Menu Photography Guidelines

Kurt De La Rosa
Kurt De La Rosa
  • Updated

Welcome to Otter’s menu photography guide for all of the dishes on your menu.
You can follow these tips to create and maintain consistent, high-quality photos to feature on your menu. Since these photos will be seen by potentially thousands of nearby users searching for something to eat, you’ll want to make sure they showcase your food in its best light. We’re here to help.

Best Practices

Helpful Tips


Find good lighting

If possible, set up the food on a table with indirect, natural sunlight coming from a window. Natural lighting can make food look fresh and appetizing! Be careful to avoid very bright, direct sunlight as it can cast harsh shadows. If natural lighting isn’t possible, just make sure to set up in a brightly lit space.

Lighting_1.jpg   Lighting_2.jpg


Frame the food

Make sure the food is centered within the frame, but don’t zoom in too close. Customers should be able to see the whole dish and all its ingredients. Consistent positioning of similar items on your menu within the frame will make your menu feel polished and professional.



Get the right angle

It’s up to you if you’d like to shoot your dishes top-down or from the side. Top-down angles are better for plates of food or bowls, so that the customer can clearly see the ingredients or items; Shots from the side are better for burgers, sandwiches, or taller items.



Show what’s inside

In the case of sandwiches, wraps, and burritos, it can be helpful to cut the item and stack the 2 halves so that the customer can see what’s inside.



Make each photo unique

Avoid using the same photo for multiple menu items to help customers make the right choice. Stock photography is not recommended.



Make sure it’s fresh

Food that’s been sitting around can start looking limp and lifeless after just a few minutes. Once food is plated by you or your chef, photograph it as quickly as possible.



Show scale

You can use utensils, salt and pepper shakers, or other common items to give the viewer a sense of the size of the item. If the dish has a big portion, show it off!



Make it accurate

Be sure your photo is a true representation of the dish so customers know exactly what they are ordering and will be happy with their purchase.



Set the stage

Your style is part of what makes your restaurant special. Try to capture the essence of your location by using a variety of surfaces, plateware, glassware, napkins, and silverware. However, remember that the food should still be the focus.



Don’t show products that aren’t included

If you put beverages or sides in the photo, customers will expect those items to be included with their selection of this dish.


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