In today’s electronic world, great school food photos are not an option – they are essential for promoting your program and marketing your meals. Fortunately fabulous photos are just a click away IF you focus on SIX ELEMENTS every time you take a school food photo. We’re covering one element each day to get you ready for School Nutrition Employee Week, May 5th thru 9th. Be a HERO, take a great PHOTO.
STEP #1: BACKGROUND. Check natural backgrounds carefully – and create your own background when necessary. You’ve heard about the good, the bad and the ugly. Here’s the GREAT, the MARGINAL and the REAL NO-NOS of backgrounds for trays shots.
THE GREAT: This blue tray makes an ideal background for food. No food is naturally this color and even the milk carton pops against this background. The dark metal table behind the tray literally disappears and allows the food to be the ‘star.’ The photo is from Chef Chad Elliott, Decorah, Iowa, courtesy of Northeast Iowa Food and Fitness Initiative.
THE MARGINAL: This bright yellow background is too ‘hot’ for the tray of food. It distracts attention from the food on the tray and washing out some colors entirely. It’s a nice meal, but hard to enjoy with the background distraction.
THE REAL NO-NOS: Never use a tray with swirled or marbled colors. It’s almost impossible to make food look appetizing on this background – and lots of unfortunate terms are often used to describe such food.
HOT TIP: Purchase or borrow a solid color tray in a deep primary BLUE, TEAL, DARK GREEN or BRICK RED. Use that tray for all meal photos – and take lots of photos of your meals. The best way to take better school food photos is practice, practice, practice.