We get it, it’s tempting to go the DIY food photography route. Smartphone cameras have gotten astonishingly advanced. Editing software, too. But tech is only a small fraction of the photography game, friends—we guarantee that your audience knows the difference and can tell right away if you’re trying to skate by without investing in professional food marketing. The industry landscape has become incredibly sophisticated in the last decade; consumers are more educated and savvy than ever, and this certainly applies to how they consume and judge digital and social media. Your customers are hungry for glossy, perfectly-lit, artfully staged, drool-worthy professional photos. Need a little convincing? Let’s look at exactly how professional food photography elevates your marketing game, returning the initial investment for years to come.
Credibility. First impressions are crucial. When preparing for a sales call, you probably make sure to get plenty of sleep the night before, wear your professional-but-approachable best, and turn the charm up to 11. Then what happens when the retailer you’re pitching pulls up your website and social media? If you aren’t willing to invest in making your business look professional, what message does that send and what questions does it invite? Are you skimping on your ingredients? Cutting corners with quality control? Neglecting your customer service efforts? In an increasingly competitive market, you cannot afford to not look your sharpest. (In our industry, that means your cheesiest, sauciest, crunchiest… you get the idea.)
Mileage. Can’t justify spending $$ on Instagram posts? We’ve heard this one before! First of all, Instagram is where the eyeballs you want to reach live, and their attention remains as valuable as ever, if not more so. Secondly, a professional photo has uses far beyond social media and will pay for itself if you use it in as many contexts as you should. This means website content, sales presentations, internal documents, media kits, press inquiries and pitches, print media, trade show collateral, and more. A holiday card for the folks, maybe? We create ‘em, you make ‘em work for you 24/7.
SEO. Image-based internet searches are already robust— a staggering 27% of all searches are for images. If you upload and tag your images correctly, users will no doubt find them. This directs clicks to your website, increasing your overall online footprint. And odds are if searchers like what they see—whether it’s a recipe, a blog post, or other useful information—they will stay, and familiarize themselves with your brand, your mission, and your products if they haven’t already. Additionally, visual search technology is continuing to become more robust and relevant, and Google results are displaying more and more image-based results. These trends are moving upward with no sign of stopping. Our brains are visual, and search technology is catching up fast.
E-Commerce. We’re not just talking about product photos here (though those are also extremely important for a successful e-commerce strategy). It’s not always a photo of your packaging that’s going to make your product fly off the shelves—it’s seeing the goods applied in an appetizing, gotta-have-it manner. Are you selling hot sauce, for example? It’s the cheese pull on a nacho, with a generous drip of said hot sauce, that will leave a mark on your consumer—regardless of how slick your branding looks.
Relationship Building. This is a lightbulb moment for many of our clients, and a bit of a hidden gem when it comes to making your photography go a long, long way. Say you’re working with small retailers like food co-ops, who don’t have large marketing budgets of their own. Perhaps it’s your local farmers’ markets. This is a superb opportunity to enhance those cooperative relationships by, say, generously sharing your assets for their media needs. Or perhaps you find like-minded brands you’d like to orchestrate a co-branded giveaway with. The possibilities for win-win-win scenarios are endless.
Making Your Product Look Its Best. We saved the most obvious for last. You’ve worked incredibly hard to create something amazing - it’s time to make sure it shines. It takes a specialist to zero in on the perfect angle, the sexiest lighting, the most inviting textures, and the most complementary colors to create the ultimate “GET IN MY BELLY” effect. A smartphone does not, and never will, do that.