Three Critical Shots To Get When You'Re Shooting At A Restaurant

Posted on: 13 February 2018

If you work as a commercial photographer, one type of client that you might frequently find yourself working for is a restaurant. Restaurants depend on images for their websites, social media channels, and menus, and the right shots can really help to create a buzz about a restaurant's food and more. When a restaurant hires you, you may receive specific instructions about what to photograph. In other cases, you'll be left to shoot the images that you feel will best represent what the restaurant is all about. If this is the case, here are three critical shots that you need to get.


A restaurant's food is its chief attraction, which means that it's imperative that you get a selection of photos of food. Ask about the restaurant's top dishes so that you can photograph them. Professional food photography really helps to make a dish come to life — while many diners can take smartphone photos of their meals to entice their social media followers, commercial photographers will take the time to not only light the scene properly, but also set up the dish in a desirable manner so that the enticing nature of the food comes through.


Perhaps second only to a restaurant's food is its ambiance. Restaurants go to considerable effort to create an atmosphere that will appeal to diners, and it's your job to capture this mood in your photographs. A combination of wide-angle shots of the dining room and macro-style images of decorating details can be valuable. You'll also want to plan to shoot some patrons of the restaurant, even if they're models or friends of the owner who are playing the role of customers. Set people up at a booth or table and aim to create a warm ambiance. Positive body language and plenty of smiles can help to make the people appear as though they're enjoying the experience.


Opening the door to a restaurant's kitchen through a series of photos can make diners feel confident. The closed-off nature of a kitchen may make skeptical patrons wonder about how clean it is, but your photos can truly show the spotless appearance of the kitchen and the hardworking approach of the staff. You can use a variety of photographic effects here. One idea is to keep the shutter open long enough that the staff members create a blur as they move around the space — this sets a feeling of the staff members working hard for the diners. Close-up shots of staff members' clean hands plating food and preparing it can also be ideal.