A Feast for the Eyes….
Leslie Rodriguez Photography
We’ve all had that experience, of pulling through a drive-through or sitting down in a restaurant and being presented with a menu that frankly discourages you from ordering.
Greenish refried beans, and plated entrees that appear to have been prepared hours prior and left to die…it’s a terrible thing to misrepresent your food, especially if you are interested in enticing your customers to buy!
Or have you ever created a product or service that you just know people would go crazy over, but you just don’t know how to make it look good in a catalog or on your online shop?
Entrepreneurs, business owners, chefs, start-ups, and even well-established businesses worldwide can struggle with product presentation, but it doesn’t have to be this way!
It all comes down to one simple question:
If it doesn't LOOK good, how will they KNOW it’s good?
Especially in this digital age where everything is online, what’s going to encourage them in the matter of seconds that it takes for them to scroll to stop, and eat HERE instead of THERE? Or purchase your product, instead of a similar product that simply presents better due to superior staging and photography?
An Eye Right from the Start.
Leslie Rodgriguez, the master eye, and mastermind behind Leslie Rodriguez Photography began photographing things she found interesting at 7 years old. She even exchanged film development for doing chores around the house, indicating that a passion for photography wasn’t just simmering under the surface, but reaching a roiling boil.
After mastering film, Leslie moved to digital photography and established her business right after graduating from high school. The author doesn’t want to date herself by giving away too much, but a few decades of photography experience, specializing in product and food photography can bring some benefits to the table that the business owners may not fully understand, so let’s dig in!
Why can’t just anybody photograph food?
Everyone has a smartphone these days. So that means that as a business owner, you might think that the camera on your iPhone is great (and it is) or you have a niece or spouse that posts a lot on IG so that’s great!
Or maybe you have a favorite portrait or wedding photographer that you have been using for years, and they take beautiful photos of your family, so why not have them shoot your lunch menu or the custom jewelry you are selling?
Food and objects aren’t people. I know that seems like a very obvious statement, but it’s the reason why photographing food and merchandise is different than other types of photography.
Lighting, the temperature of the food, shadows, how long the food has been out, the plate it’s on, the background, backdrop, etc all come into play when it comes to photographing objects (edible or otherwise).
Meat and vegetables especially are challenging to capture, and it takes talent and experience to present them to your customers in a way that is appetizing. Nobody likes grey, matte-looking hamburgers, or black steaks, coagulated cheese/sauces or wilted lettuce.
Food stylists and experienced food and product photographers know how to make the food look as good as it tastes, in a way that is evergreen and demands attention, and spurs action.
Your menu or products deserve to be presented to your customers in a way that highlights how amazing and high quality they truly are, and that’s why not just anybody can take pictures of your food or items.
Make sure to check out her website, and then compare the images to the green refried beans and cold hamburger shots you’ve seen!
Time and Money.
Restaurant and small business owners in particular are used to ‘doing it all.’
And the restaurant and small business owners and entrepreneurs are also often times very guilty of not understanding just how valuable their time is!
I can’t tell you how many times I have seen THE most important and valuable person in a business spend hours, days, weeks, or longer trying to master a skill or take on a task that is out of their wheelhouse to save money.
Buying the equipment, hours spent watching Youtube, practicing, failing, and practicing again is a very time-intensive process, and as a restaurant owner or business owner, it’s a very expensive undertaking!
Those hours that you spend are very expensive, and the customers that you are not reaching (or may potentially turn off due to your less-than-professional images) are even MORE expensive.
Proper food and product photography isn’t a luxury or a nice to have when it comes to competing, introducing yourself to, or maintaining your place in whatever market you are conducting business in.
It’s an investment, that can pay off dividends for years to come!
Leslie Rodriguez Photography