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Getting Started in Professional Food Photography

Lesson 18 of 21

Food Photography Print Marketing


Getting Started in Professional Food Photography

Lesson 18 of 21

Food Photography Print Marketing


Lesson Info

Food Photography Print Marketing

Let's go into, I do mailers on occasion. I do postcards that just have and I'll tell you why I do postcards like this. I try not to do them too much because art directors will get these a dozen a day or something they get a lot. So when I do, I like the oblong shape because it sticks out of mail a little better, it kind of works their way into their hand. And what I really like to do is to do tri-folds because these get put in a like a cello wrap, like a plastic wrap. And so, to put a single post card in a piece of cello wrap, is obnoxious. They open it, you have to think about how they're going to react to it. Especially when you do something more than just a mailer. Like a gift, or like a jack-in-the-box that pops out and shoots confetti everywhere hey! I'll tell you more about those too on the more extensive marketing promos. But I like a tri-fold because it gives them something to read and I could kind of showcase more work on it. You know, pictures of the studio. This is a couple ...

years old now. This is the old studio. But it's kind of a quick way to introduce myself and it's a quick pitch, and they can open it. The one thing is they can't stick this to a wall. So, I actually did this so at least if they did there would be a little bit of work. Sort of an Instagram style back. This is actually very good because you do want to put you name on both sides, though because you don't know which side they're going to stick to the wall or have on their desk, or flip over and they don't want to. So that was one of the errors I made. I felt like this is really strong on it's own, though, so mailers are important. You don't want to do it all the time because it's expensive. And it's not the most effective thing. At the beginning, at least it lets people know what you're up to. So I do it maybe three to four times a year, maybe. It depends on how I'm feeling. And there's some other periodicals I advertise in. This one, I'm part of AtEdge, which is like 155 photographers, or so. And it's kind of like WorkBook. I don't know if you've heard of WorkBook or some others. AdEdge is really good. I'm considering going to the online version only of WorkBook just to kind of be a part of their membership. But, I love AtEdge because it limits itself to fairly not that many photographers. I mean, it's 150 but they're all in different disciplines. So, if they're looking for food photographers, there's like 15 max. And they don't all specialize in food, they just happen to have food in their portfolio. So, really narrows it down. Somebody's looking for you, and they go to that resource. I know they go to that resource, a fair amount. And you're also, you pay for a whole year, like four bucks, and you're in one of the larger books a year. So, it, and they're small, too. They're very desk friendly, and you're also online. So, that's a really good thing. It drives us, you know, again, it gets your name out there. But, you have to be involved. You have to tell them what you're up to. You have to submit images from campaigns that you've done at keep it fresh. I forgot what they're currently charging. It's not cheap, I think it's about seven to eight, maybe a year or 70,000. But, it's also limited so it's not easy to, it's not, they won't just take anybody even if they we're really good. I got lucky, and I didn't have a lot to offer photographically, but I'm newer to the group. So, I have to work really hard. We're going to work to build a lot of new material to send to them, to keep it fresh. But eventually you will, if they find that your work is really good, they're going to want you on their side. So, they'll either make room or there's constantly people circulating in and out. Some people just doesn't work for them. And so they're moving on. But, a lot of people really does. So, there's openings just like an agent. There's not always an opening. Even if they are good for you and perfect for you. So, you have to make a very distinct effort. I got the attention of an agent simply because of this, just flash image that I've worked on this specifically, and I've already lost the page. That I worked on specifically for this magazine. Let me see if I can find it. It's an international magazine. It's just Lurzer's Archive and it showcases ad campaigns. It's actually a good magazine. I love the print version because I love print. But, it's also online, too. But, it just showcases a lot of different work that people have done in both design and advertising. So, I created this for the, it's a double page spread. I wasn't too bad. And it got the attention of people and they do read it. I think a lot of this is read by other photographer. I know I do. So, you want to differentiate what you're not looking to market to other photographers. That's the last thing that you're trying to do. I mean, I love looking at other people's work and I love this magazine for that reason, but you want to know that what you're advertising in is going to people who is purchasing the art. And that means, actually, if you know someone asking them. If you work with them, ask them where do you find your photographers? Because I get, I got a big job because I had stock. I had stock at Getty and they used it for their layout and they're like well, we just want to find out who did this and that's how I got that job. So, that's another avenue. So it's not one thing. You have to be, you have to slowly work your way up and one you get the budget, once a few jobs come rolling in, I put everything first into the gear I need to execute the shot, and then no more. I didn't spend stuff on lenses because I felt just like I liked them. And then, immediately after, when you start really starting to get into some jobs that are paying pretty well, is to market like crazy and to not look back. Just all in. You have to be fully ready to that. You have to know how to overcome those obstacles you run into. But, you have to market like a wave. You have to go after everything. So, I'm in magazines now and AtEdge, which also has, which I really like about AtEdge is not only the people that run it are the best in the business, but they're just fantastic. They have face-to-face meetings which I just went to one in New York last week. And so, they sit you down with people from agencies and so, when I go to these, I set up meeting with other agencies, or people I've worked with before in New York. To meet with them and see what they're up to. There's a packaging company that I work with extensively out there, and they, I sat down with them and by the end of it, they were going to introduce me to two more design teams that they work with. Which will lead to more, which will lead to more. It really snow-balls after a lot of work. It looks like this is all happening at one, which is great. But it took years to get to the point where I'm able to handle what's coming at me. Are you strictly print portfolio or are you strictly showing them digital when you're seeing someone at an agency, excuse me. That's an awesome, that's a very good question, and I'll answer that right now because it's next. So, magazines, print, I'll do e-mail in a minute so, I have, go ahead. Before you answer that question, just to clarify for people, first of all, can you spell the name of the At Age or At Edge? AtEdge, A-T-E-D-G-E, at the edge. At the edge of your. So, they do take on, one of the things that the person who runs AtEdge told me this when I come on, she, you need to focus on the stuff like there's in the magazine, the splash stuff. The conceptual stuff, because that's what they we're looking for. Big companies were asking them to do something different than, to stand out. That means more than just taking a shot of a piece of cake, generally speaking. So, I do a lot of packaging, which is just that. And, I do a lot of advertising, which is totally different. So, my business is very two-pronged. And so, it's and now we're doing motion and cinemagraphs. So, that's even more important to have a more specific style that spans, and they love that. So, they love it when you can handle a whole project from start to finish. And it takes a while to earn that trust that you can actually do that. We're in the process of earning that trust, in regards to the motion side. Our team, my team can handle anything but you have to convince them of that. And which means working, doing a lot of test shoots. Getting that first job. Getting your foot in the door. And once you do, then it really starts to snow-ball. But, the print, I'll get to that after, yeah. Just one more question on what we're talking about now. How do you know who to send those mailers to? Who do you send them to? And how do you find that information? So, I use, I used an e-mail service that points you to art buyers. That's the whole service. You pay a certain amount and it says, you can find them with even the littlest amount of Googling but I won't, I don't use them anymore so I tend to not, unless but, they are very. If you're in a certain spot in your career, they're very useful for that. Especially, if your starting out because there's no where, you're like, that was the thing with me. I didn't know who to talk to. I didn't even know there was such a thing as an art buyer. I thought they just bought art for the office and hung it. I thought that was the job. So, this is a while ago, but art directors are often, they'll often seek out photographers, but they often work with photographers they already know. Art buyers are always on the look out with an agency for new talent and they will be typically the ones to meet with you, if you meet in person. So, they have a list of everybody from creative directors to, I think even to line producers or just a lot of different titles. When all a photographer cares about is really who's in charge of setting up meetings. Who is in charge of seeking out new talent. Who's in charge, and that's not even, in some cases the art director. There's always a single contact usually within an agency that I have a relationship with. And, they're my go to person. And that way, I don't constantly bother everybody with all these mailers. I don't just send 10 mailer to publicists. I can just call and set up a meeting if they have time. I want to be respectful of that. But, I can send one just to her and maybe someone else I've worked with within the agency to keep abreast in what's going on. So, I'm not wasting money on contacts that are just going to be sometimes annoyed because they're so busy just by the bombardment. So, that's the specific thing is not. I've bombarded people with E-mail Blast because I just wanted to, just, when I first started, get my name out to as many people as I could. Which isn't the worse thing, idea in the world. Just, here I am, but, soon you need to really tone it down and really focus on individual people, and almost get to know them online and look at their work. An art director does on the side, like what their personal website is like and say oh man, they love food, they shoot a lot of food, man 'cause every agency has somebody who has a lot of food accounts. You don't know at the beginning who has those food accounts. It's a group within, it's not just the whole agency we all share everything. They're independent typically one another, and within even agencies The Chicago branch won't do with any of the same clients that the New York branch. So, you really have to be on your game as far, I did two years straight of research of just individuals. Just searching, I just put an e-mail list together on my own that is people, individuals who I want to work with regardless of where they are. And that's important because this, people move all the time, and their e-mails change. So I use LinkedIn a lot now. I don't use the service anymore because it forces you into the e-mail blast scene bombardment that all their photographers are using. And so you're being funneled down the same pipeline. You're not standing out. That's not the point of marketing. So, I tend to do, I mean it was actually really valuable because they do produce print material as well, which it top notch and their e-mail list is accurate. So, if you do want to pursue people, you just kind of look for the art buyers within that group, kind of select art directors, but research them first. And stay away from the E-mail blast if you can because they tend to get, like I did E-mail blast for the studio because a lot of people would be interested in that. Or, when I created my new blog, that got a lot of response because people are kind of interested in that. But, if you just create a little new work on your own and you do a blast to 2,000 people, they're going to be like (sighing) he did that again. And you're going to get a name for being that guy who just bombards you. So, it's important to, the face-to-face meetings almost always lead to something. It's crucial, and it doesn't happen over night. You have to earn kind of your way in through. You have to be ready. You can't just say I have a few good images and I'm ready to meet with people because I can do a few good images. You have to have a body of work, which comes with a lot of late nights, testing, a lot of, but, you can do it within a few months. As long as you put the effort in. It's not like it can't happen over night, as long as you have the skill to really execute a good style and you have a very distinct vision. You can get something together pretty soon I mean, we're going to create a lot of new stuff in the next month, just in a month. And probably 10 really, really good images. But, images take longer and longer the more intricate they get. A lot of the stuff in this magazine took a week. The poster took quite a bit of work. So, I'll meet with people. So, go ahead. No, I'm through. I meet with a lot of people face-to-face when I can, and I'll put together sort of a presentation. And this is really, this lately, has morphed into something much better than I thought would because I was unaware of how, kind of inadequate it was. So I met with a few people and I kind of, once you get the first few meeting under your belt, you're not really nervous anymore, you know what to do. And you also know what they want to see.

Class Description

Short on time? This class is available HERE as a Fast Class, exclusively for Creator Pass subscribers.

With the advent of social media foodie culture, food photography is everywhere. The market is saturated with top-down smartphone images of cappuccinos, barley salads, and elaborate toast. This represents a real opportunity for photographers looking to expand their businesses. Professional photographers are in a position to provide high-quality, captivating images of delicious food for clients eager for an alternative to stock photography and social media images.

Join veteran photographer Steve Hansen for this comprehensive basics course, and you’ll learn:

  • How to shoot a beverage, main course, and dessert.
  • How to light and style your shots to get the most compelling images.
  • How to build out your basic studio gear to get the most out of your food styling and photography.

Steve will walk you through the basics of becoming a food photographer by drawing on his own experience as a chef, certified food stylist, and photographer. You’ll learn about the equipment you’ll need; how to interact with food and prop stylists, and direct them during a shoot; how to work with digital technicians and editors; and you’ll learn Steve’s tips for marketing food photography. 


Christy cwood56

This class has appeal for the beginning food photographer as well as the photographer that is already a bit further advanced on the path. There is quality info about gear and other logistics for the beginner that is absolutely necessary and establishes a strong baseline of knowledge. When Steve starts to shoot then the magic really starts to happen as we get to see into his creative process, how he styles, how he problem solves, how he continues to push the envelope until he comes up with his incredible images. That was the most enlightening part of the whole class...being able to observe an artist in his creative zone. Steve is a master at what he does and whether you are a beginner, intermediate or even advanced photographer, there is something for you in this class. It is well worth the minimal cost of the class. Part of the value of purchasing this class is that you can watch it again and again and again and each time you will walk away with boatloads of info. It is one of those classes that you will go back to again and again and use as a reference point for improving your images. Thanks Steve for being willing to share your gifts and talents to help others! Awesome day!

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