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Photography Tips for Meal Prep & Catering Companies

When running your meal prep or catering business, one of the most important selling tools is your photography. It’s the first element that new customers see about your brand, and having good images is vital to increase your customer base quickly. Everyone eats with their eyes before their mouths… and great photos are the key to your meal prep or catering business. 

If you are a meal prep company looking to optimize your marketing, the number one area you can improve and increase your customer base is by working on your photography. You can use these tips and tricks to improve your social media postings, like Instagram and on your e-commerce shop. 

TIP #1 Forget your packaging. Grab the dishes. 

Your food isn’t boring, so stop showing it in a dull light! Display your meals in their most tasty form, the way your customers will be eating them. Rather than always showing the same black and clear packaging that every meal prep and catering delivery business uses, take your photos in the dishes that your customers will be eating from. Especially if the packaging you are using is lackluster, try beautiful plates to represent your customers’ experience at home. You want your customers to be able to imagine eating these delicious meals at home. Stylistic shots like this one will look more appetizing.


TIP #2 Show some humanity!

It’s ok to add a touch of a human presence to the food you’re presenting. It makes the dish look more delicious. Showing how your delicious meals will be consumed will make people hungry for the images they see. 




TIP #3 Bring in some depth.

Looking for ways to add more dimension to your imagery? Think depth and texture! Overhead shots get boring. There are lots of ways to add depth to a shot—no need to always have your dishes on a flat surface. Holding the meal is an excellent way to change the energy of the shot and bring in more stimuli. Or a blurred background would be the perfect backdrop for the steam to come off some freshly cooked meals. Your customers will be able to smell the herbs in the air and crave this dish even more.


TIP #4 Let them in on the action.

Don’t be afraid to showcase your cooking process. It’s delicious and shows the freshness of the ingredients. You don’t always need to have a perfectly finished portion to show the customer what they’re going to receive, and they’ll appreciate getting a view of the process.



TIP #5 Make it tactile. 

Your meals are delicious, so your photos should reflect that! Decorate the area around the dish to increase the tactile sensations of your customer’s experiences. When your customers see walnut shells near a delicious walnut dish, they’ll be able to taste it just by looking..


TIP #6 Quirkly is ok, too.

Laying out your meals in patterns creates quirky and fun energy for your meal prep or catering brand. Try combining textures in your shoots, contrast the food with a textured placemat, or the hard grain of the wood. You can even use grass as a background to accent and remind your customers of the freshness of your produce.


TIP #7 Start with neutrals before playing with color.

Not sure how to get started photographing your meals? Use a neutral background to start- it will be easier to see the space and the colors of your dishes. 


TIP #8 Use angles and forget centering.

Work your angles – when taking food shots for your meal prep or catering shop, try moving around the dish to get better framing around the meal. Angles let the lights hit your sauces and focus attention on the textures of your meals. 


Did you note the space around the dish? You don’t have to center your meal to make it the focus of the photo. 


TIP #9 Pop those colors.

Use color editing to increase the saturation of the meals; no need to get too wild. Still, if your original lighting isn’t great, it doesn’t hurt to add a pop of color in the editor or go in the other direction and reduce the rest of the tones to get a base and then pop one single element. 

Want your meal prep dishes to pop even more in your shop? Pick a key flavor from your dish and repeat it. Like this clementine pancake dish, you are delightfully decorated with slices of clementine bits all around, drawing the eye’s focus back to the delicious dish.


TIP #10 Add complementary colors.

If you’re not good with photo editing, then enhance your photography by adding vibrant colors to your layouts, include colorful placemats, napkins, or table decor. Try utilizing complementary colors, so if your meal is mostly green, add a pop of magenta; if your meal is primarily red, add some fresh greens to your photo. 


Those are our top ten tips to get started with refreshing your meal prep and catering shop photos. Have more suggestions? Send us an email at [email protected], and we’ll feature your store. 


Have a story to tell?

Connect with us and let us know if you would like to guest post on our blog. We'd love to share your meal prep or food industry story with our readers. 


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