If you’re interested in organising some professional food photography for your business but aren’t sure where to start, this guide will give you a few key things to consider:
1. Find a specialist photographer
Have a good look through the portfolios of a few food photographers. This should give you a good idea of their style, the variety of shoots they’ve done before and whether they will be a good match with what you’re after. If in doubt, don’t be afraid to contact them for an informal chat before deciding whether to book.
2. How many shots do you need?
When booking your photographer they will need to know how many images you wish to create and the type of food being photographed (cooked from fresh, product shots, pre-prepared etc). Providing this information will help your photographer quote for how much shoot time you’ll need.
3. What will you be using the images for?
Most imagery for web, especially web marketing, will be in landscape format (think banners, social media etc), while a lot of print material works better in portrait format. Giving your photographer this information up front ensures your photos and styling make best use of the picture format.
4. What is your deadline?
Let your photographer know at the time of booking what deadline you are working to, particularly if you need same day image delivery.
5. Hiring a food stylist
The role of a food stylist is to prepare and style the food for the shoot. This would usually involve purchasing the ingredients, preparing the food and then styling it on set. If you aren’t sure how to go about hiring a food stylist your photographer should be able to advise you.
Mood boards like Pinterest are a great way to share creative ideas with your photographer and stylist and help to ensure everyone has a clear idea of what you hope to achieve from your shoot. Consider separate boards for shot inspiration themes, colour combinations, dishes, props and backgrounds.
For some shoots it might be easier for the photographer to work from your location (if you want to use your own kitchen facilities, staff or surroundings) make sure your photographer can offer a mobile set up.
Depending on the look you are after, props can add interest to shoots and help tell a story. However, too many props or too much styling can detract from the food. A good stylist and photographer will be able to strike a balance between styling and the food itself.
Like props, backgrounds can help to add colour and contrast and achieve a certain look with your images (rustic, contemporary, etc).
Before you book
Most photographers and stylists are usually more than happy to chat through your project and any questions or concerns with you, so don’t be afraid to contact them to discuss your project prior to making any firm bookings.