You have been hired to photograph a new restaurant; first of all, congrats and well done! The most important thing to remember is that this establishment has entrusted you with all the imagery that will be shown to future guests. That is a big responsibility so I have gathered a few do's and dont's for you to keep in mind. Today's images are from the Mesa Loca restaurant shoot I completed the week before they opened. Mesa Loca is located in Hyde Park Square in Cincinnati, Ohio.
The most important "do" is to make the menu items beautiful. Photograph the items in the same manner as a guest will see them at the restaurant. In this case, I chose to incorporate the varied textures of the napkin, silverware, table, and banquette to make the dish pop.
Do show off the space. Utilizing the back wall shelf setting was a unique way to showcase Mesa Loca's impressive margarita ingredients. Don't be afraid to move liquor bottles away from the bar.
Overhead table shots are a unique was to show the future guests several menu items at once. I prefer the look of slightly overlapped plates and using menu items of the same color palette.
Don't forget to take advantage of the unique aspects of the restaurant's interior. This wall mural in the main dining area worked well as a backdrop for a shot of some of Mesa Loca's liquor selection.
Does the restaurant have a color palette that will emphasize the colors in a dish? If so, use this to your benefit. Adding in a table napkin and using a warm salmon-colored window shelf not only emphasized the colors in this dish, but also added in a varied texture array.
A photoshoot of mine wouldn't be complete without a few in-motion images. I prefer using a member of the restaurant staff for images such as this one of Britney pouring a margarita.