5 Tips to Maximize Your Pizza’s Appeal

Professional imagery is usually the best way to go when it comes to restaurant marketing – but we’re aware that not everyone has the budget or resources to work with an agency or hire a photographer. We still want your pizza to be as well-represented as possible. So, in this short read, we’re giving you the top five tips of today for taking your own effective and attractive pizza photography.

1. Set an Appealing Scene

Before or while you’re making your pizza – it’s just as important to set the scene. Use plates, fresh ingredients, napkins, utensils, and more, in a clean, organized fashion behind and around the pizza to set the scene. It’s not only important to give context, but also to show the ingredients you use and that they’re fresh and delicious-looking. You may even want to show elements of the pizza before it’s made, like the oven, the dough, the rolling pin, and more. It’s also a good idea to raise your pizza slightly. Give it some tilt towards the camera by putting something like a towel or cloth underneath of it.

2. Use Natural Lighting

Whether you’re using a traditional camera, a professional camera, or an iPhone, always start with natural lighting. Put the pizza on a table near a window or in a room that gets the most natural lighting from outside. If that’s not working, use a warm kitchen light that’s bright enough to see everything clearly, but not blue-toned or blinding. Lastly, avoid using flash at all costs. Strange shadows and highlights will not have your food looking inviting and appetizing.

3. Consider Ingredients, Placement, and Texture

Even if you wouldn’t normally add salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, or cheese to the top of your pizza, take several shots adding each one, and then add them all. You never know what textures and elements will make for a great photo. You can even cut herbs with scissors to avoid bruising them, ensure they’re perfectly cut, and again, add texture to your photo.

Generally, think about what menu items you’re choosing to showcase and what ingredients you want pictured. Choose wisely. How so? Be sure to pick popular menu items that you’ll want to advertise, but also ensure that your pizza is not so busy that you can’t tell what’s on it. It’s always better to make a plain pizza first and add on.

4. Get Several Angles

The key to a good pizza photoshoot is getting all the angles. There are many ways you can set up your pizza once it’s ready – but be sure to just take an aerial shot first, and then several side views. Move around your pizza to see its best angles. Next, when you have several photos of the pizza, untouched, remove a slice. First, feel free to take a “cheese pull” photo, which we’ll explain how to do in more detail, later, and then photograph the pizza with one slice gone. Play around with the scene and take what seems to be looking best and most appetizing. Try posing someone’s hand as if they’re grabbing a slice, or place the slice in front of the pie with the background blurred. You can also frame the pie in front of the slice with the background blurred, or maybe event cut all of the slices, and have hands pulling slices away from all angles.

It’s never a bad thing to take too many photos. You never know what you may need for advertising or your menu. Once you have all of your photos taken you can sort through, choose the best ones, and only edit those that are needed. But, we’d suggest keeping an album of your unused photos, just in case you need them later on.

5. Keep it Fresh

There are a lot of tips and tricks to keep your scene and pizza looking “fresh” throughout your photoshoot, but it’s especially important to get a few shots when the pizza is hot out of the oven. You’ll want to have a few that show heat and steam coming off of the pizza, if possible.

To keep your crust looking freshly baked, lightly rub it with a bit of olive oil. For vegetables, lightly brush clear oil (like canola oil, salad oil, or vegetable oil) to add a bit of sheen.

Thinking about using filters to “freshen” up your photos? Don’t. They’re great for Instagram when you’re shooting photos of people, and sometimes food, but for menu items and food advertising it’s best to stick with a more natural look. Using a filter can make it appear like you’re hiding a food flaw or trying to make the food look better than it does in reality.

Lastly – the cheese pull trick! If you want a good cheese pull photo but the pizza isn’t quite hot or cheesy enough to do so, take these steps. First, cut a single slice out of the pie. Place cheese in between the slice and the pizza. Use a heat gun on the cheese in between. Close the space back up between the slice and pie, and quickly get your camera ready to shoot a photo. Pull – and, voilà! The perfect pizza pull photo.

Once you’ve taken some great pizza photography with these tips and tricks and are ready to use your photos in effective marketing pieces, give ZaHub a try. Or contact us today with any questions.