Down the ‘Chute: Food Photography for Pancho and Lefty’s

High quality food photography is essential for brands in the restaurant industry

Our team worked with client Pancho and Lefty’s Cantina to develop an arsenal of photo content for each of their menu items.

What was your inspiration? 

Whenever I shoot food the inspiration is usually the food itself. Some people eat to live, I live to eat. I’m a total foodie so showing off the best parts of a dish comes pretty naturally to me. I just try to set it up so that I can barely resist eating it and then I take a photo. Additionally, I follow a couple food pages on Instagram and often refer to them for inspiration. A couple of my favorites are feedfeed and local_milk. I like seeing images of food that look real and ready to eat. I tend to stay away from more the commercialized studio photos that you might see at a fast food chain or in a tv commercial.

What was the concept?

With Pancho and Lefty’s being such a new restaurant these early shoots are very much responsible for developing a brand and overall feeling to the imagery people will come to associate with the downtown Mexican cantina. I wanted to bring a little bit of Tex / Mex grit to this Nashville bar and taco stop that’s located just off of Broadway. I mainly relied on natural light from windows in the restaurant to create a nice contrast of light and shadow in the images. I wanted the photos to feel less commercial and polished and more like nicely executed lifestyle photos of the food that a customer might take if they visited the location.

How did you create / execute?

Whenever I shoot food photography for social media I try to get shots from several different angles and use different backdrops. Social media demands that a brand post multiple times a day. With that in mind, it’s important to shoot a variety of images so that the followers don’t get tired of seeing the same imagery. I also had Richard interact with the food in a couple of the photos i.e. holding a margarita and grabbing some chips out of the plate of nachos to add a bit of a human element to the images.

Human interaction is key to providing visual interest in food photography.

What did you learn from this? Any obstacles?

The toughest challenge when shooting food photography is that some dishes are only photogenic for a certain period of time. During this shoot we focused on promoting the Frozen Jack and Coke that Pancho and Lefty’s serves. The drink started melting as soon as the brought it out to us so we had to work quickly and precisely in order to get the content when the product was looking best.

The Frozen Jack and Coke at Pancho and Lefty's Cantina.

What were the results?

We provided Pancho and Lefty’s with food photography to help further their brand. It seems like there are new restaurants opening almost every week in Nashville, so it’s important for locations to have high quality content that is consistently on brand in order to stand out among the competitors in this food obsessed city.

Looking for original photography to show off your brand’s products or menu items?