Chef Deb

5 of the Best Photo Sites for Chefs

I notice a common theme among chefs that I mentor. They tend to lack high quality photos of their food on their website, social media, etc. This is a shame considering that people eat with their eyes first. After all, as chefs our sole focus is food, so shouldn’t we have amazing pictures of that food? Potential clients need to see the quality of your food before they try it, so it’s critical that you have lots of pictures.

However, not all of us have a photographer on staff. Maybe you’re thinking you just don’t have the time to take pictures since we all know how hectic it can be in the kitchen. However, you must make time or at least find good stock photos that represent your food well.

That’s why today I’m sharing five of my favorite sites to get stock photos from, because not every picture of food can be yours. (although this is ideal, it’s not always practical). However, keep in mind, stock photos can get expensive, so weigh the pros and cons.

  1. Shutterstock  

This site has over 60 million royalty-free images and videos to choose from. They have different plans from Basic to Professional. Basic is about $9.99 per photo which is what I use if I’m just wanting to purchase a photo every few months or so.

2. The Picture Pantry

The photos on this site are stunning. They would make great photos for websites. Since a picture on this site can range from $15-40 I definitely wouldn’t purchase a photo on here just to use on social media.

3. FoodiesFeed

Another website with beautiful images of food, that look good enough to eat! The best part of this site? They have tons of FREE images! Now, when you think of free food photos you’re probably thinking they’re poor quality…they’re not! This site might be your new best friend.

4. Free Food Photos

This is also a great site, but with less selection as the others. But the photos are totally free so you can’t complain too much right? They categorize the food photos making it easy to find what you’re looking for.

5. Free Pik

This is not only a great site for photos but graphics you can use on social media/marketing materials, etc. They have A TON of food photos of which most are free. Some require that you attribute the photo so make sure you know that before downloading.

Of course, there is always the first route that I take. Simply Google a food item and click on “images.” Under “search results” on the dropdown menu, select “labeled for reuse.” These photos are pretty much safe to use but always double check to make sure they are not copyrighted.

A stock photo doesn’t always do your food justice. It can be hard to find a picture that properly represents a certain dish you make. When you can, schedule a time for yourself or a photographer to take photos of your food.  As with all things, just do your best and use stock photos when you need to on occasion.