How to Take Striking Photos for Your Restaurant: 5 Important Tips To Remember

In our previous article, I mentioned that humans are judgemental.

Some people may not have taken it lightly, even when they know it’s the truth. I also gave a few reasons why you should take quality photos and how they affect your online credibility, visibility, and conversions.

If you missed that post, read it here: 5 Things Customers Want to See in Your Business Photos.

Now that you know why you should take amazing photos for your business, I will show you how to.

For restaurants, photos are at the fore-front of all marketing efforts. Most restaurant-goers use pictures to make a decision on whether to visit a particular restaurant or not.

So, how can you use photos to get customers to your restaurant?

The first thing you must do is to know what kind of customers you want to attract. Then post the right kind of photos to bring them in.

Here are 3 things to keep in mind before you take a single shot:

  1. Know Your Customers

If you don’t know who you want to attract, you won’t know what kind of photos you should take. This is the first and most important step. Many restaurants struggle to get customers because they fail to put this into consideration.

  1. Say No To The Wrong People

You do not need to hire or be a professional photographer to take amazing photos. Your photos only need to convey the right message to your preferred customers. By taking the kind of photos that your desired customers want, you are saying no to the wrong customers.

  1. Get Loyal Customers To Willingly Promote You

Yes, you can get customers to promote you for free. Here’s how:

Make them a part of your journey. But portray them as the heroes of your story. You could organize a contest and reward the winner, with photos to show for it. Or select a loyal customer to come on a live video to talk about his/her experience. You may also ask for advice/suggestion and follow it, with pictures as proof.

Now that we have gotten that out of the way, let’s look at how you can take better photos for your restaurant.

Tip 1: Stay Away From Stock Photos

As a local business, you should avoid stock photos like the plague. This is because stock photos are most times overly staged. To put it bluntly, they look fake. They do not convey any real meaning or message and potential customers can spot that.

Take photos with your own camera. You could even use a mobile phone with a high-grade camera to take cool, custom pictures. You will convey more meaning this way, than with stock photos.

Tip 2: Do Not Stage Your Shots

This may sound like a repeat of the first tip but it’s not. Most local businesses prepare some of their customers for the shot. They tell them to sit like they are having a good time, look at the camera, smile and say ‘cheese’!

People can smell a staged photo from a mile away. They may infer that you have got something to hide. Taking amazing photos isn’t difficult. All you need is a good smartphone and steady hands.

Capture the front view of your restaurant, the dining area or your staff while they work. You could customers as they walk in through the door or as they sit to eat without calling their attention. This way, you can capture moments as they happen.

Tip 3: Wait For the ‘Golden Hour’ To Take the Shot

Golden hour here refers to those moments when there’s an eclipse of the right lighting, atmosphere, and environment. Golden moments make it easy for you to take alluring pictures.

Every restaurant has its own golden hour. For some it may happen in the mornings, for others it may happen just before sunset. Therefore, you need to observe when your golden hour comes and prepare to take maximum advantage of it every day.

Tip 4: It’s better to Crop Your Images than to Zoom

Even though there are smartphones with cameras that put professional digital cameras to shame, it’s still better to crop images. If there are features you want to focus on, instead of zooming in to take the shot, you should take the shot and then crop out the unwanted feature.

When you zoom in to take a shot with a smartphone, the image loses its crispiness. In the end, you get a poor quality picture that sends the wrong message to potential customers.

Tip 5: Tell Them a Story in Your Picture

Humans love stories. It’s one of the most effective ways to get people’s attention. When we read stories, we try to find a part of ourselves in the character; we try to share the journey with them.

Therefore, you should take photos that tell your potential customers a story.

A story could be your restaurant’s history and the journey of your growth. Or what the ambience of your restaurant looks like on Thursday nights.

Stories are always happening around you. You only need to wait for the right moment to tell it with the perfect shot.


Remember that you will never be able to take the perfect shot. What makes a picture great is the message it conveys to your customers. Always make sure you take natural photos that tell a story at the golden hour.

In a nutshell, a perfect picture is one that tells the right stories to the right audience.

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