How To Get Work As A Food Photographer
We're going to take about getting work. So you want to make money as a professional food photographer. What does that even mean now? It's a very complicated ecosystem, and it's something that you need to recognize. You can fit in a lot of different ways. There is no one path. There are multiple paths, and we're going to talk about quite a few of those. So when you approach getting work, one of the things you have to have a firm grasp of is the environment you're existing in, and that goes as far as where do I live? What kind of food photography is around me? Local advertising, things like menus. Think about it. Walk down the street and look everywhere you see in your community or online or in the newspaper. How much food imagery do you see? How much food motion do you see? It's everywhere. And then you start to figure out, okay the same people aren't doing all those things, right? They're not, they're different people doing all of those different pieces, and what are the things that ap...
peal to me the most? What is the thing I think I can do the best? So until you kind of figure out that landscape, this can be a very frustrating exercise, because you feel like you have to be everything to everybody, and what I want to tell you is you don't and you shouldn't because that's going to limit your opportunity. You really need to focus on the things that you feel you do well and focus on the things that you want to do and then narrow that down. So there are times when you're going to have to multitask at the beginning of this career because understanding food, to be able to take really good pictures of food, you should be understanding how that food hits your table. So when I first started in this business, I did all my own food styling, and I started a prop collection that has now pushed me out of an apartment and a house and is now living in a storage unit in my studio, but the reality is that I multitasked an awful lot as a creative in that point, but it has helped me because now the communications that I have with my stylist, with my assistants, with all the PAs, with the people that are around me, those are very good professional arrangements and good friendships have been borne of that because clearly I understand their struggle, and I understand that when something is happening on that set, I need to be aware of it. The food is failing, the prop's not working, somebody did something that they're having a hard time with. You have to be able to step into the kitchen and work with the chef or work with stylist. You have to understand their jobs, so by being somebody who can multitask in this arena, you will have a better grasp of how to make the art, and that's a big part of the business, right? People management, you are the boss on the set, and I will say that many times over the next couple of days because you need to understand that when you step on the set, it is not the set. It is your set, and if you're not in command of that set and you allow other people to be in command of that set, and I'm not talking about the whole creative process, because clearly there are a lot of people involved in that creative process and there are people you are accountable to, but once you cross the lines and you're on the field of play, you're the boss and you have to behave as one, and that requires you not just to have knowledge but also to have a demeanor and a pacing to the way you deal with situations, and that comes with time as well, but unless you're aware that that's part of your job, you would never know that. I mean, it might be intuitive, but I don't rely on that all that much.