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“People eat with their eyes", if you’ve heard that before, you know it means that the taste of food is greatly influenced by how it looks. This is why featuring rich images on your menu is a must. Besides, research shows that including a photo can increase sales of a menu item by up to 30%.

Just look at Instagram and Pinterest to see how popular food photography is. Everyone with a smartphone can take professional quality pics and post them for the world to see. Which is why there is no excuse for badly lit, unfocused food photos in any social media promotions for your café.

Here’s a list of what you can do to present picture-perfect photography to your online visitors and walk in customers:

Find the right lighting

There is no doubt that a well-lit photograph can elevate the mundane into something beautiful. However, most cafés don't have access to professional lighting equipment, so we recommend using only natural light. Find a place near a window, or even outside in a courtyard that is well lit without being in direct sunlight. Different times of the day will also affect the light.

Get perspective

There are two basic angles for food shots – either shoot low or directly above, but not in-between. Create more engaging pictures by taking the images from angles that best represent your food.

Perfect it in post-processing

There are countless photo editing apps available – we recommend SnapSeed, iBlur and Hipstamatic. You can also use standard editing features in the photo app that comes with your camera. These apps help enhance the vibrancy of an image, blur the background (depth of field) and apply filters and frames so you can create a style that is unique to your café.

Start styling

Get creative and style your shots using props such as napkins, raw ingredients, interesting crockery and table decorations such as flowers, and a cup of coffee or a pot of tea.

Get up close

Don't be afraid to crop into an image you've taken to get a more detailed depiction of the food. You will need to crop images to square for your Instagram feed, so keep this in mind when you are taking your shot.

Spend some time experimenting with different styles and effects until you can confidently repeat the kind of shots you like. Good images of your food, as well as in-action shots of your staff can really boost your social media engagement. And when done well it can draw more customers to your café. Now, who wouldn’t want that!

A little training always helps. So, if you’d like to take your skills to the next level, here are few courses you can choose from:

Find out more about CAFÉ 360