In this article, I will tell you who is present at the photo shoot, how much time the food photography takes, and most importantly, I will give some advice on how to make everything run smoothly.
Negotiation and preparation is the longest and most crucial stage. The result will depend on how well you and the photographer understand each other. Therefore, it is necessary to explain in detail what you want to achieve. Tell the food photographer about the concept of the restaurant, preferences and tastes of the guests.
To make life easier for yourself and the photographer, create a moodboard. Pick the pictures that convey the desired style and mood. It's convenient to do with Pinterest. Type in "food photography examples" and pin the works that you like. Show the photographer your selected pictures so that he has references. This will ensure that both of you are on the same page.
What questions you should answer to ensure that you have control of every detail? Below are examples.
- Where will you use the food photographs?
Photos for a restaurant menu or calendar are different from photos for advertising or site design. They differ in composition, mood, aspect ratio, in one word - everything.
For different purposes, you will need different types of images: horizontal photos on a white background for the menu, vertical photos in the interior of the restaurant for advertising, square photos for Instagram, lifestyle photos for the magazine. Moreover, for each type of shooting, you need a special entourage, lighting, props.
Photos for social media can also be used in the design of flyers or to create a poster, so consider several options for using pictures. This ensures that you get the maximum benefit for your money.
- Atmosphere and style. What colors are preferred?
Explain to the photographer what emotions the photos should evoke, what atmosphere they should convey. Should the pictures look minimalist or baroque, luxuriant? What details have to be underlined? What should photographs reflect: an unusual way of serving food, a variety of ingredients, freshness, richness of colors? The style of your establishment will affect the way the products are presented. Dairy products look good in a simple home-style, eco style is suitable for farm products, cocktails look interesting in the light of neon lamps.
- Where will the photo shoot take place? Who is going to cook? Do you need additional specialists and services? (Food stylist, designer, props, special equipment)
If the shooting takes place in a restaurant, allocate the area where the photographer can place the equipment. Listen to his requirements: if he needs natural light, free up space by the window.
It is vital that the work of the photographer does not disturb the visitors and stuff. If the photographer uses flashes, the bright light will annoy guests and waiters.
Choose and approve edible and inedible props for food photography. Decide which napkins to use, plates, vegetables, spices, herbs, what interior details should be in the frame. Assign a responsible person who will buy and deliver all this.
- Should a plate be in the frame or do you need close-ups of the dish?
If you need a macro image of the dish where you can see the smallest details, explain to the photographer that you do not need a photo of the whole cake on the plate. You want to show only the cut of the cake and the layers of which it consists.
- How many dishes, angles do you need?
The number of dishes required for shooting affects the time it takes to prepare, the duration of the shooting, and the price.
- What to include in the frame? What should not be in the frame?
Sometimes it is necessary to include branded objects in the frame, for example, business cards, menus, napkins, etc.
- What surfaces or backgrounds do you prefer?
Sometimes the task or style of shooting requires additional backgrounds or backdrops. Decide on which background you want to see your dishes: marble counter top, fabric, wood planks, styled to look like concrete or stone?
A few days before the shooting, make sure that you have the necessary ingredients, the equipment is working correctly, the chef is aware of the photo shoot and has prepared everything you need.
If you have the chance to attend the shooting, use this opportunity to coordinate the result with the photographer and the team. If you don’t like something, you can fix it right away.
The more information you give the photographer, the higher the chance that he will create exactly what