Good photography is vital for any hospitality business. People have less and less time to be trawling through your website for information or reading about your story, and as the age old saying goes; “a picture tells a thousand words”. The rise of rich media platforms such as Instagram has us demanding innovative and creative content, which is essential if you want to stand out from your competitors.
Photography for your website, ads and emails should be done professionally and are absolutely worth investing in but, together with the Design team here at Ignite, I have put together a few essential tips and tricks so you can create beautiful images yourself even on your smartphone:
1. Lighting is key.
Move around to find the best light source, always take photos using natural light and not the flash. When creating a series of images (such as for a website or ad campaign) make sure the lighting is consistent.
2. No artificial colours.
Food needs to have its real colour, you can always play with the contrast, brightness or exposure but not with the colours.
3. Make it desirable.
When taking pictures of food, don’t take a photo of something you’ve already begun to eat. You need to create the feeling of “I want to eat that!”.
Try to showcase a plate of food in the context of meal, with the sides, drinks, sauces, etc.
5. Find the right angle.
Try to take photos from multiple angles — some plates of food look better from above (pizza) or from the side (steak) or at 45 degree angle. Move around the plate and try to take as many pictures as you want, you can pick yourself later. Just pick one good one from each plate, you don’t need to have multiple pictures of the same plate from different perspectives!
6. Focus on branding
If you are going to use filters, such as on your organic Instagram account, use the same one each time – consistency is key.
Another incredibly important aspect of photography for your hospitality business is being able to show off your venue. Whether you’re a big hotel or small café, here are a few tips for how to capture the spirit of your brand in an image:
7. Produce images of the venue with and without people.
This allows you to show off your interiors as well as giving potential customers an idea of the atmosphere and experience of being in your venue. It’s important to avoid staged scenarios and produce natural shots.
8. Attention to detail.
Take to details, not only to the generic view of the room (patterns, table set, etc). This is your chance to show off what makes you unique.
9. Play with movement.
Freeze the space and capture the human elements through movement. Once you have framed the image, patiently wait until people walk in front of your frame, then shoot away while you stand in place.
10. Think about the customer.
Make it desirable, what will make the customer want to visit? Think about what makes you special.
11. It’s not just what’s on the inside that counts.
Don’t forget about the exterior! Pictures of your venue from the outside are a good chance to show how you fit into your neighbourhood, boast about your architecture and also help customers to find you the first time they visit!
12. Use a tripod.
When you don’t have enough light in the interior of the restaurant and you need to take a picture with longer exposure, use a tripod, this will help you to avoid camera shake.
So there you have it, my twelve steps to amazing photography for your hospitality business. Here at the agency we work with this stuff everyday and we know how to make you stand out from the competition. To find out what we can do for your business, please just get in touch.