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Professional Food Photography

Lesson 2 of 5

The Power of Food Photography

Penny De Los Santos

Professional Food Photography

Penny De Los Santos

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Lesson Info

2. The Power of Food Photography

Lesson Info

The Power of Food Photography

Okay, so let's look at photos so this is something I shot so this is lit so my thing is I wanted to look like natural light sometimes not every time but I do and I think a lot of people look at my portfolio and think oh, it's all natural light it's not I would say ninety eight percent of it is lit I just make it look like natural light so that's something I'm gonna help you learn and have a better understanding of um and you know, when I'm working in a shoot like this I have a stylist I have two stars have a prop styles have a food stylist that's ah whole entire industry in and of itself they're very talented, they're dedicated to what they do and they specialize in it and there are people that have been doing it for years and the best if you can get him on your team it is the difference between a good photograph and an unbelievable photograph that's something I learned so I try to take really good care of the people I work with because I want them to work with me more. Um okay, so thi...

s is not that there's no filter there's nothing it's it's a photograph pomegranates are just beautiful what you're seeing that might make it feel like, oh, this is totally all post it's not it's the background it's all just the surface in the background it just gives it that painterly feel and it's the props in it we found these beautiful objects and we just put beautiful a beautiful ingredient with it I mean, that is half the battle in food photography I'm here to tell you right now if you have a great subject the rest is pretty easy it's really easy. Um if you were watching me this morning, subject wasn't great but you know, my point is that if you have a great subject, you can do great things you you can definitely do great things. This is in that same shoot and I was just, like, kind of inspired by the dutch masters, you know, and trying to emulate that again, there's no filter is nothing. This is just a straight up photograph using with similar light what? I'm going to show you today. Same thing. So again, it's just about finding the beauty and the details I mean, to me there's like four photographs in here, I could have gone a lot tighter those leaves or just unbelievably gorgeous. I mean, I could just see a detail that front one or the right one really easily okay, so cocktails, um, best you always kind of want the light to go through them you don't always have to back like them but you want to figure out a way sidelight get the light to go through them that's the best way to kind of celebrate the shape of the glass the color of the ingredients mostly I just wanted you to see my work and just kind of understand if you would have seen my portfolio four years ago when I was at creative life it's it's different it's a night and day it's a ninety portfolio um all this to say that you know I've been doing this a long time and I'm still like challenged every day and I still have a a lot of hurdles and I'll tell you this right now I have failed so much almost as much justus much as I've succeeded so I mean it it is goes hand in hand yes back penny to that last image because there's a lot going on in there and I'm wondering if you can kind of deconstruct what thestreet is that you're telling and then even some of the placement of the different objects to tell that story so this was actually the end of a photo shoot and I was like, hey, we have all this these great ingredients we have the's great glasses and I was with this amazing props stylist and I wanted teo I always wanted to do this kind of shot like you're at the bar the cocktail bar you know and and she was really into it so we just like the story wass you know you're at this cocktail bar and it's that scene when you know you sit down and maybe you're like putting your makeup on you're applying lipstick, you've just stabbed your lip apps you start to drink the cigarettes already been smoked, you know it's just a moment it's a moment, you know, and at and at the end of it it's just like we're having fun too. And and I don't I'm not sure if this got published, actually, so I hope that answers your question. Thank you. Okay, yeah, I mean it's food, food in process I think you know, you shoot food, you've shoot food and three ways you shoot it being prepared, you shoot it and the beauty of it and then you shoot it in post meaning that it's done the meal is over. I would I would venture to say that some of my favorite food photographs are the ones that I've made hours before the meal has even started and hours after it ended you know I love I love all that stuff the the detritus of what food gives you that's so beautiful I don't know anything else that gives you that if you I challenge anyone to you to tell me what does because there's nothing else in our lives that really that does you know and here's the thing with food it's something we can all relate to it doesn't matter who you are where you come from or anything I mean it's it's the one language will speak and the table when you when you're at a table I can't tell you how many tables I've sat at where I see and I'm a perfect stranger these people and I may be photographed them for a couple of hours but I sit at that table with them and it's like the most amazing feeling and I always am like holy cow like when I was sitting with those iraqi refugees there's no reason I would have been sitting there it was my because of my camera you know and we don't even speak the same language we get there there we were and we were breaking bread and sharing a meal barefoot tearing you know, on the floor tearing bread and it was so powerful and so I mean, I'm kind of getting off subject but that's my point is that food connects us and even in this case I feel like people can still ceo of food beauty like this and still make a connection and that's your job as a food for people should connect with your food they should feel a moment of intimacy they should be ableto they have they should have a reaction that's my goal whenever I've been on a shoot anything I'm shooting that's that's my goal I don't always succeed but I certainly try penny yes would you mind letting us know and somebody's as we move through through these if they were using natural light or not a lot of people are already talking about lit these air all ellett and he's living people were wanting about the rembrandt images and are those those are possible to do those with just natural light uh yeah I think so for sure without a doubt without a doubt uh yeah maybe we could try that today we get a shot I do I did make we did erin and I did pull a couple of things a couple of ingredients that would lend itself to maybe recreating that idea because I thought that would be fun for you guys to see here is the food styles thanks very erin gaga is here she's like this amazing woman based in seattle so she's helping me today produced the shoot ok again it's ah you know I'm just trying to put you in front of the food it's lit I don't really know what else to say I just want to zip through these really quick this one is uh this is this dish that gets covered with grape leaves it's actually really amazing on again I want to try to make some kind of emotions I want you to feel something if you can make people feel something with food that's awesome for a long time I did a bunch of cookbooks and I don't do is many I still shoot cookbooks but I just don't do as many of them and so some of these images are my favorites from cookbooks in this with cookbook I did on olive oil cookbook I did again this is let just made to look like in a nice soft natural light he's or both these air both let although I think the one on the right isn't the one on the right's natural and I think you can tell it's just kind of brighter and it looks a little yeah it's brighter this is also this is also let handmade pastas just forget about it a question about this image because you mentioned that you want people to feel when they look at food images and I'm wondering if you consider what that feeling is that you're going for before is that part of the artistic process of setting it up or is it kind of like oh now I see this and now I see what I feel or what other people feel is that part of it? I think I think it went like this for me I saw the pasta like so I saw the pasta and it was probably in this in this in this towel and and I just thought it was beautiful and I didn't want to see it blown out I didn't want to see I wanted tio kind of romanticize the pasta I wanted to wrote romance the pasta um I think that that's what you're asking I didn't really I just thought was so beautiful and then I wanted to put it on on the set it wasn't something we were supposed to shoot but it was just gorgeous on it was like an extra shot I mean that's the other thing I feel like you should look around in all parts of a photo shoot even something like this and look for your pictures because a lot of times you don't always find yourself I mean I don't want to be too literal with the photographs that I make and I always will not you know I'm always like bugging the stylist we're doing you know I'm constantly on their side of the table seeing what they're stirring and cutting I guess I was kind of what I was going for was maybe if you're watching the stylist to do you look at something and feeling emotion and say ok that's what we tried going out there that instinct that goes off do you has relate to that there's an instinct that happens it's like it's it's a it's an instinct and so is a photographer like that's where I think where when your photographer and you really start to evolve as a photographer is when you when you can acknowledge that oh my god I felt something that's an instinct and that's like pay attention to those instincts because that's where your photos are um and the more you list the more you get in touch with what your instincts are reacting to the better your photos will become true story so it's I mean that harvey's aa lot it's really about getting in touch with who you are and going deeper it is for me it's an intent it's a lifestyle it's intense but you know it's fun to so okay I hope I hope we talked emotionally enough about the pasta this is chile's this's let you can tell it's lit right and I've blocked the light that was all intentional just wanted just just trying to see things differently maybe maybe in my mind I thought it was like hey I want it to feel like late afternoon coming through a window or door way again it's all about just sourcing really beautiful beautiful ingredients you know that's like I don't know probably a one hundred dollars fish you know that you you we bought it chelsea market but it was beautiful the eyes are clear I mean that's what that's what you look for and then and then it's just easy you just put it on set and it's like done like one of my assistants says dunn and as we look at this one a couple of things so I'm noticing that you have a lot of overhead images right? Is that sort of a signature thing for you? Is that something you embrace or is that one of sort of the basic rules of food for tiger? You know, sometimes it's it's I'm trying not to shoot so many overhead and in fact we're not going to do any today no just I think it graphically food is beautiful overhead it makes it more graphic I don't think it's a signature thing although I do think I do it a lot but I'm trying to break out of that and it's sometimes it's just when you see food from side view or three quarter it's just that as engaging sometimes you know what I mean? But then also I feel like overhead can flatten it too much so it's a challenge, right? I'm I'm you know you're kind of always searching your subject and trying to find the best angle and really tryingto you know, work, work all sides of it and think about it and a lot of times I'll do it like this was the first shot this was the you know, the prep shot then we got then we got it when it was cooked and that angle probably changed I would never see, you know, depending on the job, but a lot of times you're constantly moving your angles yes and beautiful work I've noticed and going through some of your images it looks like some of it is a bit editorial and then you focusing on the food and it makes me hungry just standing here and I had lunch but I noticed some of the other shots also are maybe a little bit more wider and maybe showing more the setting can decide how you strike a balance is that something you get to decide is the photographer or is that maybe at a totally driven with the client that you're delivering the images for us all of the above? By the way you have a great voice I've heard you all week and I was like, god he's got a great voice thank you you see it went down thank you so here's the deal it's all of the above some of its editorial but I do this is kind of my style and that's what I get hired for so it really depends on the project sometimes they'll want more environment and so you put more environment and it also just depends, you know they'll want brighter and lighter I'm just not showing you that work, you know and I'm not I'm showing you the work that I love I'm not showing you like I have some pictures of ice cream that's, huge details of like swirls and I'm not showing you that work because I just felt really boring to me, but I do that stuff, too. I'm just like, this is a chance for me to be like here's, what I love so that's what I'm choosing tio present, and I'm glad you said that because it's really important to again seeing artists, passion and I appreciate you sharing your passions, but it's also, you bring up a great point that, um, well, we need to put food on our table, so we need to make sure we're producing a product that is sellable and deliverable to those that are consuming it for their own specific needs. So that's a great point, yeah. It's, true that's a whole other subject, so I don't mean to take it later, but no, no, no. It's good that I'm glad you brought it up. So this was a these are actually cakes and there's, a very famous cake maker in, um, um in new york city name is it ben israel? Do you know that someone out there is going to know I'm talking about anyway? It was ah story I did about his case. These are actual cakes look like packages. But so that was so this is lit and it's, uh, you know, in in an environment again okay this obviously you know this is lit it's made to look super harsh and this guy just like maybe it makes you feel a little sick or off I guess that was the point it's I'm just showing you like the the range of where I could go okay there are times where I just want to be a little off and you know I don't know and I'm also thinking hey maybe I should maybe I should open my repertoire a little bit and think about shooting more cosmetics or soft goods I mean this is a business at the end of the day if I could make all the photographs that I love but if no one else loves them or if if on our buyer or on our producer or a creative group can't see in my work what how he can use it then I haven't succeeded so it's important that I kind of do that more as a photographer yes ron ben israel it is you the name uh I knew some of these huh of the cakes yeah that's him uh this was just a still life I did so I love here's what I've discovered about myself I love shooting still lives and so still lives there just like a collection of things used their beautiful and I feel like you know it's just another way to be expressive um how do you market a still life? Oh my gosh. How can you not? I mean ever like look at open any magazine and you'll see tons of still lives so food can translate in that way so easily and I don't know if a lot of good photographers realize that so it's important that that you know if you have time for if you're in business that you have to think about like how else big picture can I figure out how to get more work? That's a really important question I didn't ask myself that question a lot a long time ago it was more like ah, this is what I'm doing you know, I didn't have a lot of overhead I didn't you know, I was like, you know, tightening the belt strap and I just wanted to travel and see the world and take pictures and it's changed for me you know? It's changed a lot again I'm just just showing you pictures I love this just a still life of cut flowers in moody light that I think this is natural light I just cut the natural light a ton I think this low card says shut your mouth and take off your clothes. Okay, um again, if you just have great products and then just, you know, ruin a surface and smear some of them, I think I have a bunch of, um kind of like stuff like that you know details great details it's so key and food you could sort of clarify what the face six of food photography are like the basic rules of food photography sure um okay so there's three main angles there's overhead and you've seen that side view three quarters of you and then actually three quarter recorder side view or straight on those air the three primary angles there are others I'm sure they're also no rules I don't I'm not a believer and like this is how I do it but I think everybody kind of finds their way um what else when I think the you always need to be thinking about light color and composition those of the basic elements of a great photograph and every great photograph will have that element and you can look at any beautiful piece of art and it will have that same element um so if you're really getting good you've got nice light you've got great composition and you have beautiful color let's see nice like great you know composition and color you know what I mean? Nice lie interesting composition interesting color you know you're elevating your photos you want it you want to get your ratios up right it's a moment e I think you want to evoke people to feel something so you want you want the pictures to be evocative and what there's nothing more evocative the food okay maybe boudoir that's pretty evocative again then maybe eat food um okay, so this is like side view and overhead okay, please yes I'm not quite sure if this question fits and right here but I want to ask before I forget I've noticed that you have a really great array of both ingredients and props for your styling and that's something that I find myself I have trouble sourcing so I'm wondering where exactly and and how you go about sourcing these beautiful backdrops and ingredients and just everything that goes into your image I worked with amazing people who source um I think I said that earlier in the conversation that I I look at other people's I look at other stylists uh look at how they're propping and and you can see it in a photo shoot are in a magazine you can see stylists work throughout any magazine and figure out who the stylist was who the props dallas wass go to their website and I just start watching them and those of the people I try to get to know and there's the people that try to hire um that's how there are divers who do everything you know they style the shoot and that's awesome I'm just not one of them I I'm going to rely on the expertise and the passion of really amazing stylist and weaken they can bring that to this shoot and they could bring that to a shoot with me and we can collaborate work together I think that's yeah that's how I do it I guess I'm traditional in that way because I think there that is not the only way to do it there are there are other ways but you khun source aa lot of people make their own surfaces you can also just fine surfaces like go to any linen store or any material like clothes cloth store what you call it thank you fabric store by god just a little bit of pressure right now fabric store and you know just find what looks beautiful um I also think it's important to look look at as many magazines as you can look at as many cookbooks look at books look at any place where food photography is celebrated and learn from that like and try to emulate that style or let it influence your taste you know, I think um it's it's it's a taste you have to develop over time for sure some people just have it naturally does that answer your question? Yes, it does thank you but food stylist that's a totally different thing and I rely on pros I want a professional food stow's every shoot and without a doubt and they are worth every bit of fee that they may have without a doubt a great food stylist it makes makes my photography even better so ask another question what do you think makes a good food stylist because I myself I'm looking to expand my uh my talent with food styling I think there's a couple things that makes that make a great food styles the first one is and I think this in general um I think you have to have a really good uh, knowledge of food you have to really know food well, I don't think you have to go to cooking school, but I think you have to understand how food reacts in certain environments when you do certain things to it I think you have to be really confident and comfortable with because you're under the gun and you're under pressure I think you have to have a confidence about how the food may respond to react so that's why you need that kind of knowledge? I also think you have to be chill you have to be a good food stylist never lets anybody see them sweating and there are moments where you're going to sweat um big time but at the end of the day we all I always say this to everybody on my set you know we're only photographing food we're not we're not performing search marie let's not take ourselves too seriously it's putting you know it's so I always try to like let's breathe let's have fun and I'm growing, you know? And so you'll grow as you get into food styling I think a great food stylists has assisted great food styles that's the other thing, if you can get and on a partnership with a food stylist that that they would totally influence you and change you and I do that for in any any any kind of anything you know, I think you should have we should have mentors. We should have people that kind of influence us and push us all on our way. Ok, another photo three quarter. Can I ask you a question about that last one? Yeah, because you've got some ice cream in there? Yes. Yeah. So how how do you go about working with cold foods? Things that might melt what's what's involved in that type of photography. So this was actually a shoot I did for target for, um there archer farms brand and it was a scream. And so what they do is they send you a ton of ice cream and and you rent freezers and then the stylist makes perfect scoops and then they put him on a cookie sheet and they freeze those perfect scoops, and so you just replenish the scoops as they start to die and they die quick, you just so you know the stylist has to to assistance one that's always scooping and replenishing and putting in the freezer and then another that's bringing the beautiful scoops to the set so the stylist is then putting him on um sometimes you wanted to look melted too so you know but that's how you do it again I'm you know I'm just trying to make nice nice light and make it you know, make it more interesting with light so again this is color composition light and this is actually not overhead um color composition light this is this's definitely lit really great props really good food stylist amazing food styles who had a really good eye yes many are the rules of compositions similar and food photography and terms of say like rules of third yeah leading lines and I'm looking at this and my eyes kind of john around yeah this compass and I should tell you this was for target and it was you know they're dropping like ahead they're dropping like something here text wise right? So that's why there's empty space here but yeah I mean it's the same rules for photography I mean it's all about composition but in this case this was like I needed I needed some negative space so they could drop text and so it is do you also you looking for sort of a hero in in a food photographing and so like what would the hero being this image well, I mean after we've tweaked every ingredient in this perfectly yeah andi they've put the overlay so the words read correctly the hero is where everything you know feels like it's exactly right where it feels organic you know yeah yeah I mean, food started he definitely has heroes I think I taught you guys the word hero four years ago do you member that hey, you know I'm right uh okay, this is god this was this was like the product was the's prepackaged non breads yeah, you feel my pain so I just had to make it look really pretty and so the client would love it it was a kn advertising campaign I'm not going to say too much but I thought it was successful, you know and they were super happy same thing you know, just trying to make the product look really good. So these are these are pictures that were directed like there's a pre production meeting and I know what I'm shooting I know how it's going to be how it's going to be laid out there's some judging that happens and there's definitely some adapting that happens, but for the most part this was the idea so this I'm just executing it just a beautiful ingredients shot with light again the berries that's that's like an easy shot all of you should just go home and do that um with nice negative space so yeah yeah ok, so when I was your last time I didn't shoot with a tripod now I should be petrified I didn't shoot with lights now she with lights and ii shoe I bought a hostile block with a phase one back um so that's why my hospital at a friend of mine asked me the other day like white house so different that was like that's how I mean the detail in there is unbelievable maybe you can't see from here but it just when my digital text showed me because a lot of the studios you rent in new york city it'll come as part of the expense they'll have a camera if you want it on I think I was running a really nice studio for the shoot and studio manager said you have access to the camp a camera if you want and they had, like, a really nice hostile blot and I was like all let's, try it, you know? So I put it on a camera stand and we shot something and my digital tech showed me the difference between the mark three that the image we just shot and the phase one you know, image we just shot and I was like, oh my god, I'm buying one, so because I know where once we do start shooting you normally you now have moved into shooting the hostile blood like you said but today you're going to be shooting with a dslr right? Right, yeah, I'm talking about the mark three about that well, I'm shooting with the mark three because I acknowledged that most of everybody in the audience and everybody out there may that that may just be what what they shoot with and it's still what I shoot with fur certain things for sure so I'm just going to stay in that format so that we can all be on the same page and take this journey together and see what we come with we aspire teo you know to you been doing this for many, many do actually while got it just like we're doing it for a long time but I swear to god I'm young and I know I know it doesn't feel like I've been doing it for that long I mean when do you start counting that's my question ok, no, I have uh ok, so the end of the meal this was this was a maid shot uh totally faked the end of the meal? Yes car I don't know if you're going to be talking about pricing, but are you pricing differently with somebody like a company like target? A big ice cream company are small moment pop kind of stover you just totally, totally priced differently okay but how you doing it differently? I don't know that's a bigger topic over a huge topic ok it's a huge topic uh you always ask what their budget is and they'll tell you because if they want if they really want to hire you bella you know and then and then at that point you'll know what you're dealing with right you'll know if it's something you want to dio here's the deal I've always and I learned this from someone else but there's thes three p's it's product profit and people so I'm sorry project pop profit in people and when you first start with harvey really it's about just the project you want great projects or maybe maybe it's about the people maybe you're getting a chance to work with an amazing chef or you're getting toe to shoot an amazing restaurant and then the prophet maybe you're not getting paid that well but one of those you want one of those p s you either want a great project you either want to work with someone great or you should be being being paid well so when that mom and pop and as you get in your career more those three piece should start tow the variable should go up you should be adding more those peas so when the mom and pop shop calls and they don't have the profit margin that you want then you determine well who are these people oh my god they're this amazing immigrant family and they have this unbelievable chain and it's run by all their children and all they have such a beautiful story I really like them or you know they want this beautiful shop wants to send you all over the world toe document the migration of saffron uh I would do that project in a harpy ok so I mean do you see what I'm saying so you really really it comes down to what what you want you know and if if you want to be doing it if none of those three p's air there if there's not any money if it's not someone you I want to work with and if it's not a great project then I'm not sure at a certain point in your career you should be doing it okay we're almost done of the slide show I promise and we're done wait we're not done I'm sorry I'm done yeah now I can just photograph because that's where I really feel comfortable oh my god weii do have a few questions you penny first okay so how much post processing do you d'oh the very room has a couple votes on it it has a couple votes on votes you can vote on our questions now whoa ok so here's my I want to see in camera what I'm getting so I tried to photograph what I want to see post process is very minimal I mean, there may be a slight there may be some color adjustment just to make sure I have a good white on dh then maybe there's maybe there's a brightness adjustment but I have a digital chetek that is like I mean he's just he and I are in the same like we think the same and that is that I really should try to shoot in camera what I want to see on the computer and there shouldn't be much post production that's how I was trained I mean I shot color crone film and it wasn't very forgiving so it's kind of how I work today still, uh let's see, we have a question from tim mcbroom who says how much time do you and your team spend to put up a shoot tio actually get the shot like what is that average look like? Oh my gosh it can be anything from like for one photograph let's say it's one photograph uh I mean, you know you're setting up it really depends. Once you start getting into a vibe, you start getting your groove it's quick let's say an hour and a half but if it's a harder shot and it's like super detailed and there's like a ton of oh we need to check and it needs to you know, if it's got a lot of there's a lot of parameters around it then it could take longer or if the food needs more time you know, if it's a really complicated things ice cream might take longer because it's going to die faster stake would take longer because it dies faster and then you have to cook it again where you have to cook another one. Um it varies it runs the gamut, you know? Depends. I mean, if it's a still life shoot, it could be fast unless I'm not getting something that I like and it could take forever you're about he's about to find out this person's about to find out how long it takes. Awesome. All right, maybe one more question. Can you give us advice about how to break into the business? I mean, this is a big question, but what even is the business of food photography and being a professor colonel, food photographer and what do you recommend for people to get started? That is a tough it's, a big question. It's a big question. Uh, okay, I would answer this. I think you just have to grow as a photographer. You have tio have an insatiable curiosity. You have to work your butt off, you need to get mentors. How do you break in, man? I think you just you have to make you have to make great pictures that's how you break it, you have to make beautiful pictures you need to do collaborations with people you need to find other people to work with stylists, prop stylists um you also need to meet people you need to reach out to editors reach out to anybody that uses photography, but the bottom line is you just need to make great pictures I mean, that's I think that's where it starts if you are producing something beautiful, it'll come I mean now especially I mean, with instagram and all the social media and tumbler and blog's I mean it's actually easier and the avenues have grown so much more like I don't think you have to be a traditional photographer with an agent anymore. I really don't that's that's a big question that some folks were asking tio about do you need an agent? You know, and sort of that? How do you build a portfolio? And but I think you kind of you talked about that a little bit with the collaboration, any other building you need to test a test a ton and when I say test, it means that I'm like, hey, you know what? I really I need I want to start shooting this subject matter more and I'm going let's produce a shoot, I'm going to produce a shoot I'm the client and I'm going to test those images I showed you with the pomegranates and those that was a test I was like, I just want to make beautiful pictures I want to make something for my promo is my one of my promise for two thousand I think it went out this year two thousand fifteen I was like, I want to make some beautiful pay actors for my pro mose and so it was a test and I found this amazing prop stylist who source all those beautiful objects and then an incredible food styles who just we just used beautiful ingredients and she just I mean it that shoot was those shots happened and I mean, they were, like, done I mean it's just like fast because it was so beautiful objects were beautiful and the food was beautiful and it just came together, so I test a lot um do you need an agent? You don't need an agent, but that said if you want to shoot advertising if you want to shoot higher end stuff here's the deal you need to know who art buyers are for every ad agency you need to know creative directors are for every ad agency how many ad agencies are there just in new york city I have no idea, but in the world my point is is that is a job in and of itself so to me I wanted an agent because I know and you want the right agent I know that they're going toe pound the pavement for me or and if they're not when they're not I'm pounding the pavement like they're like, hey, I just made a meeting at this agency you need to go there tomorrow done that kind of thing so that's a job that's a whole job if you want to go for that work and I don't I mean I do want to go for that work so I have an agent who does that and she pushes me and I pushed her too and how do you mean how do you go about finding an agent or where do they what do they live? Is there direct like director is there uh maybe they're maybe they're there is you just need to you needed, like introduce yourselves to people and look up all the agents you can go to new york city and just cole column, you know, and they'll they will take your call or they'll answer your email and they'll look at your site and they'll know is this someone I want to work with? Do I have a space in my roster of photographers that I represent that is there space for this person? First of all, is there work good enough? Second of all they already have someone who's doing that you know that that's how you do it I mean I was definitely calling agents who kind of responded wasn't the right fit I didn't feel right about it and then I found this one agent who I really liked and it worked gosh penny there are so many great questions that are coming in about business about community about lighting and gear so I think what we're going to dio because we definitely want toe I know we've got a lot of shooting two d'oh is introduced erin who you're going to be working with come on out this is erin she's going to be so errands doing the unique job of propping and styling not a lot of food styles could do that but this lady definitely can so can you tell us a little bit about yourself um well I wasn't prepared um um let's see, I live in seattle but I'm urgently from the best country in spain I've known penny for a long time yeah I work kazaa sort of that those people that you were talking about they do lots of things so I do photography styling I have a blogged and so I do lots of different things she's very home that she's very humble yes and what is your plug it scandal of any and I instagram also great so and people can go into the chat rooms and get that link same kind of help help get your name out there like it is I'm erin I met aaron like a lot of people here I saw her block and I just was like god she's got an amazing eye she had an amazing eye she has an amazing eye and she just has it like it's in her and she has great taste and I think she was born with it I do so and I was like all and I reached I don't know I think we met each other baby like a lot of people on twitter I can tell you the story so it was historian suffer about basque shepherds in idaho yeah yeah yeah I mean I saw it and I looked at who the photographer was it was like holy cow because I'm from the basque country so I went to your site and all of a sudden I saw in your blood and you had recommended reads you had my blood and I was like oh my god she knows me that's right so anyway I wrote a letter did you and then I was like no no no no I think I wrote you and I was like I'm a huge fan and you're like well freaking out we were freaking out we have like it was up we had a business marriage you know yeah so yeah that was like two thousand eight seven yeah, something like that

Class Description

Get ready for an exciting entrée into what is takes to produce and shoot food photography at the professional level.

In Professional Food Photography with Penny De Los Santos you’ll learn about the creative process and logistical wrangling of creating food-driven ad campaigns for top clients in the US. Penny will share insights from her experiences shooting for commercial clients and she’ll share tips for charting your own course to success.

This amazing course is part of the series of professional food photography tips

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

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Sara Zancotti

Thank you Penny and Aran for inspiring me to start shooting food. It was wonderful to see them working together and creating beautiful images with delicious food.


This class was wonderful. Penny and Aran (food stylist) demonstrate how the relationship of two creative people can generate great results in food photography. This class is very inspiring. Thanks you for sharing this experience with us!


I watched all the demo class of hers, I think she needs to organise what she needs to say in the class better, then I will pay her classes. I think she needs to think about what viewer want to learn, rather than what she wants to share. As a viewer and learner, I would like to hear more about knowledge and wish she could use time better when she talks.