7 Restaurant Photography Tips to Increase Bookings

Good photos can drive more bookings. Take a look at these two photos.


The one on the left is blurry and fails to capture the essence of the dish. But the one on the right is sharp and looks delicious. That's the power of well-shot photos – they attract diners to your restaurant.

Let’s explore seven essential tips for taking stunning photos of your dishes and ambience that will increase bookings and strengthen your restaurant's online presence.

1. Use proper lighting 

Good lighting can transform an ordinary-looking dish. 

When you’re taking photos, opt for ample and well-balanced lighting. Natural light is usually the best choice because it brings out the colours and textures of your food. So, position your dishes near windows or outdoor spaces whenever possible.


If you don't have much natural light, you can use soft artificial lights instead. These lights are gentle and help prevent harsh shadows. Placing them strategically around your setup ensures that your dish (and ambience) looks its best.

2. Follow the Rule of Thirds

Ever wonder why some photos just seem to draw you in effortlessly? It's often due to a simple but powerful composition technique called the Rule of Thirds.

When framing photos, imagine dividing the scene into a tic-tac-toe grid with two horizontal and two vertical lines, creating nine equal parts. The Rule of Thirds suggests placing key elements of interest along these lines or at their intersections, rather than at the centre.


Position your focal points – whether it's a beautifully plated meal or a stunning piece of decor – along these imaginary lines to add balance and visual interest to your photos. This makes them more engaging and dynamic.

3. Experiment with different angles

Explore different angles to capture your restaurant's ambience and dishes from unique perspectives. 

Whether it's a bird's-eye view of your bustling kitchen, a close-up shot of a perfectly plated dessert, or a low-angle shot that highlights your dining room, experimenting with angles can breathe new life into your photos.


Each vantage point presents a fresh opportunity to showcase your restaurant in a new light. You never know which angle might capture the essence of your restaurant, enticing diners to come and experience it for themselves.

4. Use a clean and uncluttered backdrop

Want your dishes to steal the spotlight in your photos? The key lies in setting the stage with a clean and uncluttered backdrop.

Pay close attention to the background to ensure it complements rather than competes with your food. Opt for simple, neutral backgrounds that allow your dishes to take centre stage without distraction. 

Avoid cluttered or busy backgrounds that detract from the main subject of your photo. Clear away any unnecessary items or distractions from the frame to keep the focus on the hero dish.

5. Take action photos

Capture action photos to add a dynamic touch to your pictures. They add depth and authenticity to your restaurant's visual story.

Action photos capture the energy of your restaurant in motion, whether it's showing the steam rising from a freshly cooked dish, capturing the pour as sauce is drizzled over a dish or catching the fizz as a drink is poured over ice.


To capture action shots, consider using a fast shutter speed to freeze motion and ensure sharp, crisp images. Experiment with different angles and perspectives to find the most captivating views of the action. 

6. Highlight texture and detail

Make your dishes look mouthwatering with one simple trick: highlighting texture and detail.

Pay special attention to the textures and details that make each dish unique. Whether it's the crispy crust of freshly baked bread or the delicate layers of a dessert, capturing these elements can do wonders for your photo.

To highlight texture and detail, experiment with different angles and lighting techniques. Take close-up shots to show the intricate patterns and textures, or play with side lighting for dramatic shadows that add depth and dimension.


7. Use colour contrast

Make your photos pop by using colour contrast.

By pairing complementary colours or contrasting hues, you can make your food stand out against the backdrop and capture attention.


When selecting props, backgrounds, and garnishes for your photos, consider how they interact with the colours of your dishes. 

Opt for backgrounds that are a stark contrast to the colours of your food, such as dark plates on a light tablecloth or colourful ingredients against a neutral backdrop.

Drive bookings with better restaurant photos

Compelling photos play a crucial role in enticing diners to book a table at your restaurant.

The good news is that achieving stunning restaurant photography doesn't have to be expensive. You can use a smartphone camera to put these tips into action and up your restaurant photography game.

We understand the importance of photos to drive bookings. That's why we've made it easy for restaurants to showcase their dishes and ambience through photos. 

With just a few clicks, you can upload photos to your restaurant profile, giving potential diners a glimpse into what they can expect. 


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