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  • Writer's picturePaolo Ferla

Mastering Location Restaurant Food Photography: 10 Essential Tips for Success


Recently, we had the privilege of collaborating with Sizzling Pubs on an exciting photography project aimed at capturing content for their latest restaurant menus and signage. This experience helped us gain invaluable insights and further refined our approach to conducting on-location shoots seamlessly. In this post, we're excited to share our top tips for ensuring a successful on-location restaurant food photography session.


  1. Location Scouting: Identify the best spots within the venue for shooting, considering lighting, ambiance, and available space.


  1. Pre-Shoot Planning: Collaborate closely with the client to understand their vision, menu highlights, and branding requirements beforehand. We do this by asking  our clients to fill out a brief prior to the shoot. This provides us with a shot list, reference images and prop requirements which we can source ready for the shoot. A bit of prep will ensure the shoot runs as smoothly as possible on the day! Find out more about our workflow and how our brief process works here.


  1. Lighting Setup: Use a combination of natural and artificial lighting to enhance the food and drink presentation, ensuring consistency throughout the shoot. Natural lighting can be very much weather and venue-dependent, so we always recommend bringing your most high quality portable lights along with you to any shoot. On location shoots, we specifically use flash to ensure the lighting is as crisp as possible.

Woman styling food and scene for an on-location restaurant food photography photoshoot

  1. Composition: Experiment with different angles, perspectives, and compositions to highlight the key elements of each dish and beverage. You can play around with depth of field and focus to emphasize specific dishes, while integrating some ambience and atmospheric elements from the venue itself.


  1. Food Styling: Pay attention to details such as garnishes, textures, and plating to make the food and drinks visually appealing and appetizing. Top tip: always make sure you bring a small spray water bottle to make beverages look fresh and cold. As well as oil and a brush to prevent any food from looking dry or tough, a tiny bit of oil adds the perfect sheen to a dish. If you’re looking for an extra edition to your kit, a small heat gun always comes in handy - especially for any cheesy dishes to enhance the melty goodness.


  1. Props and Accessories: Incorporate relevant props and accessories to add context and personality to the shots, aligning with the venue's theme and client’s branding.


  1. Team Collaboration: Work closely with chefs, bartenders, and serving staff to ensure smooth coordination and timely presentation of dishes and drinks.


  1. Flexibility and Adaptability: Be prepared to adjust plans and improvisations as needed to accommodate changes in lighting, weather, or unforeseen circumstances.


  1. Attention to Detail: Focus on capturing the nuances and subtleties of each dish and beverage, including texture, colour, and presentation, to evoke sensory appeal.


  1. Post-Processing: Use editing tools and techniques to refine and enhance the images, maintaining a balance between authenticity and visual allure.


By following these key tips, you can elevate your location restaurant food photography and deliver stunning imagery that showcases the essence of the brand, their menu and the dining experience. For more top tips and case studies, check out our other other blog posts here


Take a look at our Instagram for more of our work and keep up to date with the latest from Future Proof via our LinkedIn.


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