Three Times Your Restaurant Needs to Hire A Food Photographer

Storied Coffee in Scotia New York

The restaurant industry is not an easy one to be in. It requires long hours, a lot of money, and putting trust in staff members that they will help run and represent the restaurant well. Because of the challenges the restaurant industries presents, hiring a food photographer is often looked at as an unnecessary luxury. After all, why invest in a professional when everyone owns a smartphone these days?

Any big foodie who is looking for their next new restaurant to try will often scroll through the food photography a restaurant has on Yelp, Google, and Instagram before deciding where to go. This is especially true if they are not familiar with the restaurant itself, or if they are traveling and unfamiliar with the restaurants in the area.

Food is deceivingly hard to shoot. The shine created by sauces can create hard-to-capture glares, casseroles and stews don’t appear too appetizing when on a plate, and fresh herbs can quickly wilt, leading to sad looking photos. Any good food photographer knows the best tricks to make any restaurants dishes look mouth watering. They also know how to professionally style and plate food to make the meal looks its best. All this is to say that food photography is so much more than taking a photo of some food.

Chickens wings from Nanola shot by food photographer AM Knizek Photo

When It’s Time For Your Restaurant to Hire a Food Photographer

A New Menu

Whether you change your menu with the seasons or when you feel it’s time to switch things up, you should have the new items captured by a professional.

The key thing to remember is that professionalism counts for something in how you market yourself—and high quality professional photos really make all the difference in how a restaurant is portrayed online.  Advertising a new menu on social media will encourage people to visit your website, but posting photos of the new menu will have them lining up outside your door!

Of course you want your customers taking pictures that are worth sharing when your food arrives at their table, however, you also want to have photos for your website, social media accounts, and review sites that are top notch and professional.

You Host a Large Event

Hiring a food photographer to capture your Mother’s Day Brunch or Super Bowl party isn’t necessary, but you should seriously consider hiring one for larger events.

Milestones such as anniversaries, grand re-openings, or the retirement of an owner should be celebrated and captured by a professional.  These moments are part of a restaurants history, and just like a wedding or graduation you want the memories to last a lifetime.

In addition, the chances are high that there will be some spectacular food at the events. A food photographer will be able to quickly shoot those items amongst the commotion, providing you with some pretty great content for your website and social media.

Advertising Campaigns and Marketing Materials

If you’re going to spend the money on an advertising campaign, whether it is digital or traditional, you should also spend the money on some good photos.

Newspapers, magazines, online publications, and social media are all flooded with ads, so you need eye-catching photography to capture a person’s attention. Once you have it you can relay your message and drive customers to your restaurant.

Food photography for the purpose of advertising has its own challenges as well There needs to be empty space on the photo for text, the image needs to be a certain size and quality, and the usage license is different. A professional food photographer will know how to handle these situations with ease, allowing you to sit back and focus on other elements of the campaign.

The same principles apply to your restaurants marketing materials. Your brochures, business cards, rack cards, and signage should feature high-quality imagery of your food. After all, a restaurant is all about food, and if your marketing materials include blurry, dark photos of a burger or some pasta, potential patrons won’t be too impressed.

The moral of the story, and the one thing I want you to take away from this blog is that professional photos are an investment. They will pay for themselves by ultimately increasing brand awareness and sales at your restaurant. Once you see the difference high-quality photos make, and how good your food looks, you’ll be wanting new photos every month 😉


Audrey Knizek is the founder and owner of AM Knizek Photo. Specializing in food photography, Audrey has worked with restaurants throughout Albany New York to provide high-quality content that portrays the atmosphere and personality of the restaurant. Looking for a food photographer in the Capital Region? Get in touch today!

Tea photography from AM Knizek Photo
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