Take Great Food Shots With Your Smartphone - 5 TIPS

Food arranged with care and attention connects with our feel-good receptors, whether you’re adult or a kid. It’s a human thing. When we know someone has gone to that extra effort to arrange the food nicely, it’s like they have added a dose of extra love and we want to eat it!

That’s why chefs are trained in the art of plating. That’s why we hit the “book now” button when we see plates of food on Facebook or Instagram that look scrumptious. If your Mum was a touch creative when you were little, wasn’t the food more delicious when it was arranged in a way that made your eyes widen with hunger first, eat second?

If you want a healthy Facebook and Instagram following as well as engagement, then you need to learn the art of taking delectable food shots, and you can do it with your smartphone. In this blog we keep it simple for the busy restaurant owner - the more you practice, the more second nature it becomes.

Here are some tips to get you started.

1. Use natural light

Never use a flash light as it distorts the natural colours. Ideally place the food next to a window which allows natural light to diffuse over the plate, or take it outside into a shady area. Natural light will keep the authenticity of the food’s colours.

2. Keep it simple

Use colour, background and additional items, such as flowers, spices or ingredients you have used in the recipe, to complement the plate in question, but not to compete.

There is a balance, remember that the picture is about the food as the feature. Too much distraction around the plate will take away from addressing the eyes-tastebud link and get us thinking too much about what’s going on.

3. Think about the angles

Many people tend to take photos from above the food. But you can imagine an Instagram feed looking a little dull with photos all from the top down. Also, this angle does not complement all plates. Work a few different angles to see what is best for that particular dish.

Try some shots from the side or do some close up shots of the food, perhaps even focussing on a particular ingredient in the food. Use different angles for your dishes to keep your social media feed interesting.

4. Experiment with the colours

The colours in the food are what evoke a response and draws us to it. Play with the colours and don’t hold back from getting a little creative, you can always delete what you don’t like.

Use neutral backgrounds so that they don’t compete with the food, ideally dark, light or wooden backdrops for food work the best. Table cloths can work depending on the food, if the colour or pattern is subtle.

The golden rule is that it that the background and props that you might use around the foods complements and does not compete.

Social media gives fairly instant feedback on what people like, so have a look at how much engagement you are getting and learn from this.

5. Enhance the colours

Once you have taken the photos, use the effects on your smartphone to play with the colours. Bring out contrasts and shadows in a subtle way that enhance the colours of the food. Remember however, that you still want your plate to look authentic and delicious.

So, use subtle effects and remember it is about enhancing the food and ingredients, not the other way around.

The more you practice, the better you will get.

Now you have Facebook and Instagram content to share

Go ahead and post to your Facebook and Instagram pages and delight the taste buds of your customers. Remember to be open to feedback and see what pictures get more feedback than others. Also have as look at our blog about 7 ways to make your Facebook page more engaging.


BooKBooK https://hlaustralia.com.au/our-solutions/pos-solutions/70-booking-solutions is an advanced electronic booking system that seamlessly integrates to the H&L POS system and your restaurant’s Facebook page so that your customers can book directly from here.

For more information about H&L’s electronic booking systems, visit our website https://hlaustralia.com.au/ or call us on 1800 778 340.