8 Tips to Instantly Improve Your Restaurant Photography

As a food blogger and Instagrammer, I have to say that restaurant photography is one of my favorite things. There’s nothing quite like the look on guests’ faces when they see their meal in front of them. However, most restaurants don’t always get it right—especially with those first impressions! Use these 8 tips to instantly improve your restaurant photograhy today!.

The “best restaurant photography” is a term that has been used to describe the quality of images taken in restaurants. There are 8 tips that can be followed to instantly improve your restaurant photography.

One of my favorite things to do is photograph restaurants. What more could a food photographer wish for than to capture beautiful cuisine in a natural setting?

But I see photographers new to the restaurant scene struggle all the time: how can I obtain the greatest light? I’m not sure how I manage to photograph so many dishes. How can I make everything appear like it belongs together?

That is, after all, the purpose of this piece. Here are eight quick strategies to help you enhance your restaurant photography right now. Enjoy! 


1. Find a light source.

What is the first guideline of restaurant photography? GET UP AND GO TO THE LIGHT. To shoot near to a window, I’ll do practically anything, including sectioning off a group of tables ahead of time, requesting the restaurant to open or shut curtains, and even relocating tables closer to the window. To be honest, taking excellent shots is quite difficult if you aren’t shooting in decent light.

I positioned four seats, pushed two tables together, and pushed them all the way up to a window for this photo at Republic. My point is this: don’t be scared to ask for what you need to make the photograph work– it’s your job to obtain the best images you can, so shifting stuff about is OK. Even better!


2. Stick to a color palette

Shoot foods that fit with the color scheme of the restaurant you’re shooting at to capture the “soul” of the place. To offset the colder navy blue tones surrounding the space, I picked dishes in the warmer hue range for photography at this restaurant. I also took green and white flowers from a couple of the tables surrounding me to keep things bright and fresh. This place looked fantastic with the navy-green-white-orange color scheme.

Use the restaurant’s design as inspiration when choosing a color palette. Is it a neutral environment? Then splashes of color on your dinnerware might be stunning. Is it completely white? To create contrast, use richer, darker hues.


Work in triangles if possible.

Shoot things in groups of three, forming triangles, to get the most out of many servings. Triangles are inherently dynamic because they have the fewest number of sides required to make a complete shape. As a result, putting items in triangles provides structure as well as simplicity. Triangles, when used correctly, provide a harmonic balance in a shot.

For example, in the shot below, I created a triangle with the flowers, charcuterie platter, and steak. Your gaze alternates between each of these three components, and if one of them were missing, the other two would be wrong. That is the triangle’s strength.


4. Put your hands in the frame.

Dining at a restaurant entails sharing a table with others. They are associated with tenderness and togetherness. As a result, including a human element such as a hand in your frame emphasizes the sensation of communal dining.

Don’t be afraid to ask servers if they can help you with your shot if they aren’t too busy. Set up the shot fully beforehand, so you just employ them for a brief snap, so you get the most out of their time. Ask them to hold a drink, a food, or reach for an app, for example.



5. Get rid of any clutter that isn’t absolutely necessary.

Menus, salt shakers, and water glasses… They have no place in restaurant photos, even if they don’t disturb us while we’re dining. Remove any objects that aren’t required for your photo, since they’ll only make the table seem crowded and dirty.

Furthermore, the less stuff on your table, the more your attention will be directed to the meals themselves. After all, you want the cuisine to be the star of the show!


6. Take a photo of a bomb tablescape.

Getting the ideal table scape image is one of my favorite aspects of restaurant photography. To create a stunning tablescape, I begin by forming groups of triangles. The rose, pink drink, and yellow drink create a triangle in the upper left corner. Another triangle is formed by the three hands entering the frame. A third triangle is formed by the three dishes in the bottom part of the shot. The dynamic yet balanced tablescape is achieved by layering these triads on top of each other.

Start from the beginning if you’re having trouble creating a tablescape. Remove everything off the table and arrange each piece one at a time. As a result, each piece is introduced with intention.


7. Use a high-end camera to capture everything.

When I’m shooting in a different city or don’t feel like carrying around my huge DSLR camera, I use my Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III. It’s small, sleek, and has all of the power of a large dSLR without the bother or the cost.

The OM-D E-M10 Mark III is ideal for anybody wishing to upgrade from their smartphone camera to a high-quality, simple-to-use camera. It brilliantly captures depth and produces professional-quality restaurant images with a single click. 



8. Alternate between single-dish shots and full-table shots.

Get a mix of single-dish pictures and larger, full-table views to get the most out of your shoot. As a restaurant photographer, you want to offer images that can be utilized in a variety of ways, including on the client’s website, social media channels, and in the press. As a result, the more diverse your images are, the better.



Above all, having a good time with it. It will show in your images if you’re having a good time, being comfortable, and believing in your ability.


Olympus USA provided funding for this article. Thank you for your continued support of the brands that make Broma possible!

If you are looking to improve your restaurant photography, then these 8 tips will help. The “shot list for restaurant” is a tip that helps you plan out your shots before the actual shoot.

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