How to Take Better Photos for Your Restaurant Website-Featured.jpg

How to Take Better Photos for Your Restaurant Website

When people come to your restaurant website, they want to learn about your atmosphere and read your story, but most importantly, they want to see the food you’re serving!

You can write mouth-watering descriptions for every item on your menu, but even if your menu was written by Hemmingway, a description of a plate will never make as much of an impact as a great picture of it will.

Images are a critical aspect of any website, but for a restaurant website, images are the star of the show.

Just take a look at a few of our restaurant website design templates.

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Do you notice anything that these templates have in common? For each and every one of these templates, the images take center stage. That means that you need to make them count.

Ideally, you’ll work with a local photographer to get professional images of your food, restaurant and team (but mostly your food). However, even if you have to do it yourself, you can get beautiful results with just a little know-how.

6 tips for taking better photos for your restaurant website

#1. Get the lighting right

If you want to highlight your plates in the best possible way, you need to make sure that you take photos of them in the best possible light. In fact, lighting may actually be the most important aspect of a photo shoot.

Luckily, you don’t necessarily need to invest in a lot of pricey lighting equipment. Believe it or not, natural lighting is one of the best options for food photography. Also, avoid using the flash when using natural light.

Natural light is most effective when it’s coming from either the back of the side of the subject of the image. This helps to highlight the details in your dishes and mitigate shadows. Don’t be afraid to move tables, place settings and anything else to capture the best light.

#2. Work quickly

In most cases, when you’re taking still-life photos, you have a lot of time to get set up and get the angle just right. But, that’s not always the case with food photography. More often than not, you’ll only have a short window to work with before the food starts to look tired.

Of course, there are a few things you can do to refresh food and make it photogenic for longer, like spritzing wilting lettuce with cold water. However, it’s best to be ready to take photos as soon as the food is plated and ready to go.

It also helps to have a plan ready. Know how the food will be arranged on the plate and how the table will be set up. Know which angles you want to get and which shots you want to make sure that you get.


#3. Keep clutter out of the background

The star of the show here is the food itself. It’s not napkins, salt and pepper shakers, condiments, water cups and anything else that may be sitting on the table next to it. All of these things can steal some of the spotlights from the most important part of your photos.

Typically, the best food photography involves a simple close-up of the dish itself with very little in the background. It’s OK to have one or two things on the table, but there shouldn’t be too much going on in the background.

It’s much better to stage the area around the plate than it is to zoom in so much that nothing else can get in the shot. Too much zooming in can make the actual ingredients of your dish unrecognizable. That’s never a good thing.

#4. Use multiple angles

Different foods look best when photographed at different angles. For example, pizza tends to photograph well from above. And foods that have lots of delicious layers to showcase, like a burger, will photograph best from the side.

While it’s smart to keep these general rules in mind, it’s also a good idea to take photographs of your dishes from several different angles, prioritizing the most important angles first since you’ll be working within a limited timeframe.

Taking pictures of your food from multiple angles will give you a lot more options to choose from later on. You may even be surprised at which angles you like the best in the end. The point is that it’s always good to have options.

#5. Follow the rule of thirds

A lot of newbie photographers will frame the main attraction of their photo in the center of the shot. Your plate is the star of the show, so it makes sense that you may feel inclined to position it center stage. However, you’ll get better results if you follow the rule of thirds.

The rule of thirds is a framing technique that will help you position your plates in a professional, appealing way. When imaging the shot, draw a grid in your mind over it, with three horizontal lines and three vertical lines.


The subject of your photo should be placed on one of the places where the lines intersect.

#6. Include hands in your pictures

As I mentioned, you don’t want there to be too many distractions from the plate or cocktail you’re showing off, but including a human element in your photos is almost always going to be a good thing.

One easy way to do this (while also avoiding distracting too much from the main attraction) is to include hands in your shot. Show a pair of hands holding a drink or resting on the table beside the dish.

People like to see other people when they look at pictures. And even if you just include a hand or two in some of your photos, it will help to tell a story of community, which is always important and a great way to connect.

Beautiful images can help to take your restaurant website to the next level. But, images are just one aspect of your website. You also need it to be professional, easy to navigate, fully functional with all of the features you need (online orderings, the ability to accept reservations online, etc.), mobile-friendly and designed for SEO domination. You need a Websites 360® website.

The Websites 360 restaurant website builder makes it easy to build your own restaurant website like a pro, without the cost of actually hiring a pro.

Get started today by choosing from our library of restaurant website design templates.