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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Food Photography Talk
Thread started 01 May 2017 (Monday) 22:50
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Shooting Food/Restaurant & Costs

 
JMASTERJ
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May 01, 2017 22:50 |  #1

Hey guys!

1. I have heard so much about how hard it is to shoot food, in a restaurant atmosphere, not studio. What are some of the top keys to make it look "good" and give that pro vibe with minimal equipment?

2. If need be, what is the standard going rate for you pros who have good experience shooting food/restaurants so they have enough pics for a website and some offline marketing? I understand this can vary so please give a range if you feel more comfy with that, or send me a PM is need be, I just need some idea!

Thanks!




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Dan ­ Marchant
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May 02, 2017 00:36 |  #2

JMASTERJ wrote in post #18344048 (external link)
Hey guys!

1. I have heard so much about how hard it is to shoot food, in a restaurant atmosphere, not studio. What are some of the top keys to make it look "good" and give that pro vibe with minimal equipment?

Choose the right settings for the particular shot you are trying to take, based on the environment in the particular location you are trying to photograph. Sorry if that isn't helpful but every restaurant is going to be different with different layouts, different lighting, reflective/non-reflective surfaces, with people/without... and that is all before you get to worrying about keystoning, mixed lighting white balance issues, exposure blending etc.

I would suggest that you start reading this thread http://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthre​ad.php?t=902973

You should also start practicing by shooting your own home.

2. If need be, what is the standard going rate for you pros who have good experience shooting food/restaurants so they have enough pics for a website and some offline marketing? I understand this can vary so please give a range if you feel more comfy with that, or send me a PM is need be, I just need some idea!

Again, no one can give you a one size fits all answer. Your rate depends on your cost of doing business/expenses and the profit you want to make. It also depends on how big the particular job is and how fast you work.

I would suggest you start by reading this https://www.asmp.org ...des/details-creative-fee/ (external link)

and then use this https://nppa.org/calcu​lator (external link)

I would also suggest that you check your local college for basic business courses


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Foodguy
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May 02, 2017 13:35 |  #3

There's a 'food photography talk' section; you might find some helpful information there. Regarding pricing, I'm aware of rates from $500- $10,000 per day. Pretty wide range I know, but there are a lot of factors that influence it.

Best of luck-


My answer for most photography questions: "it depends...'

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Scott ­ Spellman
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Jun 02, 2017 17:32 |  #4

For an commercial restaurant shoot, it is essential to understand the style, goals, and deliverables of the client. Make sure you have a detailed to planning meeting to make sure your photos will accomplish the goals. Have the owner, manager talk with you about the style and features of the restaurant to make sure that comes alive in the photos. Planing the right dishes, working side by side with the chef, and making sure the food and presentation is top notch is essential.


I prefer shooting food in the restaurant as long as there are large windows. The basic technique I use to shoot food is to shoot the dishes within 2-4 feet of a large window in the afternoon with a reflector to bounce sunlight back onto the front side. Use shallow DOF to focus the viewer on the most important part of the dish. Shooting tethered to a laptop or tablet lets you make small adjustments to the food, position, or composition. This basic technique can easily be practiced at home with a bowl of strawberries.

Shooting good room photos works best with ambient light and a tripod in an empty room.

Pricing varies significantly for commercial work, but I like to charge by the hour to keep the client working efficiently. I usually charge $250-350 an hour with another hour for PP. I explain to the client that good planing and execution saves them $$$ and my sanity. This kind of work takes good communication and much much practice. Each client will have their own greatness and challenges.

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tcphoto1
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Post has been edited 5 months ago by tcphoto1.
Jun 20, 2017 16:32 |  #5

I think that it's best to walk before you run. I'd suggest doing some personal projects first and see if it's for you. If you find that you enjoy it, I'd search for a Food Stylist to collaborate with and concentrate on doing your part well. What you need to concentrate on is your style, workflow and delivery of images. Those images may attract potential clients, so prepare yourself for needing to produce quality images upon demand.

Back in the day, one would assist established photographers and learn how to do the work. If you are lucky, one of those people will become your mentor and share even more details of editing, pricing and finding your own style. These days, people want to skip step one through five and magically have their own career. Trust me, there is no easy way to success. The harder you work, the more luck you create.

To answer your question, I find that individually owned restaurants might have $500 to spend on images while larger Corporate Restaurants have photo budgets of $1500-$10K a project.


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Wilt
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Post has been edited 5 months ago by Wilt.
Jun 20, 2017 16:36 |  #6

tcphoto1 wrote in post #18382977 (external link)
Back in the day, one would assist established photographers and learn how to do the work. If you are lucky, one of those people will become your mentor and share even more details of editing, pricing and finding your own style. These days, people want to skip step one through five and magically have their own career. Trust me, there is no easy way to success. The harder you work, the more luck you create.

so you seem to be inferring that one cannot go to a 'digital photography' 5 week course given by the Parks & Recreation department, spend money on a T6 and zoom lens and flash, and then advertise oneself to do professional wedding photography in a competant manner?! and same for food photography
 :p


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tcphoto1
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Jun 20, 2017 17:08 |  #7

Not at all, go for it. I simply had a different, more traditional path.


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Foodguy
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Post has been last edited 5 months ago by Foodguy. 2 edits done in total.
Jun 21, 2017 13:21 |  #8

tcphoto1 wrote in post #18382977 (external link)
I think that it's best to walk before you run.

This advice is spot on imo, and while it appears that the OP has disappeared I'll add a little in case it's of any value to anyone else.

I had the benefit when I started out of sharing a studio with one of the original food photographers in the US. His career started in the 50's with the rise of packaged foods. I spent 3 years assisting him as well as shooting on my own when the studio was available. Despite the fact that the photography end couldn't be more different today, the insight into the world of food photography that I gained by observing him work was invaluable. Everything from pre-planing through the production itself....and simple things like how to work with clients and manage expectations,etc...thi​ngs that I still to this day use.

A few additional thoughts... I'm sure that there are lots of restaurants that hire photographers to shoot their food, in fact, I field lots of inquiries from them; single locations/stores with little, to no budgets. Personally, I've always been interested in and have pursued the higher budget projects- having done both, the bigger the budget the more fun it is and surprisingly (or not) the less work it is, imo. Depending on where you'd like to be in the food chain (no pun intended :p) there's lots of factors that play into getting the higher paying jobs but from what I've seen, the most important and difficult to achieve is *credibility*, and it can be somewhat elusive. That's a tough one to build as it can really be a catch 22. Without the opportunity to shoot for a client, it's difficult to build the credibility to work on the bigger projects....and without credibility it's really difficult for an agency to give a $100K photography budget to an unknown entity as there's a lot at stake and ad agencies tend to be the textbook definition of risk aversion.

One of the things I gained while working at the studio I stared out in, was how to build that credibility. I got to work with and know the people who were actually responsible for buying the kind f photography I wanted to do. I was able to develop friendships with many of the art directors and art buyers at the bigger agencies in town. When my photographer friend retired and it was time for me to strike out on my own, I had a base of contacts that I knew and could call on, and while I started small it was a great first step on the ladder of a career.


My answer for most photography questions: "it depends...'

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PhotosGuy
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Jun 21, 2017 16:08 |  #9

Scott Spellman wrote in post #18369467 (external link)
I prefer shooting food in the restaurant as long as there are large windows. The basic technique I use to shoot food is to shoot the dishes within 2-4 feet of a large window in the afternoon with a reflector to bounce sunlight back onto the front side. Use shallow DOF to focus the viewer on the most important part of the dish...

Couple of quicky examples of that: http://photography-on-the.net ...showthread.php?p=18​087315

Should have added a bounce card to this one: Pork Loin Roast


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Shooting Food/Restaurant & Costs
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