Food for thought

We are all attracted to beautiful pictures of food and for years advertisers have been using images on late night television to trigger our senses to place an order. Food photography is still very relevant in the marketing strategies for restaurants, food blogs, catering companies and chefs. Websites need to showcase food especially on mobile as many potential customers make their decision to visit a restaurant or bakery on the spur of the moment based on their location. People want to see things before they buy them and images boost your conversion rate. Social media is an important piece to the brand awareness puzzle and can also engage your target audience.

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Recently, Calgary photographer, David Watt and stylist Carol Feldman, did a photo shoot for a local Calgary bakery, Brûlée Patisserie. The bakery is frequented by David; he has always admired the beauty of the products, not to mention the incredible flavors! In his series of photos, David captures the mood of each product with lighting and composition.

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Food photography is all about appealing to the senses. A great shot has color, atmosphere and intimacy. You want the food to jump off the screen and to whet the appetite. It is important to invest in the right photography equipment to get the detail of the texture and the sheen on the white chocolate curl. A photographer will also take the time to explore different angles and lighting.

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The second consideration for restaurants, bakeries, caterers and other food establishments is how to get to my target market. An easy way to do this is through Social Media.

Chef Amanda Ford and founder of Citygirl Catering has seen an increase in brand awareness with her efforts on Social Media. Ford regularly posts to Instagram and Facebook. “In my experience, using social media to drive business to my brand has been a fairly successful endeavour but I continue to learn every day. Effectively your success in getting your message out via social media depends not only on the number of followers you have but how many active or ‘engaged’ followers you have. I have over 800 followers but still average 20 likes per photo and my highest peaks around 60 likes.”

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“The secret to increasing activity around your postings is to accumulate those followers that will be engaged and engage regularly. I find that as a Chef, my most rustic images as well as my most polished plating seem to garner the most action. Giving your followers what they want or seem to respond to and also engaging with them, I believe is a good way to increase the traffic on your postings which ultimately raises your profile and I believe drives business to your brand.”

A winning formula is to take the time to get beautiful images that appeal to the senses and that also engage with your audience. Food photography is more relevant now than ever. A good photographer can bring your food to life with lighting and styling. Social Media has to be part of the marketing plan too. Try something and see what works, rinse and repeat. Hook them with the gorgeous food pictures. For more information and to see more beautiful food pictures, check out David’s website at and Chef Amanda at @citygirlchef on Instagram.


Maureen Peets  Founder & Principal, Smash House




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