Last Updated on July 9, 2020
When your menu design requires food photography, what should you think about? What kind of camera do you need? What kind of photographer should you hire? Find the answers here.
Menu Design: Food Photography for Your Restaurant Menu
For some concepts, it makes sense to put high-resolution photos of menu items in the actual design. More commonly you see this practice in fast food through lower price-point casual dining operations.
Photos are one of the best merchandising techniques you can incorporate into your menu design, but it must be done tastefully. There must be a “truth in advertising.” For instance, while the food can and should be “stylized” (by a professional food stylist) it shouldn’t mislead in terms of quantity of portions or quality of ingredients.
Photoshoots can be expensive. Large chains can easily spend up to $10,000 per photograph on professional shoots. There are some well-respected food photographers that can do shoots for more in the range of $2,500–$5,000 USD plus travel and get quite good results.
Just buying an expensive camera is not a strategy for food photography. There is a tremendous amount of skill and experience needed to produce food photography in today’s age that will hold up to what consumers are used to seeing from the big guys. If your budget does not allow for a professional food photographer (specialized photographer – not just any old portrait photographer will do), then it is best to leverage the other merchandizing techniques until the budget allows for an investment in digital assets.