You see it almost every day. Another restaurant, food truck, café, or bakery is coming to your area. How do you, as an owner, get your food business to stand out in such a crowded market?
Sure, you’re putting your name out there on social media, maybe an outdoor sign or two, and you’ve got a decent website up and running. But if you want to take your food business to the next level, you’re going to need to enlist the services of a professional food photographer.
You might wonder why you would need to hire outside professionals to take pictures of your food, when you can just take the photos yourself and save some money. It’s not quite as simple as that.
Smartphones and basic point-and-shoot cameras can do a serviceable job at capturing the essence of your food, but they are unlikely to entice hungry consumers to come and sample your menu. Chances are, your small business doesn’t have the budget to cover the wide range of equipment necessary to achieve professional-quality photographs.
Here are 5 key reasons why you should consider hiring a professional food photographer for your business:
To Capture the Attention of Potential Customers
Well-executed food photography conveys a specific mood and can even influence a person’s emotions. A photo of a dish on your website or social media page might be the first impression a person gets of your business, and this can very well determine whether or not they decide to visit your establishment.
When food is visually appealing in pictures, it’s only natural that people will want to come and find out for themselves if it tastes as good as it looks. Returning customers may be drawn in by a new dish if a promotion announcing its arrival is accompanied by stunning visual imagery.
To Show Off Your Delicious Food
A great food photographer understands the importance of showcasing the textures, colors, shapes, and ingredients of dishes, ensuring that your food stands out from the crowd. Having honed their skill over time, professional photographers know how to capture the most favorable angles, make better use of the available natural light, use reflectors and light modifiers to create highlights and shadows, compose elements and balance them in the frame, and ensure that each ingredient looks beautiful and fresh.
While chefs may be adept at styling their plates artistically for their customers, professional photographers are skilled at arranging the dishes specifically for the camera. What looks delicious to the naked eye doesn’t always translate as well in a photograph – lighting and food styling are key.
To Demonstrate Your Commitment to Quality
If your customers can see you have invested time and budget into professional photography, it will be easy for them to associate your brand with high quality. It is easy to settle for mediocre in the business world, cutting costs wherever you can to increase the overall profit of your company. But for food businesses, visual imagery is simply too crucial to “DIY.”
A professional photographer brings many things to the table that you, as a small business owner, cannot – high-tech photographic equipment, special lighting, and quality lenses, for example. In addition, their superior knowledge of the photography process is something you can’t replicate with amateur or in-house photographers.
To Create (Or Reinforce) Your Brand Identity
Successful food photography speaks to who you are as a business. So, who are you? What is your brand all about? A professional food photographer can present your brand’s presence and voice visually in ways that you probably never could on our own.
Identifying and communicating a clear vision of your brand’s identity will help your photographer create cohesive images that will best represent your business. With a little bit of creative direction, staging, and some props, your food photography has the ability to extend your brand in enormous ways. Your photos should offer strong elements of your visual image and align with your overall brand direction.
To Support Your Marketing Strategy
Chances are, you know your target audience very well – and because you do, you also know the channels you will use to reach them with your message, whether through your website, social media pages, print/online ads, banners, commercials, or any combination of these. It’s therefore essential to make sure that photos are shot appropriately, allowing for the different dimensions across different media.
Communicating your marketing strategy effectively will help a professional food photographer understand the look and content you’re going for in your photos. After all, your photography is what will ultimately represent your business visually, both to the community and the rest of the world!
When using social media to promote your food business – which, in today’s world, is a must! – you have to be able to tell your story visually. Food businesses that choose to use professional photographers for their marketing can expect to see better engagement on their websites and blogs, as well as increased shares and comments across their social media platforms. All of which, ultimately, can lead to more customers and greater sales!
You might be wondering whether your small business can afford to hire a professional food photographer, and that’s a valid concern. The initial investment can be pricey, but not as costly as the long-term drawbacks of trying to “go it alone.” You may think it’s possible that an in-house individual who’s skilled with a camera and has a good eye for taking photos is an ideal short-term solution. But by hiring a professional food photographer at the outset, you can conserve that time and energy to grow your business in other ways.
Professional food photography is a tangible way for your business to put its best foot forward. Low-quality photography – or worse, no photos at all – can cheapen your brand or send out the wrong impression to potential customers. Hiring a professional food photographer ensures that the quality of photography matches the image you’re projecting to the community and the world beyond. Top-notch photography can take your branding and marketing from average to amazing!
If you’re looking to elevate your brand by enlisting the services of a professional food photographer, HighClick Media is here to help! Our team members are more than happy to discuss how we can help grow your food business with professional photography. Call us today at 252.814.2150!