Taking photos of some nice food

A few weeks ago we went out to a restaurant. However, this time it wasn’t the typical weekend, going out at night for a nice dinner. No, we went to take photos of the meals which will be used on the restaurant website to showcase some of their best dishes. It is the first time I have had to photograph food, so I did a bit of research before leaving for the restaurant and took two flashes and the tripod with me. I’m not the typical photographer who takes his phone out of his pocket to take a picture of the meal I’m going to eat, even less likely the DSLR. Nothing against people who do this, it’s just that I prefer to, well…. eat it! I’m too impatient to wait.


We visited the restaurant on a Friday night and the following Saturday at lunch time. They had prepared a table for us somewhere between the kitchen and the dining area. Waiters were coming out of the kitchen, putting the plates on our table briefly and leaving to serve the food. We had an average of 20 to 30 seconds with every dish. That was all. How on earth were the waiters going to explain to a client that their sirloin was cold because ‘we have a photographer taking photos of the food downstairs and he needs to take his time’. Or how their ice cream ended up as vainilla soup because we had to move the lights 20 times to get nice highlights on the crunchy cookie. Not possible. In those few seconds we had time to correct the position of the lights once if lucky, change the angle and move the plates to get a decent composition.

main course

You have to understand that the restaurant staff are working, so we tried not to get in the way. However, we were working as well, so everything had to flow smoothly. And it did, which is always good news. I had a great experience, had fun, and as a result got some nice pictures I am happy with. They are not going to win any gastronomy photography contests but I’m happy with everything I learnt. You have to stay positive, retain the good things and use the bad ones to help you move forward.

Was there anything bad about this job? Having to see all of those beautiful yummy-looking dishes passing in front of us and not being able to have a bite. Torture.


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