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The Most Important Investment You Can Make in Your Food Business? Professional Food Photography

Updated: Nov 7, 2019

The old saying that a picture is worth 1000 words could not be more relevant in today’s online world. Especially when it comes to images of food! Of all the ways that restaurants and food product companies market and present themselves online, the absolute most important piece of the puzzle is their photography and imagery.

Think about it…. How many times have you searched a recipe, or a restaurant or food product, maybe a grocery store, and the very first thing that catches your eye when you come to their web page or social media pages is the image. How many times have you chosen a restaurant, recipe, or food product because of the quality of those photos?

There’s a reason why businesses put a banner at the top of their website. There is a reason that on Facebook business pages, the photo banner is at the very top of the page. There is a reason why millions of photos end up on Pinterest and Instagram…. because people are looking at them, and engaging with them. All day long, every single day.

The human brain processes images 60,000 times faster than text. It also forms its first impression in 50 milliseconds. (Pixlee - 5 Visual Marketing Facts You Need to Know) A good photographer, especially one that specializes in one specific type of photography, such as food photography, understands how to create an image that will draw people in, and that will convey the very best aspects of your brand or product. They understand the trends of styling and imagery, what works and what doesn’t, and can insure that the photos they create for you will stand out.

I live in a city where there are literally thousands of restaurants, and new ones opening all the time. When I am searching online for places to eat and new spots to try, one of the things that makes them more legitimate to me is their photos. It can literally be the sole deciding factor in why I choose one place over another.

Here are a few other fun facts:

* People make decisions visually far more often that they use to these days. They make decisions about like what to do, where to go, and what to buy based on the visuals they see.

* 90% of the information sent to the brain is visual.

* 65% of people are visual learners.

* 20% of people visiting a website will read the info, but will view every image.

* 63% of consumers said that professional and exceptional images are more important than product descriptions. (*Crowdriff - 20 Visual Marketing Statistics You Should Know)

* Visual content is 40 times more likely to be shared across social media than any other type of content. More shares mean more exposure.

* 37 percent of marketers said visual marketing was the most important form of their brand’s content production scheme, coming in second behind blogging at 38 percent. Also, 74 percent used visuals in their social media marketing. (Pixlee - 5 Visual Marketing Facts You Need to Know)

These statistics are plentiful and they all say the same thing: professional and well thought out imagery is crucial for any food business these days.

So, all of this info being the case, why do so many restaurant and food business owners relegate their food images way down on their list of priorities? Or, think that, since they have the new iPhone 10, that they can just take images themselves?

No…. Just not true. There is so much more to food photography than just aiming and shooting in the moment.

A good photographer will also be able to create a mood, a cohesive message with their images, and that will go a long way in branding your restaurant and conveying a theme. It’s imperative that, as a restaurant or business owner, that you make your product look as enticing as possible. Having one person who can take several shots that are all similar in look and feel will allow you to create a much more inviting Instagram and Pinterest feed, food blog, or website.

‘With a little bit of creative direction, staging, and prop consideration, your food photography has the ability to extend your brand in enormous ways. It’s not easy to get all the elements just right . It’s the food photographer's job to consider the food, the lighting, the colors, the angles, the props and on and on.’ Amy Dennis / Nice Branding Agency

Of all the investments you make in your business, the benefits of professional and stellar photography far exceeds the initial cost. Especially for a restaurant. The food IS the business, it’s the selling point. So, that’s where the focus should be.

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