Approve the Cookies
This website uses cookies to improve your user experience. By using this site, you agree to our use of cookies. Read More.
OK
Index  •   • New posts  •   • RTAT  •   • 'Best of'  •   • Gallery  •   • Gear  •   • Reviews
New posts  •   • RTAT  •   • 'Best of'  •   • Gallery  •   • Gear  •   • Reviews
Register to forums    Log in

 
FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Food Photography Talk
Thread started 28 Jan 2015 (Wednesday) 23:44
Prev/next
sponsored links
(this ad will go away when you log in as registered member)

First Commercial Food Shoot

 
sspellman
Goldmember
sspellman's Avatar
1,731 posts
Joined Dec 2006
Detroit, Michigan
Oct 07, 2015 14:39 as a reply to post 17735555 |  #16

80% of my food work is commercial advertising for the restaurant for print ads and done using natural lighting and reflectors at the restaurant. I have done some other food work for packaging or cookbooks at my studio or the chefs location.

Your food shot to me is great-good food, high quality ingredients, good composition and DOF. The food and table surface are simple so it could be cropped tighter, use a different surface or add silverwear/sides/drink​s to jazz it up.


ScottSpellmanMedia.com [photography]

LOG IN TO REPLY
sponsored links
(this ad will go away when you log in as registered member)
the ­ flying ­ moose
Goldmember
1,628 posts
Joined Dec 2006
Oct 07, 2015 19:01 as a reply to sspellman's post |  #17

Thank you. I will keep that in time next time where hopefully I will have a little more creative control. This was basically a show up and shoot some food the way they had it set up.




LOG IN TO REPLY
Foodguy
Goldmember
Foodguy's Avatar
1,323 posts
Joined Mar 2012
Having too much fun in the studio
Oct 08, 2015 11:16 |  #18

the flying moose wrote in post #17735555 (external link)
When you folks do natural light, are you doing this in a restaurant or studio? I have had to do a few food shoots, some being in the evening where natural light is not an option and I had no choice but to fire up the speedlites. I hope you don't mind me sharing but here is one of my latest from a few months back. I wish this was a larger segment in my area. It seems every restaurant in town but a couple are chains, and get their marketing material from head office.


thumbnailHosted photo: posted by the flying moose in
./showthread.php?p=177​35555&i=i146742417
forum: Food Photography Talk


Nice job on the tuna...some additional elements in/around the surface or a tighter crop might give the image a little more impact imo, but that depends on what it's final use is going to be. You might also look at the front right surface of the plate...seems to be a little extra left over from the chef.  :p

I have a natural light studio, but rarely use it for that. In fact, a few months ago I had a project through an ad agency that specifically requested the 'natural light look' both in words as well as the inspiration images that they sent prior to the shoot. Feeling more comfortable with lighting the set for a variety of reasons and knowing the nature of this project and the people involved...lots of eyes looking at the tiniest of details and making minute changes to arrive at the final image, I built the set in the daylight area of my studio. I still lit the set using my strobes. Client and AD never thought that the images they were looking at were anything but 'natural' light even as the shoot went into the evening hours and the sun had set. :grin:

I do a lot of work for the 'chains'...you might be interested to know that a significant portion of individual store sales go into the national advertising budgets. A big part of the philosophy is to maintain consistency of brand throughout the business. Smaller individual restaurants still need good food photography though and were I starting out in this field I would think it would be a good place to market my services.

Best of luck-


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

LOG IN TO REPLY
the ­ flying ­ moose
Goldmember
1,628 posts
Joined Dec 2006
Oct 08, 2015 17:09 as a reply to Foodguy's post |  #19

Thanks for the advice. I did a few shoots just for a local "Diners Guide" and later offered my services for further photos for marketing/advertising to those independent restaurants. Every single one of them loved my images but scoffed at having to pay for them. I will keep practicing and definitely contact more of them again.




LOG IN TO REPLY
wcameron
THREAD ­ STARTER
Senior Member
Joined Mar 2006
Canmore, AB, Canada - The Heart of the Rockies
Oct 15, 2015 12:45 as a reply to post 17735173 |  #20

Thanks so much Sagary (that is if you're talking about my pics on Flickr lol)


Ward
http://Facebook.com/Wa​rdCameronPhotography (external link)

Canon EOS 5Ds, Canon EOS 6D, Rebel XTi, Sony RX100, GoPro Helmet Hero

LOG IN TO REPLY
wcameron
THREAD ­ STARTER
Senior Member
Joined Mar 2006
Canmore, AB, Canada - The Heart of the Rockies
Oct 15, 2015 21:59 |  #21

Small independent restaurants is where I'm working at the moment. I won't even think of working without a stylist! I know light, composition and processing. I'm not an expert on the many secret techniques to make food look good on camera. When I quote, I just include the cost of the stylist. It's so much easier than trying to convince them that the ADDITIONAL cost of a stylist will improve the shoot. Then they may ask me to shoot without her. My answer is NO. I won't shoot images that I KNOW they will not like. A good stylist never makes a chef feel insecure. In fact most of the chefs I've worked with are happy for the input that the stylist gives and will work carefully with her. Her work is simple - to make what they do look as fabulous on camera as it does on the plate.

I really enjoy the slow and methodical process in creating food images. We never strike a plate until the client signs off on the image (always captured tethered to a laptop for high resolution review). That way we all know that the vision of the client has been captured and we can move onto the next food item.

I hope to have the opportunity to continue working in this area of photography.


Ward
http://Facebook.com/Wa​rdCameronPhotography (external link)

Canon EOS 5Ds, Canon EOS 6D, Rebel XTi, Sony RX100, GoPro Helmet Hero

LOG IN TO REPLY
Foodguy
Goldmember
Foodguy's Avatar
1,323 posts
Joined Mar 2012
Having too much fun in the studio
Oct 16, 2015 00:22 |  #22

Sounds like you've got a good plan Ward. The small independents need good food photography just like the larger chains. I get a lot of inquiries from single location restaurants and our pricing isn't appropriate for them. Were I starting out in the food photography world, I think I'd structure my business to accommodate their needs from a photography and pricing standpoint and I'd expect to do well..and you're spot on with your thoughts about a stylist and the approval process.


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

LOG IN TO REPLY
Left ­ Handed ­ Brisket
That's my line!
Left Handed Brisket's Avatar
Joined Jun 2011
The Uwharrie Mts, NC
Oct 16, 2015 08:09 |  #23

wcameron wrote in post #17747266 (external link)
Small independent restaurants is where I'm working at the moment. I won't even think of working without a stylist! I know light, composition and processing. I'm not an expert on the many secret techniques to make food look good on camera. When I quote, I just include the cost of the stylist. It's so much easier than trying to convince them that the ADDITIONAL cost of a stylist will improve the shoot. Then they may ask me to shoot without her. My answer is NO. I won't shoot images that I KNOW they will not like. A good stylist never makes a chef feel insecure. In fact most of the chefs I've worked with are happy for the input that the stylist gives and will work carefully with her. Her work is simple - to make what they do look as fabulous on camera as it does on the plate.

I really enjoy the slow and methodical process in creating food images. We never strike a plate until the client signs off on the image (always captured tethered to a laptop for high resolution review). That way we all know that the vision of the client has been captured and we can move onto the next food item.

I hope to have the opportunity to continue working in this area of photography.

curious how this all comes together. I have quite a bit of food service experience through college and am still pretty involved in the local food trends around here.

My thinking is that the chef would give the stylist an idea of how the plate comes together and then allow them to replicate the presentation … basically giving the stylist the ingredients and letting them do the assembly.

also wondering about pricing, if you are willing to share. I expect that most of this is done on a day rate (or even multiple days) do you find that restaurants are willing to pay your regular rate or do you need to make some concessions?

with commercial clients I love to get 100 bucks an hour and 800 for a day, but rarely get there. It is usually 25-35 percent less, but I am in a tiny market that is over run with commercial photographers because of our once thriving furniture manufacturing .


PSA: The above post may contain sarcasm, reply at your own risk | Formerly he's gone before apostrophe-gate | Not in gear database: Canon 70-210 3.5-4.5, Auto Sears 50mm 2.0 / 2x CL-360, Nikon SB-28, SunPak auto 322 D, Minolta 20

LOG IN TO REPLY
wcameron
THREAD ­ STARTER
Senior Member
Joined Mar 2006
Canmore, AB, Canada - The Heart of the Rockies
Oct 16, 2015 11:12 as a reply to Left Handed Brisket's post |  #24

So far, on a day rate, I've been charging in the $1500-$2000 range. That includes the cost of the stylist. The rate may change if they want things like prop rentals, prop styling, etc as my stylist would obviously add costs for the prop rental and additional services. So far, we've been focusing on close-up images of meals on the restaurant's own dishes. For this type of shoot, we can usually do a maximum of 8 setups in a single day.

The biggest challenge I've had so far is getting a clear vision from the clients on exactly what they want in the images. Obviously the approach to photographing a tight plate of food is very different than shooting food and beverages together (both the food and beverages need to be styled and a mug of beer can take quite a while to stage). Our most recent client had hired a designer who had absolutely no idea what he was doing. He kept telling us that he had a very clear vision of what he wanted but could never articulate it. He sent sample images that all had very different approaches. One was a burger on a black background, one on a white, one with a model holding the burger, one photographed outside, and so on. All of these things need to be decided long before the shoot. 24 hours before the shoot we didn't even have a list of the 8 plates that they wanted to shoot. In the end, I contacted the owner and let him know that we may need to bow out of the shoot. I would rather turn down the work than shoot images that I know they won't want to use. My original discussions had been with the owner and in the end, they pulled the designer out of the equation and the chef, owner, stylist and myself were able to produce the exact images that we had originally discussed. I would never want to be in a position where I show up at the shoot only to find that the approach they wanted meant that I needed special equipment that needed to be rented or simply had not been packed as it was outside of the scope of the shoot. An example would be expecting to shoot tight shots and suddenly being asked to shoot a wide shot with models that would require additional lights to illuminate the entire restaurant. Obviously a shot like this would also reduce the number of setups that could be done in a single day.

With the restaurants I'm working with, this is often the first time they've actually undertaken professional photography. The first step is usually getting great images of exactly what they serve on a daily basis. It's critical that we all have a very clear idea of the goals and objectives of the day. The next shoot can look at more ambitiously staged images if need be.

Many of the restaurants don't use any imagery on their menus. In the case of my most recent shoot, the shoot planning began with a discussion with the bar manager who was embarrassed to post his iPhone shots of their wings on Facebook for wing night. Social media marketing is becoming one of the main drivers helping to motivate their photography needs. As we spoke more, he discussed that they were introducing an entirely new menu so the timing was perfect to photograph an selection of the new menu items in addition to the wings.

Now I'm hoping that their investment in upgraded imagery will prompt some of the other local restaurants to follow suit.


Ward
http://Facebook.com/Wa​rdCameronPhotography (external link)

Canon EOS 5Ds, Canon EOS 6D, Rebel XTi, Sony RX100, GoPro Helmet Hero

LOG IN TO REPLY
Foodguy
Goldmember
Foodguy's Avatar
1,323 posts
Joined Mar 2012
Having too much fun in the studio
Oct 19, 2015 15:46 |  #25

wcameron wrote in post #17747899 (external link)
So far, on a day rate, I've been charging in the $1500-$2000 range. That includes the cost of the stylist. The rate may change if they want things like prop rentals, prop styling, etc as my stylist would obviously add costs for the prop rental and additional services. So far, we've been focusing on close-up images of meals on the restaurant's own dishes. For this type of shoot, we can usually do a maximum of 8 setups in a single day.

.

I sat down with my rep a few years ago to see if we couldn't come up with a pricing scheme to accommodate the smaller restaurants that were calling us for work. It *seemed* at the time like $2K was the magic number to hit, inclusive of most everything. At least to us that seemed where these people considered the value to be. We couldn't hit the number so I ended up referring the work to former assistants who were able to put together a package that fell in that range and they've so far found reasonable success in that market.

FWIW, the 'clear vision' is a little elusive despite all of the pre-production calls, meetings, swipes, brand documents, etc. Especially so when there's an ad agency involved. I used to be surprised at how intentionally vague some of the communication was or how broad the direction could be going into a shoot. After witnessing account execs doing anything and everything to make sure the client was happy, I started to understand the wide latitude of the initial direction (cya) and the need for me to be prepared to shift gears on the fly.


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

LOG IN TO REPLY
bobbyz
Cream of the Crop
18,547 posts
Joined Nov 2007
Bay Area, CA
Oct 20, 2015 09:00 |  #26

Nice thread.


5dmk3, 35L, 85L II, 300mm f2.8 IS I, 400mm f5.6
Fuji XT-1, 14mm f2.8, 23mm f1.4, 35mm f1.4, 56mm f1.2, 90mm f2, 50-140mm f2.8

LOG IN TO REPLY
wcameron
THREAD ­ STARTER
Senior Member
Joined Mar 2006
Canmore, AB, Canada - The Heart of the Rockies
Oct 20, 2015 10:52 as a reply to Foodguy's post |  #27

That is so right. In terms of all the planning for the last shoot. We were just happy to finally get a list of food items the day prior to the shoot. I'm talking more the larger ideas. For instance whether they are looking for shots of the food or the restaurant. If the food is smaller in the shot then we need to think about area lighting, window pulls, and perhaps a different approach to styling.

Anything less than our current rates would preclude a stylist and I won't shoot without one. I know the limit of my skills and I don't want to deliver images that a client will not be happy using.


Ward
http://Facebook.com/Wa​rdCameronPhotography (external link)

Canon EOS 5Ds, Canon EOS 6D, Rebel XTi, Sony RX100, GoPro Helmet Hero

LOG IN TO REPLY
Foodguy
Goldmember
Foodguy's Avatar
1,323 posts
Joined Mar 2012
Having too much fun in the studio
Oct 20, 2015 14:08 |  #28

wcameron wrote in post #17753296 (external link)
and I don't want to deliver images that a client will not be happy using.

Great philosophy to have....and in addition-

I did a job last year that was part of a television ad campaign. After the shoot, the ad agency changed their mind about a few aspects of the photography and so we agreed to edit the photography to suit their needs. The timeframe was tight as the tv production time was already scheduled and it's very expensive time. Round one of the editing and there was some bounce back and more changes requested. Round 2, same thing...round 3...round 4...

Out of frustration on my part and in order to avoid the constant phone calls/texts/emails I was getting about "how much longer?", I asked my digital tech to cut some corners as I knew that this image was going to be on screen only briefly. My tech turned to me and said that in a year, no one would remember the tight deadlines and would only have the images to go by and that they needed 'to be right'.

He was right of course, and I had to tell the group that they'd just have to be patient and wait. They didn't want to hear that but in the end had no real choice. The tv spot was ultimately finished on time and looked great. The images have gone on to be used for a few other things in the meantime and every time I see them, I think about how wise my young tech was and how glad I was that I listened to him.


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

LOG IN TO REPLY
fotopaul
Senior Member
fotopaul's Avatar
396 posts
Joined Jul 2015
Stockholm/Sweden
Post has been edited over 2 years ago by fotopaul.
Nov 11, 2015 16:33 |  #29

the flying moose wrote in post #17735555 (external link)
When you folks do natural light, are you doing this in a restaurant or studio? I have had to do a few food shoots, some being in the evening where natural light is not an option and I had no choice but to fire up the speedlites. I hope you don't mind me sharing but here is one of my latest from a few months back. I wish this was a larger segment in my area. It seems every restaurant in town but a couple are chains, and get their marketing material from head office.


thumbnailHosted photo: posted by the flying moose in
./showthread.php?p=177​35555&i=i146742417
forum: Food Photography Talk

The few time i do use natural light it's often on location at the restaurants. For natural light in the studio i often light with strobes and scrims to mimic natural light.


You'r shot looks ok, though i would have preferred backlightning and some bounce cards to get some reflection off the tuna.

I rarely use speedlights for food, there is a challenge (apart from power and slow recycling times) to shape the light with them compared to strobes. But a lot can be done with two speedlights and bounce cards.

Here is a shot taken with two speedlights (off camera) bounced off ceiling and a reflector.


IMAGE: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/62064760/speedlight_food_ex.jpg

Instagram (external link)
Blog (external link)

LOG IN TO REPLY
the ­ flying ­ moose
Goldmember
1,628 posts
Joined Dec 2006
Nov 14, 2015 00:33 as a reply to fotopaul's post |  #30

Thanks for the tips. I think I am going to start practicing more with food in my home and once I feel I have the ability, get out there and try and get some jobs with it.




LOG IN TO REPLY
sponsored links
(this ad will go away when you log in as registered member)

13,232 views & 29 likes for this thread
First Commercial Food Shoot
FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Food Photography Talk


Not a member yet? Click here to register to the forums.
Registered members get all the features: search, following threads, own gear list and ratings, likes, more forums, private messaging, thread follow, notifications, own gallery, settings, view hosted photos, own reviews and more...


AAA

Send feedback to staff    •   Jump to forum...    •   Rules    •   Index    •   New posts    •   RTAT    •   'Best of'    •   Gallery    •   Gear    •   Reviews    •   Polls

COOKIES DISCLAIMER: This website uses cookies to improve your user experience. By using this site, you agree to our use of cookies. Privacy policy and cookie usage info.

POWERED BY AMASS 1.4version 1.4
made in Finland
by Pekka Saarinen
for photography-on-the.net
Spent 0.00169 for 4 database queries.
PAGE COMPLETED IN 0.04s
Latest registered member is Brofessor
793 guests, 407 members online
Simultaneous users record so far is 6430, that happened on Dec 03, 2017