This article was written by Taylor Young from Passport Foodie and Taylor Young Photography. We are always looking for more interesting and insightful photography tips and techniques to share with our readers.
While I love all my little, pixie cameras I really like the way my bigger Canons bite into food with a combination of high resolution and sharpness, tempered with the ability to do narrow slices of focus. Since the images would be used together on a website I tried to keep the lighting uniform and to keep the post processing as uniform as possible. Usually I don't ask for input from my assistants but Amy has such a good sense of color and balance that I found myself including her in art direction and styling decisions.
We began our set up around two in the afternoon and started shooting food about an hour later. While the cuisine at Manuel's is Mexican it harkens more to the more refined ethos of interior Mexico and environs like San Miguel de Allende.
I've done food every which way and I'll be the first to admit that some of my favorite images have come from a medium format square cameras with a long lens and an extension tube (or two).
Every once in a while I'd head over to the kitchen and watch the chef and staff prepare the next dish, or, since we were in a working restaurant, the dishes they were sending out to their customers. All during the shooting we were sampling the dishes we'd just finished shooting and washing them down with a chaotic mixture of good coffee and better wine.
There's something so much more comfortable about a slow, happy meal, under strands of lights and with good friends than anything you might find on your computer or on TV. April 25, 2013 by David Schwartz 7 Comments If I invite you into my home we most likely have a relationship, that and I must trust you.
When a customer Ops into your email program that should be considered an invitation to share relevant and helpful information.
Qdoba is a Mexican Grill, so it  makes perfect sense to promote catering during Cinco De Mayo. What I like best about this email campaign is that they know exactly what it is they are trying to accomplish and who they are talking to.
I included this example from the Arizona based restaurant group that is made up of 12 different concepts since I think they do a really nice job with their digital content. And, one final take-away tip to consider before pushing the send button on your next email campaign. Almost equally important to what you send is when you send the email blast. David SchwartzDavid is a Brand Strategist focused on building relevant brands, while creating valuable consumer relationships to promote engagement. From sorbetto shooters to pudding shots, here’s your guide to local swill from a shot glass.
Formerly relegated to cheesy watering holes like Wonder Bar and The Greatest Bar, classier joints like Eastern Standard, Via Matta, and Citizen Public House all offer the mini boozy drinks now too, though they’ve been prettied-up with ingredients like fresh mint, sorbetto, and Angostura bitters. Stunning ocean views from this bright seven bedroom Victorian featuring a ground floor apartment with separate entrance and deeded beach rights.


Boston magazine partnered with The New England Board of Higher Education to teach readers about the vast educational options in the area. Sitting in a dark, corner table of a fantastic restaurant, wishing that we had more light, so we didn’t have to use that terrible built-in flash. Diffused sunlight – The quickest and easiest way to get great photos is to shoot with available, indirect sunlight.
Use fast lenses – Outdoor and window tables work during the daylight, but what about dining in the evening, when the sun is down and there’s nothing but the available light in the restaurant?
Use image preview – I have found that having image preview on my camera works very well for restaurant photography.
Shoot at table level, not eye level – When shooting food you want to always strive to photograph at an angle which is 10-40 degrees from the table.
Get yourself a good DSLR and 50mm f1.8 lens and your restaurant and food photography will really start to shine. I am going to assume you have built your database the correct way, with customers opting into your email or loyalty program.
Of course this also means you should not abuse the relationship, so please Don’t Piss Off Your Loyal Customers.
Noodles & Company is known for their customizable pasta dishes, you can mix and match ingredients and sauces with various toppings and proteins.
Worth noting is that this is a competitive offer, and you should reward email subscribers with solid deals. This is by far the smallest company of the 4 examples and it just goes to show you that smaller players can definitely compete with the bigger chains when it comes to email campaigns. By utilizing the popularity of digital and mobile media, along with the social web he helps companies understand the power of controlling their content.
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Perhaps the meal was one of the best we’ve ever eaten and the one thing that would have made it better is gorgeous photos to post to our website, Facebook page, or blog. This could be choosing a table outside, under an umbrella, where the sunlight would be diffused by the umbrella.
There is way too much going on in the foreground and background, when really, all we want to see is the food.
Try to utilize one of the methods above first and if all else fails, flip that flash, but only in an emergency. Qdoba also did a nice job keeping it simple by not forcing multiple messages into the eblast. The new service they are introducing takes that customization and rolls it into their new online catering product. Special Occasions are strong drivers for traffic in the restaurant industry, yet many restaurants don’t plan ahead.


David started his career working for MTV in New York, he then proceeded to Atlanta to work with the likes of Coca-Cola, Chick-fil-A and the Home Depot.
The grain from the high ISO used also is a very annoying factor in low-light, restaurant photography. One trick is to ask the reservations desk if you can have a table by the window when booking.
The reason I find it so helpful is because I don’t have to hold the camera up to my face to shoot. We humans always see our food at eye level and it’s more intriguing when we see it at the actual level the food is at. So unless you want to highlight some specific areas of the table, or the restaurant, get in close. While social media gets all the hype (justifiably so) these days as the preferred 1-to-1 online communicate tool I ask you to reconsider an old friend. To show you more about what I am talking about, let’s review 4 examples of effective email campaigns from the restaurant industry.
Noodles & Company also does a nice job of introducing offers earlier to loyal fans through email, a recent example was when they introduced their new spring menu. Plus, it might just generate the highest ROI, especially a campaign as competitive as 25% off which should really drive traffic from your loyal following.
Consider an editorial calendar and prepare your restaurant for the busiest day of the year. From his time working with companies of all sizes he has learned that a strong brand is the key to long term success by turning customers into brand advocates. To achieve really brilliant results indoors, using dim light, you need to get yourself a DSLR (digital single lens reflex) camera, which has the ability to swap lenses. Ruby Tuesdays does a nice job of explaining the offer and not burying the rules, and clearly labeled the expiration date. To explore more on how to take advantage of the increased guest counts on holidays check out, No One Should Have to Cook on Mother’s Day. Now living in Nashville with his wife and two children, David works with companies of all sizes teaching and consulting on best practices for building a brand in the digital age.
With image preview, you look at the LCD screen on the back of the camera and focus your photograph without having to bring the camera above your food.
In fact, your database just might be the most underutilized asset in your marketing arsenal.



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