What Does Your Food Photographer Need to Know?

July 2, 2024Food Photography

Want delicious images your audience will love? Here are 6 things to share with your food photographer.

I love it when clients share their vision. It gets me excited about working together to bring it to life.

In addition to the basic details – what do you need to be photographed, and when do you need it? – these are some questions professional food photographers typically have:

What do you like about the food photographer’s portfolio?

Chances are you’ve familiarized yourself with their work. Which images made you think, This is our person! In other words, are there aspects of their previous work that you’d like them to incorporate into your images? It could be the overall style, lighting, angles, props, people, colors, etc.

When I ask about this, I’m not fishing for compliments (promise!), but it helps me to understand how my style aligns with your needs.

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What’s your brand’s visual style?

When you’re working with a new-to-you food photographer, the first thing they’ll do is check out your website and social media for clues about your brand’s style. If your brand has a visual style guide, share it!

Are you looking for images in a similar vein, or do you want to change things up? Are you planning a refresh of your brand’s palette? If so, what changes do you want to make this project to reflect?

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Do you have images inspired by other sources?

Share those, too, along with any specifics about what you like. Is it an angle? The quality of the light — soft and diffused or hard with deep shadows? Light and bright or dark and moody? Richness (or softness) of the colors? The props?

Do you need a food stylist?

I do food styling for very small projects and simple setups. But for bigger projects, a food stylist is a key team member. Not only do they ensure the food looks its best, but having someone dedicated to styling the food keeps the shoot moving along efficiently.

A food stylist’s skills also are critical for specialty foods like ice cream and beverages. Want a perfect-looking Thanksgiving turkey? You’ll want a food stylist on the set. It’s money well spent.

model at a photography session with a professional food photographer

Want people to show off your food? Make sure your budget covers models, or plan to recruit volunteers who will sign a model release.

Will we need models?

Some of the most compelling food photography is lifestyle photography that tells a story. That often means people or at least good-looking hands in the frame. Ideally, that includes the budget to hire models. That includes hand models (yep, that’s a specialty!) to show off your product. (Sorry, food stylists typically don’t want to double as hand models.)

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Where will the images appear?

On produce packaging? Your website? Social media? All of the above? This has a big impact on what kinds of images, and how many, you’ll need.

Need food photography for your brand?

 

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