The Key to Effective Photography & Agile Production

As the hospitality industry starts to reopen as we come out of lockdown, we understand that arranging a shoot for your marketing content can be challenging given the wider business factors to consider and tighter control on marketing budgets. To ensure that you get the most out of a on-location shoot, we’ve pulled together a few ways to help you prepare and maximise the output from the day.

Successful planning

Set objectives: it’s important to consider what you want to achieve from your photography right from the outset. Where will you use the content? What emotions would you like to evoke? How many dishes and drinks would you like to capture? Do you prefer lifestyle photography? Do you need any shots of your venue? Taking these elements into consideration early doors will allow for the best possible outcome on the day of your shoot.

Create a mood board: we’re BIG advocates of developing a mood board (or inspiration board) at the start of the process. Great for visualising the style of photography and building in your brand identity, start by bringing together a bunch of examples of photography on PowerPoint (or preferred go-to application) to develop your ideas. Visual examples ensure better collaboration during production as it gives us clear sight of your vision right from the outset. If you’re unsure where to start, we can work together in creating a mood board for you during the initial stages – just let us know.

Setting the scene

Define the dishes: crafting the perfect shot on location comes down to a number of things – we won’t bore you with the technicalities of it – but you’ll need to consider:

1) Create a shot list. Working to a running order prevents any small hiccups on the day, a shot list generally consists of each dish and drink that you’d like our photographer to capture.

2) Decide whether you’d like a Food Stylist on set. The look of the dishes is usually down to the chef as standard, so making sure they’re prepped to deliver ‘photoshoot ready’ is key. We understand that not all venues can facilitate this so it’s always a great option to include a Food Stylist to crank up the heat and add a new dimension to the aesthetics of the photography.

3) Dedicate a space. Arranging a couple of tables in a corner, tucked away from your customers, gives our team the perfect area to set up their kit and capture all your tasty dishes.

Allocate props (and people!): crucial for telling a strong photography narrative, set aside your favourite props for use on the shoot. Whether it’s your favourite vintage cutlery or different textures and surfaces, these props are essential to making your shots pop. We have a large prop selection at our Manchester studio so we can source props and backgrounds if you want to mix it up. If you’d like someone to be interacting with your dishes in the shots, it’s a good idea to plan in advance who you’d like to star as the model, making sure they have an idea of what to wear or bring with them.

From sourcing props to expert styling, our team of Photographers and Food Stylists can work with you from start to finish to ensure that you get everything that you need from the shoot. You also have access to art-direction, social media strategy and creative designers, should you want to take your photography that bit further.

If you’d like to book in a shoot – we’d love to hear from you. light@eat-and-breathe.co.uk.

Thoughts from the Eat & Breathe kitchen

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