Photo sharing is arguably the most important aspect of social media. With the unabated rise in popularity of photo sharing services like Instagram and Snapchat, sharing photos online is now an ubiquitous part of modern living. Instagram alone now boasts 700 million active users posting 95 million photos per day. A mind boggling number to be sure, but a large chunk of these shared photos point to a very interesting trend. As of writing, exactly 238,726,467 photos on Instagram have been shared under the hashtag #food. Food photography is most certainly one of the most popular activities related to photo sharing and with good reason.
With social media's voracious appetite for food photography, restaurants would do well to take notice. A viral photo is a potent tool for advertising a new dish or revitalizing interest in an old menu favorite. Smartphone photos can and have done very well on Instagram; especially when submitted by customers. However, getting professionals to do the job can help in ensuring that dishes are represented in the best light (pun intended). When searching for professional help, make sure that the photographer you are considering is experienced in techniques specific to food photography, including shooting styles and post-production methods. Care and attention should also be given to the photographer's personal style as well as the intended venue of the photo shoot. Will you be shooting on site at your own restaurant or are you looking for a more controlled environment such as a photographer's studio? Taking photos of food requires meticulous planning and arranging. In many cases, a professional food stylist is brought in to help stage the perfect shot.
The act of sharing a photo is in and of itself a way of telling a story. And what better story to tell than that of food? It is said that a picture is worth a thousand words and rightly so. Good food is very much a treat for the eyes as well as for the mouth. However, even the most exquisitely plated dish can look lackluster in the face of mediocre food photography. A lot goes into making a good food photo. Styling, lighting and staging coupled with a good understanding of key photography skills and post-processing can make or break a good food photo.