Rockin’ School Meal Photos: Post It, Pin It, Tweet It, Eat It (3 of 6)

Let’s be honest, great food photos of your school nutrition program are not an option – they are a necessity. With all the negative publicity about school meals, great photos are worth at least 1,000 words – and maybe 10,000+ views. Fortunately, fabulous photos are just a click away on your SmartPhone – IF you focus on SIX ELEMENTS every time you take a school food photo. We’re covering an element-a-day to get you ready for School Nutrition Employee Week, May 5th thru 9th. Be a HERO, take a great PHOTO.

STEP #3: PEOPLE. Happy kids + appealing school food + smiling school nutrition professionals = WIN, WIN, WIN. Including people in your school food photos is a wonderful addition IF you always observes these ABCs: (A) You have permission to share the photo of the individual; (B) All food safety practices are observed; and (C) The meal and service are in compliance with USDA regulations.

THE GREAT: Candid shots of students do not have to be perfectly composed to be perfectly wonderful. This is terrific photo from Bethel School Nutrition Program in Eugene, Oregon – even though it is a little out of focus. There’s a gorgeous variety of food on the tray and the smile shows how difficult it can be for children to chew through all that food in a short school lunch period.

Back-to-School in Bethel, Oregon.

Back-to-School in Bethel, Oregon.

THE MARGINAL: We love this photo too – and the students are wearing gloves while they help to peel carrots from a nearby farm for processing in the school kitchen. We would not use it, because their hair is not pulled back in all cases and, more importantly, they are working outside. Perceived problems with food safety trump local food and happy students every day.

Outdoor location makes this marginal as a school nutrition photo.

Outdoor location makes this marginal as a school nutrition photo.

THE REAL NO-NOS: We really wanted to this photo to work because it showed local firefighters having breakfast with students during National School Breakfast Week – but we could not use it. Never, never post photos that are too dark and out of focus (stay tuned because we cover these topics next!)

Dark, out of focus photos just don't work.

Out of focus with poor lighting photos just don’t work.

HOT TIP: There is no need to show children’s faces in a photo. If you are worried about permission, just show their hands or the backs of their heads. And, ALWAYS remember, the best way to take better school food photos is practice, practice, practice. 

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