If you’re working in any kind of business where food is the primary product you’re looking to sell, actually getting across its appeal to new customers can be tricky. After all, chances are you’re not the only joint in the region selling steaks, pizza or anything else across the board, so why should folk head your way instead of checking out your rivals?
This is where food photography comes into the equation as something that’s not only important, but important to get right. Chances are that anyone that’s ever been to a seaside resort will be more than familiar with those faded, discoloured and generally hideous pictures of food some cafes tend to post outside their premises which are little more than effective repellents for those looking for quality food. Compare these to the kinds of shots you’ll see on the website of a Michelin Star restaurant and…well, it’s doesn’t take a genius to work out which are more appetising.
DIY or Pro?
When a café or restaurant makes the decision to share snaps of what’s on offer, the biggest decision that follows is that of choosing to take care of things manually or to involve the pros. Unless you have a professional food photography studio set up you’re of course going to be rather limited in terms of equipment, but with the quality of standard cameras on the market today and how affordable they’ve all become, is there really any point in bringing in the pros?
In a word, the answer is yes.
The Benefits of Going Pro
In terms of specific benefits, it’s all about what you get out of the investment in relation to what’s put in by the business. So, with this in mind, here’s a quick overview of just a few of the reasons why going pro really does make so much sense:
1 – They Know Your Audience
First of all, you may know your audience in terms of the food they want, the prices they want to pay and the service they expect, but have you got any real idea about the kinds of food images that turn them on? Chances are the answer is no, which is why bringing in the experts is a good idea. No matter what it is you’re selling, making it look good in the eyes of the customer is nowhere near as easy as it sounds. Rolling the dice with a random approach can be a recipe for disaster – it’s always advisable to bring in those who already know how to make your shots work and your products sing.
2 – There’s No Room for Error
Next up, it’s worth considering just what the consequences may be if you were to put out a series of shots that made your food look like absolute garbage in the eyes of the customer. Once they’re out there in the wild and word is spreading far and wide, could you really survive if your reputation was to receive a huge knock? Even if your food is great and your prices the best around, real-life shots of your products looking awful could potentially kill your business faster than anything else around. So ask yourself – is it really a risk that’s worth taking?
3 – Food Styling and Art
Something else that’s brilliant about the professional food photographer is the way in which at least 50% of their craft comes down to food styling. The trouble is, what looks great when it’s on the plate in front of you will often look absolutely awful when photographed and published online. In order to make anything, seeing as it should, it needs to be carefully styled and played with from top to bottom in order to make sure it’s done justice in the shots. Unless you’ve extensively studied and practiced the art yourself you simply cannot expect to achieve pro-quality results, which is another reason why professional photographers are usually the way to go.
4 – Convenience
It’s a quick point but one that counts – why spend so much time messing around and trying in vain to get a decent shot or two when the pros could take care of it all on your behalf? Sure you have more important things to do in your business than spend hours, days or weeks getting your food shots taken – hand it to the pros and get back to business!
5 – Costs
Last but not least, chance are that while you may end up spending a little more on a pro photographer than you would using your own DIY services, what you’ll be left with is a set of timeless photos that will continue doing your products and your brand justice for years to come. Free of cliché and the kinds of accents that look dated sooner rather than later, professional food photographs are long-term investments of a quite exceptionally cost-effective nature.