As a food photographer working for small business can be tricky. Small businesses don’t necessarily have a designated marketing team or even a marketing budget to spend on food photography. Therefore it can be challenging to justify why they should invest in a professional food photographer at all.

That said, I’ve compiled a list of the 5 most common myths I’ve heard about working with a food photographer as a small business – and bust ’em.

Let’s get bustin’.

Myth 1: “I am just a small business, I won’t see any difference in profit by hiring a food photographer”

Let me know if this sounds familiar – I would happily spend £200 on a new lens, but £200 on a dress, no way! It’s all down to our priorities, really. ⁣

If

93% of consumers consider visual content as the key factor in making a purchasing decision1

Why aren’t we prioritising our visual marketing content? ⁣

Contrary to the popular belief, hiring a professional actually saves you time, and therefore money. It allows you to use resources more efficiently in other parts of your business.

A professional food photographer is experienced in capturing your product at its best from their knowledge of composition, lighting, styling and post production.

Doing it yourself doesn’t guarantee the same quality, or even getting the results you want!

Many food photographers offer different price points and packages depending on your specific needs and budget. If nothing fits your needs out of the box, most photographers are open to tailoring a bespoke package for you.

Myth 2: “I can just take the photos myself!”

Would you swipe left or right on a dating profile without a photo? What about that weird iPhone photo that’s all pixelated, with a black boxes covering the faces of other people in the photo.

Now think of the one with a clear image of handsome lady or gentleman, with perhaps an ice cream in hand and the other holding a puppy? Face and torso fully in view (wink wink). I’m guessing you’d pick the second.

50% of online shoppers say, “large, high-quality product images are more important than product information, descriptions, or even reviews.”2

So much of what marketing is, is visual. Platforms like instagram where most people discover new restaurants, food products, recipes are all down to visuals. Sites like Pinterest are top of mind for looking for inspiration and planning.

Don’t get me wrong, many smartphones are able to capture incredibly high resolution images that are comparable to some digital cameras. But – it boils down to knowing how to make the most of the equipment you have. So you could spend time learning how to take beautiful photography yourself…but could you invest that time into other parts of your business?


A food photographer can help you stand out in a world bombarded with images and allow you to devote that same time and effort into growing your business in other ways.

meltmongers edinburgh grilled cheese sandwich on wooden bar top
1/8000 | f/2.8 | 35mm | ISO 160

Myth 3: “Branding is important for big companies, I don’t need to worry about that as a small business owner.”

Imagine your nearby chippy or takeaway. You know the one I mean, the one that (pre-lockdown) you went to more times than you’d like to admit… ⁣

What do you notice about it? If it’s anything like ours, it’s small, with bright colours, sticky floors, smells of used oil, and the ubiquitous hanging meat rotator in the back. ⁣

Now imagine that same chippy, with dark hardwood floors, crystal clear counter full of the finest meats and cheeses, the shop keeper in white gloves, tux and with a moustache… you get the jist. ⁣

My point is – having an inconsistent brand sends a confusing message to your potential customers, leaving them unsure of who you are as a company.⁣

Meanwhile, having a consistent brand makes your business more recognisable to your audience. ⁣

It builds TRUST. Consistency implies reliability by establishing who you are as a company, your values and ethos.⁣

A professional food photographer can help you establish and/or strengthen your brand through your images. Having a consistent and cohesive visual style gives your customers confidence knowing what you stand for as a business. No matter its size. ⁣

Myth 4: “I only need photos for instagram!”

While Instagram is a huge platform for food businesses, it’s not the only place you’ll need quality food photography.

Some other places you need photography are:

  • On your menu
  • Delivery service platform
  • Brochures and flyers
  • Email marketing
  • Website

the list goes on….

A professional food photographer can prepare images tailored specifically for where you need to use them. This saves you the time and headache of trying to fit a square image into a landscape email template header!

Myth 5: “I take photos of my product the way it looks like out of the box!”

It’s important to keep the integrity of the actual product when taking photos, for sure. For example, not showing two burger patties if you only have one per serving.

However, a food photographer (and stylist) know how to capture your product in the best light. They can suggest any tweaks to bring out the best out of the dish, whether it’s the colour, texture or the direction of the light.

In conclusion

I intended this post to give an alternative perspective on these common myths. And I’m leaving you with a couple of questions to ponder:

  • What does your food photography communicate to your audience?
  • How much does it align to the message you want to convey?
  • What areas of growth can you identify to your brand’s current food photography (whether it’s style, technical skill etc.)?
  • How future-proof is your content creation strategy?

That said, are you ready to smash your marketing game with some top notch food photography? (Yes, I’ve become the cheesy sales person apparently…) Perhaps you’re still unconvinced?

Either way, I’d love to hear from you. Drop me your thoughts, questions or if you’d like to know about how I can help with your food photography needs.

References

1How great product photographs influence e-commerce websites conversions

210 Statistics: Brand Photography as a Powerful Business Tool

6 reasons why a strong brand is important for your small business


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