There’s a lot to think about when it comes to starting a new business. In the London hospitality industry one of the biggest things you need to think about is how you’re going to get people through your doors. Without diners you don’t have a business so it’s fairly important. Food photography plays a vital role in this and as frequent restaurant goers, and commercial photographers, we understand what it takes to grab people’s attention in a crowded market. However, before we can do our bit there a few things you can do to make sure your restaurant/café has the most effective visual assets possible.
Know your brand
Whether you’re following your dreams and setting up a cosy café in the bustling streets of East London or opening your 5 star restaurant’s first London branch in the centre of Mayfair it’s important you know and execute your brand well. Eating out is not just about the food anymore it’s about the way your diners feel when they visit your restaurant and the story behind what you do. If you don’t understand your brand how can you expect your customers to know what you’re all about? Think about what you stand for, why you started your business in the first place and what you are aiming to do. Hiring a professional photographer is one of the best ways to tell your story but make sure you know the story you want to tell before you do.
Know your audience
You may love the laidback, casual style of food photography that your local coffee shop uses so effortlessly but if you’re new café is in the heart of Mayfair, and your customers are used to the elegant, high-end images used by Scott’s, Sketch and Sexy Fish, then it’s worth looking into which images really resonate with your audience and building your knowledge of styles that will encourage the most engagement.
Research your competition
If the restaurant next door has beautifully composed images that tell their story perfectly and make their website look like a work of art then you need the same. BUT, you need to be different. Copying another restaurant’s ideas won’t get you anywhere and will lose you the respect of your customers. Look at what restaurants similar to yours are doing, what works and what doesn’t, then use what you find to inspire the direction your photo shoot takes.
Find a photographer
If you have never worked with a photographer before or you weren’t happy with the results from a previous shoot then sit down and find a photographer that you feel will understand your brand and will be able to bring your story to life visually. There are so many ways to find a photographer these days, scrolling through Google pages is no longer the only option. We recommend Instagram as a great place to find a photographer whose style matches what you’re looking for. Instagram also allows you to save photographs you like so you can look back and discuss what you’ve found with the other people in your team that will help you make a decision.
Communicate with your photographer
Once you’ve found a photographer that you feel understands your brand and will be easy to work with then it’s important to communicate with them as much as possible when arranging a shoot. Keep in mind that you know your business and what you stand for inside out. Your photographer will do their best to visually communicate your ideas but the more they know about you, the business and your story then the closer they’ll get to what you envisaged. Plus the more everyone knows of what’s going on, the less time, effort and budget is wasted.
So, there you have it, 5 things to think about before hiring a photographer when planning your new restaurant’s marketing strategy.
Tony Harris, our lead photographer, has been providing food photography to the London hospitality industry for over 30 years and highly values clear communication with his clients.
If you have any further questions or would like to hire a Tony to capture your restaurant then give us a call on 020 7385 8158 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to hear about your new venture and how we can help tell the world.