5 Photography Tips for Your Food Blog
Juicy, yummy food photos.
That’s the goal for every food blogger when they snap a picture of a dish. It takes multiple skills to take photos of delicious food. Not only do you have to get the perfect shot, you also have to think about how your photos complement your blog and the best way to promote them.
“What separates magazine-worthy photos from their less impressive counterparts isn’t a fancy camera or expensive equipment. It’s an understanding of what it takes to compose an appealing image and the confidence to execute your vision,” writes Niki Achitoff-Gray, managing editor at Serious Eats.
It’s time to upgrade your skill level as a food blogger. Check out these five tips to create delicious photography.
1. Capture the Perfect Photo
For food bloggers, photos are one of your greatest assets. People love to see what you’re cooking or what meals you recommend.
The photos can help demonstrate how a dish looks at every stage of a recipe. The right photo also can encourage hungry people to visit a new restaurant.
To take the perfect photo, consider using different angles. Most bloggers just take an overhead shot, which isn’t useful for every food item. Instead, experiment with a 45 degree angle to get an intimate shot or a 30 degree angle to capture the entire plate setting.
You want to think about the lighting when taking a photo. Experts suggest not using an in-camera flash. The best option is to use as much external lighting as possible. So, open up your curtains and get some natural light into your shot.
Lastly, get creative with your photos. You shouldn’t feel confined to follow the standards of other food bloggers. You can add your personal touch by arranging the food a certain way or inserting a funny, inanimate object in each photo.
Your audience is salivating to see your food photos. So, make it unique with your own perspective.
2. Optimize Your Photos for SEO
With so many food bloggers in the world, it’s possible for all your hard work to go unnoticed. However, optimizing your photos for search engines can help new visitors find your blog.
The first step is to use the appropriate file names for your photos. Rather than uploading your image as “Photo1.jpg”, you want to describe the photo in simple keywords. Your file names may look like: Vanilla-Cupcakes.jpg or Chicken-Soup.png.
“The images you select for your web site can make or break how your site looks, but how you upload and name that photo for search engine optimization (SEO) will actually determine whether people land on your site or not,” says Meredith Lepore, freelancer writer and content strategist.
You want to follow the same rule when creating your alt tags. An alt tag is the text alternative to your image in a browser. By associating the right keywords to each image, you can boost your SEO results.
File size matters, too. If your photos are too large, they can slow down your page load speed. The longer your page loads, it’s likely your visitors will get distracted and move to another site. You can use tools like TinyPNG or TinyJPG to compress your photos.
- Is your food blog on WordPress? Check out our post on the top photography plugins!
3. Share Your Photos on Social
Social media is one of the fastest-growing marketing channels. People spend countless hours on Twitter and Instagram talking with friends, checking out the latest news, and engaging with brands.
As a food blogger, you want to connect with your audience on social networks. The key is to post vibrant, relevant content that entices your followers to learn more about you.
A good tip is to follow recurring trends on the social networks. For instance, #TBT (Throwback Thursday) is an opportunity to show off dishes you prepared in the past.
Writing funny headlines or descriptions with your photo also adds personality to your brand. It shows fans you’re human and not a stuffy corporation.
Angie Dudley at Bakerella offers a perfect example with her French fry sugar cookie cartons. This scrumptious photo is coupled with the playful words: Happy Fri-Yay!
Remember to include a call to action in your social posts. Simply plopping a good photo online doesn’t help you. You can drive traffic to your site by inserting a link to your blog.
If you want more social engagement, you also should interact with your followers. That means retweeting their content, liking their posts, and replying to their messages.
Share your photos on social media to build brand awareness. It’ll help you gain new fans and engage your loyal following.
4. Distribute Your Photos in Content Upgrades
When visitors land on your food blog, they may read an article or two and then leave. You have no way of knowing who they are or how to contact them later.
The easiest solution is to offer your visitors a content upgrade in exchange for their email address. A content upgrade is bonus material that helps your audience learn more about a topic. You can give away a free checklist, ebook, or short video.
Content upgrades usually coincide with the topic of a specific blog post. Your visitors are more likely to want more information right after reading about the subject. Lori Reeves, relationship manager at EZ Portable Buildings and Tiny Houses, offers an example:
“If you’re a food blogger and you create a post that is a tutorial of making a specific dish, your content upgrade could be an easily-printable copy of the recipe for the dish or a list of substitutions that could make the dish healthier, vegetarian, [or] gluten-free.”
The purpose of the content upgrade is to add people to your email list. So, the relationship doesn’t end when you deliver the content upgrade.
Start talking to your new email subscribers and getting to know who they are. The first question could be: How did you like the content upgrade?
5. Build Brand Partnerships
Many food bloggers look for opportunities to grow their brand and possibly earn extra revenue. If you’re ready to expand your scope, brand partnerships may be your next step.
Before you begin researching for the ideal partner, think about what you can bring to the table. Do you have a large following? Are you a niche expert?
Write down what makes your blog unique from others. You want a clear value statement that will intrigue partners.
The next step is to decide what you’re willing and not willing to do in a partnership agreement. If you’re a vegetarian, maybe you’ll never collaborate with a beef company.
After you establish your values and guidelines, do your research and start emailing people about possible partnerships. Always lead with how the company will benefit.
Below is an example from Neli Howard at Delicious Meets Healthy. She collaborated with Edible Arrangements for Mother’s Day.
Be flexible when building partnerships with companies. Every agreement won’t earn you money. Think outside the box on how you can benefit from the relationship.
Maybe you can get access to a VIP event where you’re the exclusive food blogger on location. Or negotiate for the business to add your photos in an email campaign to their 10,000 subscribers.
You are more than a food blogger. Take your photos to new heights with partnerships.
Serving Mouthwatering Photos
Being a food blogger isn’t easy. You can’t just take a few photos of a casserole and post it online.
Start by following simple guidelines to take eye-popping photos. Share your photos on several social media channels to gain attention. Also, you may want to partner with other brands to build your following or earn additional revenue.
Upgrade your skills. Serve mouthwatering photos. Achieve food blogging success!