Food Presentation Tips: Present Your Food Like a Top Chef (Part 2)

The saying “people eat with their eyes” has taken on a whole new meaning since the dawn of social media. If you’ve looked around a restaurant or scrolled down your newsfeed, chances are you’ll see someone taking snapshots of their meals. In fact, there are 203,666,605 images on instagram using the hashtag #food at the time this blog was written! Factoring in the other tags and non-tagged images, that could well be billions of food photos!

As we mentioned in last week’s article, a good-looking dish can do more than impress your guests when arriving to the table. Now, let’s pick up where we left off with plating, and dive into food photography and the best practices of sharing on social media to promote your business and event expertise.

1. Light It Up!

Have you ever seen someone standing under a buzzing fluorescent light and thought they look washed out? Bad lighting doesn’t just affect people and when food falls prey it can look extremely unappetizing. In order to flatter your food, photograph it by a natural light source like a window or use a diffused light source. If you anticipate the photoshoot to take awhile, plan to have an oven on standby to keep the dishes looking their best.

2. Boost Your Background

While the main focus of the photo will be the food itself, it’s important to consider the surface you place the dish on. The surface should be interesting but not distracting, and should compliment the dish and the ‘feel’ you are trying to convey. For example, a rustic dish like braised ribs would look great placed on a weathered wooden table, while a decadent dessert (a fruit tart!) would look best onwhite china against an elegant table cloth!

3. Take a Bite

Photographing food fresh out of the oven and in its untouched state is the norm, but don’t be afraid to take a bite and show the before and after. A well-placed bite can add some texture and dimension to the shot (think pies, cookies and apples!) and also give the viewer a peek at the tasty interior of the food. If you show the flatware in the shot, stock up on a simple, classic set to compliment the dish.

4. Add Some Motion

Remix your static images with some motion. A short video of a food item or dish can show off it’s best qualities and really make the viewer’s stomach rumble. Use an app like Boomerang to post onto social media and get creative! Zoom in on the bubbles in your newest featured cocktail, the gooeyness on that spoonful of mac ‘n cheese or the sizzle coming off those fajitas!

5. Set Your Sites

Your client’s needs and events keep you busy, and while social media may not be high on your list of priorities, it’s certainly important! Even if you don’t post every day, it’s crucial to set up your company on sites that will get you noticed and establish a basic social footprint. In addition to a website, create accounts on sites like FoursquareFacebookZomatoYelpInstagram and TwitterLinkedIn and Google+. This will increase the likelihood that your business will come up on Internet searches and allow customers to interact with your company and brand. 

6. #Research

Hashtags are a nifty social media tool that not everyone uses correctly. They have the potential to take your company from flat to famous, which is why it’s important to know how and when to use them! Hashtags give people the opportunity to research what is trending on social media. The first step is to find some of your favorite foodies and industry influencers to see what kind of hashtags they use. The next step is to include those hashtags in your own post, which will add on another way that people can find you. On most social media sites, when you put the # in front of your keyword or phrase it becomes a hyperlink and when a user clicks on the hashtag it will show all other social media posts connected with that specific word or phrase!. #Awesome

At IEP, our customers are our passion, which is why we communicate with them often and on many platforms. We’d love to connect with you onFacebookTwitter and LinkedIn and hear what you think about our products and services.

Want to learn more about promoting your business? Check out our free guide, How to Book More Hospitality Events Using Email Marketing.