Opportunities In Commercial Food Photography
Let's talk of a little bit about the different venues. The pictures that I'll show you that are attached to these are pictures that were attached to those types of projects. So this was a shot for an advertising job. Um, and it was a local advertising job. And that's the thing is to recognize that all of the markets that were in, with the exception of the Internet market is local, national or global. And all of those things haven't impact into how you create the work, because it's clearly about budget. The look is usually a little bit slicker, as particularly for me when we're doing advertising work. And one of the things that from a technical perspective and how work looks different, is there's a lot more resource is that go into advertising work. So when you have better cameras, better lighting, better editing, better postproduction, less rich restrictions on that post production, the product ends up being a lot slicker. With that said, um, you don't get to be as artistic because you...
r art directed in a way that is much more intense, and you have to understand and accept that because a lot of a start at the beginning of our careers where, where deciding what we shoot, and we're deciding how we wanted to look. We decide how we want to postproduction toe look. And as you become more proficient and you get advertising work, you have way more art direction to deal with. The other thing about you have to understand is that the bigger your advertising, I said show, because I meant to use that word. The bigger your advertising job gets, the bigger the dog and pony show is right, because when the client is spending $300,000 on a photo shoot, it needs to be a production. So it's a circus. It's not just a job anymore. And you are the ringmaster of that circus, and you need to understand and appreciate the fact that everybody needs to get taken care off, and they're all looking to you to do it. So the bigger that job gets, the more of a ringmaster you have to become, particularly with advertising and particularly with big clients, because when his agency on the set and they have their own little room with leather couches, and everybody sitting there with monitors watching everything you do, and you need to stick your head in there every once in a while and check on everybody. That's part of the job. It's part of the job to be Mr or Mrs Personality on those jobs, because that's a hard thing. It's a hard thing for me. It's a hard thing for most people to, because that's not if that's not generally your personality, then you have to learn those skills. So, advertising, we're talking about a very different animal editorial. Now, to make a picture that looks like a painting, you get to do that in editorial a lot of times because you get to create what you want. In a lot of cases, I got a tremendous amount of creative freedom with The New York Times, and it afforded me the opportunity to build a body of work that was very representative of what I wanted to show the world and being that having that big of ah megaphone to shout from means that you get to influence other artists as well. So like being the fact that newspapers and websites and magazines you can really show who you want to be as an artist. A lot of times how clearly the downside of that is that you don't get paid as much money. So you have to have a balance of all of these things in your kind of work portfolio in that I have some advertising clientele. I have some editorial clientele because if you strictly work in one venue, you can't cross over and where you need to expand yourself as a business person is to be able to operate in all these venues and understand what the needs are of the clients, the look and how you can adjust your look to accommodate the different venue that we're living in. So with editorial also, you don't have a whole lot of art direction, but a lot of times you need a lot more coverage. So what I mean by when I use the word coverage is that you may not be just setting up to make one shot like you would in an advertising campaign where it's been art directed to the end degree. You mount your camera, you set your frame. Everybody approved your frame. You push the button. We made the picture, right? That's not always the case in editorial. You need to be more off a journalist in a way and cover the process sometimes makes him still life. Look at the idea of how many images were going to be in the package and be able to create on that level publishing. Now, when I say publishing for us as food photographers, we're pretty much talking about cookbooks, and these are clearly them. I find the most challenging because they're huge projects. Usually the budgets are usually constrained, and you have to figure out what's gonna work best for you and your client at the same time and what you're going to spend a lot of time doing, particularly with new cookbook authors or clients that have not double publishing houses that have not worked with a lot. And on the lower levels. Right? You're going to end up working with publishing houses that don't maybe not, have necessarily done a lot of cookbooks or work with photographers who are working at ah, higher level. Professionally, you have to educate your clients. You have to educate the Mestre what's gonna go into the project? How much is that gonna cost you and how much gonna cost them. So, um, it's always a tough negotiation, but it's it's manageable if you know what you're talking about. If you come out with a lot of blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, and nobody understands what you're talking about, then that negotiations going to shut down right away. But if you come out and you're knowledgeable and your accessible and you talk people through what it is that you need to do to make their work great, that's gonna work. Now here's the first thing every cookbook line I ever met wants 100 pictures in their book. I have never done a book with 100 pictures because nobody can afford that the way I want to work. And here's what I mean by way. I want to work When my name goes on that book. That's a portfolio piece. I don't want to show people the out takes. And if you're shooting 100 recipes and they're not paying you, ah, boat load of money to do it, it isn't gonna be that you're not gonna have 100 portfolio pieces in a book. It's just not gonna look that way it's not gonna look that good. So when you're talking about doing these types of campaigns to, they're the rules air so different there, so complicated. And if every negotiation is about what they're willing to pay and what you're willing to sacrifice to get and I want it and they also want to go into something very specific about this, which was born in the blogging error, is this idea of, um, compensation as exposure that is a myth is an absolute myth. It is meant to play to your your passions as an artist. Your want to be published, your want to be seen, your thought that this is going to expand your brand and it never happens no matter what, because the Internet is such a wide, huge place that it's still just a drop of water in the ocean. And it's so hard. I've been published every day for 10 years in The New York Times, so if you could tell me how that exposure me equals 25, instagram followers, I have no idea how that works because I see people who don't get published every day in the biggest newspaper in the world who have 500,000 followers. So how does that work? That whole ecosystem doesn't make any sense. So don't get suckered into thinking that you're gonna get exposure because you get a by line in a magazine or on online or ah, Twitter account or whatever. Unless it's like Justin Bieber, and then maybe you'll get a couple 100,000 followers out of that. I don't know whatever.