Have you ever heard the saying “you eat with your eyes”, or “your eyes are bigger than your stomach”? You might laugh and tell me that they’re cliché, pithy, overused phrases, but every phrase like that has a little bit of truth in it. Otherwise it wouldn’t stick so well.

With those little nuggets in mind- today we want to talk about photography. Specifically food photography.

There are so many types of businesses out there that benefit from excellent food photography- anything from a restaurant, to a nutritionist, to a food blog, to a caterer. You get the point.

So many types of business that can use food photography, and so many places it can go so terribly, terribly wrong.

Check out this bad food porn and tell us what your immediate reaction is. (People with weak stomachs- this is your warning.)

And if you think that unappetizing images don’t scare people away- look at this study we found.  It shows that even if our food is perfectly fine, if we don’t like the way it looks, it can make us physically ill.  (Which makes total sense- it’s our body’s defense. It’s basically saying, “I don’t like the looks of that, you’d better not eat it unless you want to spend the evening very close to the bathroom.”)

To make our point, we’d like to show you two images of the exact same meal. These two bowls of chili were served from the same kitchen, from the same pot, minutes apart.  One of them we would like to eat. The other, not so much. So what’s the difference?

Business Betties | You Eat With Your Eyes (and so do your clients)

Chili Photo Numero Uno: Taken with a smart phone, with the flash on. Poor lighting. Using a bowl basically the same color as the food. Clutter on the table.

Business Betties | You Eat With Your Eyes (and so do your clients)

Chili Photo Numero Dos: Taken with a professional camera. Natural light. Placed in a bright dish to provide contrast. Intentionally placed items in the picture to add interest and bring out the colors of all of those tasty, fresh veggies.

We know everyone doesn’t have a professional camera, but if you take the other factors into account, you can take a pretty decent picture with a smartphone. (Or, you can have Suzanne take some pictures for you, of course.)

If you’re still not convinced that excellent photography can make a difference in your bottom line- here’s some numbers that back us up.

According to Kissmetrics, Facebook photos get 53% more likes, 104% more comments and 84% more click-throughs on links than text-based posts.


Bottom line: Photos are better than no photos. Mouthwatering photos are the best of all.