Since 49% of people use Facebook to search for restaurants, it’s easy to see why it’s important to have a strong presence on this site. And just as with your own restaurant website, quality pictures of your menu items are a big part of what people want to see.
Because studies have found that making five to ten Facebook posts a week is ideal for maximizing engagement (tweet this), it’s helpful to have multiple versions of food photos that you can post over time. To make that happen, here are ten different ways to photograph the same item:
1. Aerial Shot: By centering your camera on a menu item and shooting it from above, you can get a very interesting look.
2. All-White Background: Just as a white plate can make a great dish stand out, tightly framing a shot with nothing but white surrounding the food will really make the picture pop.
3. Head-on with No Props: This setup should fully center the camera on the item and have a simple background without any props.
4. Tilt In: By tilting the camera to the right, you can create an image that draws people in and makes them really want to explore all the components of the dish.
5. Tilt Back: If you’re putting together a group of photos, a great way to create both consistency and variety is to alternate between tilting in and then tilting back.
6. Subtle Tilt: The other way to utilize a tilt shot is by positioning the camera slightly to the left of the menu item. This creates an interesting composition that naturally moves people’s eyes from the center of the item long the rest of it.
7. Aerial Shot with Perspective Elements: In addition to a standard aerial shot, you can also create a very appealing result by taking aerial shots that include complementary accents which establish perspective.
8. Close Ups: Since you put a lot of care into creating great dishes, you can show off the details that make menu items truly great by playing with different close ups.
9. Line Shots: Different types of dishes have their own natural lines. By shooting pictures along these lines, you can capture images that feel dynamic.
10. Diagonal: Another really interesting way to utilize lines is by taking pictures that are angled diagonally across a menu item.
If there’s a way for you to bring lots of natural light into the area where you’re photographing food, be sure to do that. If not, you’ll want to use a softbox or other lighting accessory to help illuminate your shots without actually having light shine off of your food.
While you’ll probably be quite happy with many of the pictures you’re able to capture, that doesn’t mean they can’t benefit from editing. Post-processing can help you take your pictures from good to great.
When it comes to what to focus on during post-processing, white balance should be #1 on your list. Ensuring that the areas of your picture that are meant to be white actually are will allow you to display the colors you were expecting.
The other task that can be very helpful during this stage is minor HDR processing. What this step will do is really bring out that vibrancy of your food pictures. This will give them a look that’s both fresh and authentic.
Since you want to have a fully filled out menu on your website, it’s easy to understand why it’s worth taking quality pictures of all the dishes you serve. However, you don’t have to limit your Facebook page to pictures that were just taken by you.
Having visitors take pictures and then allowing them to post them on your Facebook page is a great way to engage with the people who visit your restaurant. These pictures will also serve as a type of social proof and review of your restaurant. Just as potential buyers like seeing reviews written by customers instead of just the company selling something, it’s beneficial.
Although this seems like a straightforward issue, restaurant goers taking pictures has actually been somewhat of a controversial issue. Not only have some restaurants banned their visitors from taking pictures, but others have swung in the other direction by providing a small kit so visitors can get the perfect picture.
While it can be tempting to want full control over the pictures visitors take, your restaurant will benefit most from having visitors casually take pictures and then engage online by sharing them.
Embrace crowdsourcing as a way for customers to help build your brand. (tweet this)
By taking the time to capture multiple pictures of your food, as well as encouraging visitors to take their own pictures, your restaurant Facebook page will have a steady stream of posts that keep visitors engage and help attract new ones.
What works for you when you share photos on your restaurant Facebook page? We want to hear from you in the comments!