photo industry so you can make sure you’re covered in the types of circumstances you’re exposed to.

You should also ensure your equipment against theft, loss, and damage, even by fire or flooding.

Restaurant photography can be a great way to start building your professional portfolio. Make sure you do it right to avoid headaches along the way and to get your customers to hire you as their preferred photographer every time they update their menu.

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