So you want to have pictures taken for your food

The restaurant business is tough even during the normal time. I think it is ten times tougher during the pandemic. I have never run a restaurant before but I have been taking pictures for many restaurants and I have talked to many owners. I understand the challenges they are facing and I feel their pain.


So before you spend hundreds of dollars to take pictures of your food, you need to ask yourself this question: what are the pictures for?

If you just want to have some pictures for the delivering apps,  you can get a free photo session from those companies. I have shot for DoorDash and UberEats and they both provide a free photo session to the restaurants that join their platform. DoorDash will give a 2 hours free session to have pictures taken for 15-20 dishes. UberEats will do 7 dishes. I think all the other apps also provide this free service, so contact the vendor support of the platform and schedule one. In future post, I will discuss how you can use this free service efficiently.

Another reason people want to have a photo shoot is to have pictures for their own ordering site and/or for their printed menu. Before hiring a photographer, here are something to think about:

  • How many items on your menu? If you have more than 20 items, it can get pretty expensive to have pictures taken for all the items.
  • How often will you change the items on your menu? Are you going to have a daily special? Weekly special? Or monthly special? Are you planning to hire a photographer to the new item(s)? That can get expensive too.

If you are not going to print the pictures in large format, you should think about shooting the photos yourself. You can even shoot them with your phone. As long as you have good lighting, your photos should be good enough for your website. If you have a staff that is interested in photography, let him/her to shoot them for you. People take picture of their food all the times these days and some of those photos are as good as the pro's. You can save a lot of money by DIY. If you need help on how to get started, you can check out my post here. I am also available to coach you. Just contact me.

People also want photos for their social media. This one you should definitely think about DIY, or ask a staff to do it. But if you have already hired a photographer, you can ask him/her to take some extra shots for the social media. I usually do it without charging extra. You can check out some example here.

So there you have it. Before you spend any of your hard earned dollars, think about what you can do in house. Contact me if you have any questions. I am available for free consultation. Just give me some free food in exchange.

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