Shooting Interiors of Restaurants

Portland is a pretty special place for many reasons. One of the biggest reasons it’s so special is because it is nationally known for is it’s amazing food and drinks. Chef’s and restaurants have been written up in the New York Times and on numerous online blogs. All restaurants need photographs. Any high end restaurant should be investing in food and interior images of their space. People want to know what the feel of the restaurant is before they go. Think of how many times you have googled a place before going. I know I do all the time!

When you are photographing restaurants you will want to work with the ambient or natural light. It is good to get both daylight and evening images to showcase the interior and exterior. When setting up a time with the owners  to shoot be sure to come in before they open to the public to photograph the space clean and empty. Then if you can stay long enough to photograph the exterior just as the sun is going down. You want to be able to use as much natural light as possible, a tripod may be necessary during this time.

These are important images that can be used in flyers, website, Facebook and etc to promote the restaurant. During the time you are shooting staff and chef’s will be prepping for the day. Work around them or include them if you feel it will enhance the image. Below are a few interior photographs of the restaurant Lapellah, in Vancouver, Wa.

When you are shooting look for the details of the space. Lapellah has an amazing family style wood table with leather seating. It is a central point of the restaurant.

photographing restaurant interiors

Again, in the image below you can see the bar area and the beautiful family style wooden table.

photographing restaurant interiors


In the back of the restaurant they had more intimate seating for smaller groups. These were divided by glass plates hanging from wooden beams.



It’s about the details. Over the family style wood table is an amazing hand crafted light with forks and spoons all over it creating a beautiful warm glow.



I was fortunate enough to have the chef’s in the kitchen prepping some food before the doors opened that evening. This is a great opportunity to capture them working without paying attention to you.

photography interiors of restaurants


As I mentioned in the top of the post, you will need to schedule time to shoot during the day and also right at dusk or when the sun goes down. Again, you are looking for the natural light to use to create the ambiance of the building and space. For the image below I set up on my tripod in the parking lot and waited for a guest to enter the building.

photography restaurants inside and out

Today’s post was focusing on the interior of the restaurant. We will do future posts where we capture the food that they restaurants serve. Thanks for stopping by and we hope you learned a little something to add to your future photography shoots. Remember, all images are copyright Alexis Arnold. Ask before using, don’t steal. It’s not cool.