Would You Eat It? A Look at Menu Photography

As a Sydney based food photographer for restaurants, I often play a little bit of a game with myself called Would I Eat That when I’m looking at images online or when I’m out and about looking at images outside of food restaurants or on takeaway menus.

Ready To Play?

The way it works is pretty much as it sounds… You look at an image of food be it in the real world on a menu, on an advertising flyer or online, and decide if you’d eat that item based purely on the image.

Sometimes restaurant photography can be really awesome and make you hungry straight away, you can imagine the smell of the food and imagine the taste of it, perhaps it’s so good that your mouth starts watering and your stomach lets out a growl – You wanna go get it, you wanna buy it, you wanna gobble it up straight away.

But sometimes the photography can be terrible. If you’ve ever been to some of those old Chinese takeaway places that have generally got those really old faded photos from about 1985, you know what I’m talking about.

If you were to judge those food items by the photo, which a lot of people do, you definitely wouldn’t be eating it.

Food photographers shoot for a takeaway restaurant in Mosman, Sydney.

So, what I suggest you guys do if you’re in the food and restaurant industry is really take a good, hard look at your own imagery, and your own marketing and decide, from a customer’s point of view, if you’d buy it and eat it.

Take a Look at What Others Are Doing

If you’re seeing your own images and products with rose-tinted glasses start playing the game with other companies food and restaurant photography first – Notice what you like, what you find appetising, what catches your eye and why and also what turns you off.

When you find a really good photo that leaves you salivating, take a screenshot so you can come back at a later date and see how your own restaurant photography and food photography measures up with a reference point of what you want to achieve and how you can improve.

Be Honest With Yourself

You have to be really honest when you play this game. It might be a case of the food itself being fine but the presentation needing work due to distracting backgrounds. Maybe you need a pro to help you capture that melt-in-the-mouth taste of deliciousness!

“Pull up a chair. Take a taste. Come join us. Life is so endlessly delicious.” Ruth Reichl

If you have come to the conclusion that you wouldn’t eat your own food then hiring restaurant & food photographers (such as myself!) will get those images looking really good, to the point where your customers are banging on the door to be let in at the food after only seeing the images, never mind taking a bite!

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