Food photography – Part 2
When setting up the photo, it is essential to pay attention to the details. Make sure the crockery and glassware in which the dishes and drinks for the photo shoot will be presented are highly polished. Keep in mind that any flaws will be even more visible on black plates. Dried water drops with limescale deposit, pieces of food along the edges of the plates and glasses are unacceptable, and nor are fingerprints or greasy stains. Always have a tea towel at hand and use it to wipe and polish any new blemishes right before taking the picture.
Select beautiful crockery and cutlery. Scrutinize the plates, cups and glasses where the dishes and drinks will be served for the photo shoot. Do not rely on the subsequent editing with Photoshop to camouflage scratched plates, cracked glasses and cups or chipped bowls.
Introduce colours, freshness and vibrancy in the plates! Do not underrate the importance of the decoration accents to the dishes. Use fresh twigs and leaves of mint, basil, rosemary, cinnamon sticks, edible flowers, fresh sprouted soybeans or wheat, red and black peppercorns, sauces, pomegranate seeds, other seeds, nuts, fruit crisps (e.g.: dehydrated orange wedges), cherry tomatoes and any other visually attractive options for embellishment. Don’t be scared of experimenting! It is vital, however, to remember that the manner in which you present your dishes in the menu should be the manner in which your customers will expect to receive them. So, you have to be ready to plate the orders in the same fashion in which they were shot. There are quite a few cases where the customers raise the issue or leave bad reviews about an eatery because they missed the absence of a single ingredient in their dishes (even if these are just several pomegranate seeds for decoration).
And we still know that you will ask the question: “What is of paramount importance for the successful photo – the food, the embellishment, the technique, the person behind the lens or the subsequent touching up?” All this in its symbiosis! Even if one component is missing, it will not work out. Even the most splendid food, arranged incorrectly, cannot lead to an outstanding picture. Even the most exquisite of china cannot save the bad recipe. The technique is not seen on the photo but without it, you’ll have no outcome. Whereas the person behind the lens normally must take decisions regarding each and every component of the entire process so we cannot separate one thing out of the total. If you desire high-quality culinary photography and you are ready to invest in this, we advise you to turn to a professional with the suitable equipment, work experience and skills. Do your internet research or ask for references from relatives and friends. Browse through portfolio projects on culinary photography, search for ideas and create your impressions.
An essential aspect of organising the photo shoot is organising the staff. Most eateries work without a day off. If you own an eatery and prefer the photo shoot to take place during your restaurant’s opening hours, it is imperative that you see to having enough people working in the kitchen at that time. If you think that an eatery packed with customers and an intensive release of dishes for the photo shoot will challenge the staff on duty and it will not cope with the extra strain, then it will be worth asking other employees to join this shift. There are situations when the client asks to have the session take place outside working hours which in most cases means night work for the photo crew and respectively higher fees.
Contrary to perceptions, the dishes after the photo shoot are not intended to feed the photo crew. When you have planned a photo shoot of the entire menu, it is good to call all your waiters, bar tenders and managers to let them taste all dishes and drinks, right before the photo shoot. In order to be successful at presenting and selling a given dish, not only do the employees need to know its ingredients but should have also tasted it. Very often, the customers ask the waiters and bar tenders for their personal opinion which dish / cocktail they would recommend subject to the customer’s like or dislike of spicy food, or to fancying milder or stronger flavours, to the presence of allergies to certain ingredients and so on.
If you need assistance with professional photo or video captures of food, we are here to guide you! Do not hesitate to get in touch if you have questions, need help or are interested in our services. Please contact us and ask for our free of charge first consultation. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org