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Final Delivery and Building Relationships

Lesson 31 from: Story on a Plate: Food Photography & Styling

Todd Porter and Diane Cu

Final Delivery and Building Relationships

Lesson 31 from: Story on a Plate: Food Photography & Styling

Todd Porter and Diane Cu

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Lesson Info

31. Final Delivery and Building Relationships


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Lesson Info

Final Delivery and Building Relationships

once you deliver, then you talk about money. So final delivery people say, How does that happen? Like do you give them a CD? Will say, Well, we've shot a major project and some agencies don't don't know that I will give it into a CDO puts these and half our computers anymore. You got educate the client. That's so much a part of it, cause a lot of people they honestly don't know. They've never worked to this part. They've never been through a shoot or they have, but somebody else manage it. Now they're taking control. So educate your clients. So when it comes the final delivery, that's always super important. So thinking about how we deliver, um, in and it's gonna talk about that so well, first of all, we ask the client who's who's going to get it on. Once they get it, we're gonna upload to high tail. So, yes, I mean, we've done the online gallery so everyone can see it and do it before our final delivery. Well, generally two ways. One either, um, online or one hard drive so we can talk...

about both Teoh. Yeah, Yeah. Oh, OK. So for the yet the online gallery. That's easy. That's is reviewing, then for the delivery. It's usually one of two things. So it's either virtual delivery. See gives Senate over the beautiful Internet or you send them actually a physical, hard drive. Um, there's actually, um, tax laws, which a little different for the two, its first on one of its just California or what? But we need a charge sales tax over actually giving her drive. We don't need to at this point, if we're doing online, Um, at least at the last point that we checked, I don't keep up to date for laws. Do not hold me to that. I am not a lawyer. I am not anything like that. I'm just a photographer, but we generally we like to send the files online if we can, Um, so just any of the file delivery formats you can use. We use high tail. It used to be called you send it. There's, um, there's a few that we used to use. There's a ton of them out there, but just ways that you can just send large files so generally weak when you're doing that. Like what we do for ours were using high tail, and so we'll drop the files. Music. I just dropped month of my desktop in a folder that it create. Compressed that and then send the compressed files via high tail to the client, the organization for the files. They may depend on how many there are, how much I need to break it down. That is usually a limit, of course, Dio, how big of a file size that you consent for that zip. So sometimes you have to break it down like, yeah, shoot me. Always say it was the market shoots like market shoot. I'll give the date, and then it will be like one of of you know and then to have to. That's what thing. Or maybe it's like there. If I need to break it down even further and I'm giving them a crop version in an UN cropped version, I'll send the crop version. All is one, and then the crop has another. I always also include that in the file naming two. So they say they've seen on Gala Online gallery, and they like market 105 shot one of five. Fantastic. So that's in the list. They're going to get it cropped and they're gonna end cropped. So within the found naming when im export and get out, I have from my end crop that that's gonna be included. So it's going to market one of five. Dash and Croft market one of five dash crops. So that way it makes sense for someone allowed times of people handling the files on the opposite. And they don't know, like, what's what are what's going on there, just saying names of numbers. So it's like you're giving something that's gonna make things hopefully a little bit easier on their end. So we're always trying to think of what's best for them. Always keeping them in mind like when you're delivering suffers. What can I do to make their life a little bit easier when you're doing these things? And then we just send it via high tail and I always, always, always keep a backup of it. So, like within high tail, I could basically save a copy of the stuff that I sent. I just cream. I have my full restructure of my clients client's name, so everything that I get sent that I sent to a client also gets dropped into this high tail folder that I'm keeping because invariably, every once a while you're gonna ask someone like, can you send that to me again? Because something happened. And so you have that backup that they can. You can just instantly send that you don't have to spend the hours and hours and hours of uploading because sometimes it is hours and hours and hours to get these files uploaded to get sent off. You talk, you get a very good about that stuff. I just nod my head and say, Did you send the file? Did That's part of it. That's how we collaborate. It's like I just don't if I have him, I just know that he's gonna do a great job with it. If I didn't, I would learn it myself, And it's not hard, but it's great to be able to have someone if you're gonna be doing it, make sure it's done really thoroughly, and I think I just goes back to us like working together, just like you see, like when we were working with the photography, were doing that for our business to So if you have someone that you're working with, yeah, that's I think when the biggest questions we also get all time is how do you work with your spouse or your partner or or someone else? And it's always this collaboration of basically fighting each other strong points and then letting the person do their job. We're not always kind of over each other's shoulders of kind of getting the way of it, but the same time we're also helping each other and having that continual communication. So, like for her, she's much better with dealing with the money and the logistics. So it's like she gets to deal with that. And then I'm better doing with the technical and, like the file management. That's where things. So I gotta deal with that and we're helping each other out, and it's like it's like one less thing that I have to think about. I don't have to think about the dates. The timing is I just want to say Boo where we're going this week and and she's like I told you already close to believe it. We actually have a pre pro and then it's like I need to listen better. So what's that? That's all dead. It helps you build the long term relationships with clients. I mean, that's that's really key and how we been able to do what we do. It was particularly in this field, you know, and a lot of times, particularly in restaurant photography, there's not. Restaurants only need photography sometimes but building that relationship and always being a friend or keeping in mind or keeping in touch, stopping by the restaurant or whatever keeps you in their mind. So whenever they have a project or if they don't have a project, you can talk about something and that produces a project like we have a relationship with a client that's really great, but we haven't talked to them, and about probably nine months, you know, had been a while. But it's not that we wanted to call him over to make money. We just had come over to the studio for lunch, and that's how we do. Those relationships every so often will always check in with the client. If you haven't heard from from a while, or maybe they just didn't need a project will still check in and say Hi. How you doing? If if you're free, stop by for lunch. Stop by for dinner. Stop by for breakfast. This would love to see you again because we see them as friends because they're really great people. And we're lucky that least we have a studio situation where they can come or if you get a chance of item to coffee on were always connecting. So sometimes we'll go through invoicing and see. Gosh, this client hasn't connected in a year and 1/2 we'll send an email and they'll come for lunch like we had one. They came for lunch. We were just talking and having a really, really great time and and it just produced and a pacing job. It produced a double digit job out of nowhere, and it just kind of she was like, Okay, let's how about we do this project We just started talking about it, and for us, we always tell him what we didn't have you come over so we can pitch a job. You know, it just was just to say hi and say we care And we ended up booking a double digit job, which was really super amazing. so those type of relationships are super important for us and on. And sometimes it's just a simple is like Let's say you shot a restaurant and you see that they're doing a charity work. So it's like, Just say, it's like I see just sentiment, often email just things like I always just how you guys doing that? So I think that's awesome. Just thinking of you just keeping connected. It's again. This is a business of personal relationships. This is a business of people, just like we talked about a little bit. And you saw, like with Ethan, it's like he has this photographer because he likes working with the guy, right? There's so many talented people. We all know we all see it. You look at all these photographs online. It's amazing talent everywhere. What's the difference between you keeping a job and someone else getting job? They like you. Yes. Question that I have, um So do you typically ask for a portion of the payment up front? And the other thing is, how do you if you don't? Then how do you protect your images where you sent him? Off to the client and you haven't got and like, we're not gonna pay him. Now I know you. You deal with high caliber people you're not gonna have to worry about. I'm just, you know, a little mom and pop deal where I might be still looking for my money in a year. But that's that's Ah, that's a concern. And then I wanted to address it all starts with answering your question about pricing. You know, pricing is starting from their pricing is key. Pricing is a question that everybody struggles with. I can tell you we all do. We do to, because sometimes we work with these agencies and we have to go through a bidding process and then they reward you the job. And then after that, you get an award of of whatever it is, they call it some type of award of job. It's just official letter saying that you won the bid. So how do you price? You know, when you're in a situation like us, sometimes for new jobs where you have to bid on a job, it gets really nerve racking because, you know, it's an awesome client, you know, it's a great job. How do you price do you over price or underprice. So at least for us, like we've always said, there is no day rate, there is no half day rate. So in pricing for US, pricing is based on project because we do so many different things and broken down within that because we so do so many different things. We so many those different things only require half of our effort and half of the clients effort. So again, all those expectations. Is it a restaurant shoot? If it is, we don't have to cook. Is it a recipe development deal? Then are we cooking? Are we buying the ingredients? So all that comes into play and then we decide how long it's gonna take us once we go through that process of asking a gazillion questions we've now narrowed down to how many hours it's gonna take us and how many people it's gonna take to complete this job. But sometimes it's not to some. Some job jobs I bring on three assistance, sometimes 1/4 have had a job where had to bring on five assistance. So there's five payrolls or five rates I have to pay out once I've established that, then I decide how long it's gonna take. Say, so That's our rate pricing process. It's never a blanket half day rate for this much a full day rate. So once I've gotten to that point because I was thinking layers, I think how long it's gonna take us. And it's not even just how long it's gonna take for the specific shoot it's gonna be How long does it take to get to the point of the shoot? And then how much is the shoot gonna take? So it may be you show for the shoot, you shoot your gun. It may be that your prepping 34 days for the shoot, shooting it and then delivery. So sometimes we'll need a day to shop three days to prep two days to shoot, one day to one or two days to work on files and then deliver. So that's the client expectation. So when we let's say we set a price for a full day, client will say, Well, that's pretty high, but will say, But do you understand? It's five days of work before it's not the shoot where you come, we shoot and we're done It's five days of our life before the shoot even starts. It's kind of like this. It's 4.5 months of work to get to this point. You know, guys, three days, it's the same thing. It's a two day shoe, but it's five days of our life toe work. Get to that point and another sometimes a day or two to finish it off. So you're essentially looking at a five day prep to day shoot two day post. So you're looking at 5679 days of work. That's why it costs that much. And then they understand that the shoot was just the one day. So when it comes to pricing, you've gotta ask all those questions because a lot of people will ask blanket questions. What's your half day rate or what? Your full day right? We never never answer that, And how we set that again is always based on project, always based on project. How much it's gonna cost us to have to find ingredients. Do we have to get a car? Do you have to travel? I have to bring on another person, you know? Do we need to rent anything. Do I need to buy anything? Do we need to build anything? God, there's I can give you my bullet list of questions that I know sometimes their overwhelming for a client before we even get to the final money talk. But I feel that's truly important. I would rather maybe exhausted client through this process, particularly if it's a client that's really gonna work with this last minute and be honest for them to know this is how we work because you just can't give a blanket request of 10 shots, show up and then have them think, Well, that got him for a full day. So maybe I could squeeze in another 20. You know, that has happened to many photographers. So in that pricing, um, it's more about how long it's gonna take and then pricing it based on what we're comfortable with. You know, a long time ago, before 1/2 day shoot for us, particularly when I was already shooting portraiture, $500 was amazing for me to go and shoot something in a restaurant that was phenomenal for me to be able to do a little side job to shoot five hours and make $500. I was, like, $100 an hour. You know, that's just that it's still great, you know? It's still great. So, you know, but that back then I had another side job. We're headed, you know, And then I that could pay my mortgage and everything. But if it's going to be something work, you want to make it a full time gig, and you have to give up your day job or take a day off somewhere else. You price based on that, you know so and then. So for how much you gonna charge? Or I mean, if you're gonna ask for money is ahead of time. So now you factored into all these things that go into the cost of it. How much of those monies now do you need to cover it before you get there? So if you're gonna have payroll, that's gonna be that you want that you need to cover. Listen, you won't have to pay your people that are assisting you before or biscuit at the end of the shoot. You don't have to wait for the client to deliver, which we always do. It's like we're gonna pay our staff when the shots. Then when the shoots, then it's like we're not gonna wait for the client payment then to pay our staff a lot of times, just like 60 90 days out sometimes. So some of those money is a gale will ask for them a friend, because we want to make sure we're covered. How much skin is it off your back is really the question of how much I need ask for head time. There's a shoot where we're shooting across the country, so we need to book flights. We need to book hotels. That's not part of what they're covering. They're not. They're not buying those is going into the cost of their shoot. There she was more because we've I told them It's like, Okay, we're gonna have to is gonna You know it's going to cost us this much mind up to fly. It's gonna customers me because we have to ship stuff over because we need particular props, that sort of thing. So they understand. That's part of the number that went into that chute. But we still have Teoh put out those monies in order to do it. We still have to buy your own plane tickets. We have to buy our own new hotel room. So like that. So we're going to ask for money up front before we ever stepped foot out the door, because we want to make sure that we're covered that way. If there is a delay, any time after that is like we're not sitting on those those businesses debts for a long time, and particularly if it's a new client. So so new clients. You don't know how they're billing system is, and particularly with larger clients, because you just sometimes you don't get paid till 60 days, sometimes 90 days, sometimes nine months, you know. So you've got to cover all this cost in between. And if it's a client that we've always worked with, that has always been great. We don't don't ask for deposits, so at this point we rarely ever ask for deposits because we have worked with clients already, and they've already proven themselves in terms of invoicing. If it's a new client like a mom and pop place, generally we don't ask the reason why is because I know where they are and they are a restaurant, and they have a reputation that they want uphold. So I'm trusting that they know that they're going to pay me. And then if they try to bail, it could get really ugly and social media right now. But I won't take it there, but But the whole idea is they have a reputation that they want a pole to. So you get burned. You can good. But there's also there's sometimes like you. I feel I would rather be trusting and have that warmth and building the initial relationship than to immediately set a cold edge to them of this business. You know, it's all about bidness. I need my money. I know I'm gonna do this for you, but I need my money, right? Instead, this is This is about relationships. And so, just like with every way ship, it's like, how willing are you willing to trust how much there's some things? What, you Yeah, you need to make sure you're covered because it's like there are other. You have to be a good parent to the rest of things going around you. You have to be you have to be responsible and using The common sense is like I'm gonna have all these costs are gonna be incurred to me. And just to make sure that uncovered it's like, I'm gonna ask for this, I'm gonna ask for maybe 50% up front before I do the shoot and them and, you know, 50% after after delivery. But then again, it goes back to that relationship building with the client. There's times when you feel that it's like I can risk not having asked for anything. I'm gonna trust them. I let them know I'm trusting them. It's like it's all into alcohol. It's like you a lot of times, given that trust that I'll actually help and still a sense of responsibility within them that they're gonna be more likely Teoh payoff to. So just to make sure, I'm clear, Um, because for since I talked with them a photographer, she was with Creative live here she does the baby's. She's out of Bend, Oregon, and I believe she told me that she expects payment upon delivery of the images. So I guess is different. Different photographers have different ways, and I'm trying to get out of a situation that would be impossible because we're doing with corporate clients. See, that's what I was asking. So for you, it's the 60 to 90 day 30 tonight. That's almost always the time period for us. We allow the client corporation to dictate that just where they're building process is that's usually the building process, and it's really hard to get them to deviate from that. We're not gonna fight them to try to deviate. That's the process. That's your policy that's there. So that's our choice of of going with that clients like we're gonna know that's part of their their process, like they're going to pay 60 days out. That's, you know that's part of the gig. When you're dealing with individuals, particularly like Portugal work, they allowed times, you get it. You're just dealing with a particular person, so it becomes much different with us. We were dealing with a company that has usually a billing process, so we're not at the whim of it. But we're aware of it and just go with the flow of it. And that's part of the building relationship. And there's sometimes like in our situation. One time it took nine months, and I share this story, too, because it has everything do with money. But at the same time, it has to do with staying focus and knowing that we're all people and things happen. So we had a client that took over nine months to pay and they didn't want to pay. That was a big project, and it was only like a four hour shoot. It was a significant amount. There was probably 20 people on set. It was huge production. It was huge. Production was awesome. They had the theme. The person who was doing the wardrobe stylist. She's also the one that does the Capital One commercials and dissolve the Viking stuff way. This I don't know was that this project Another jazz going okay, I can't remember which project over. Anyway, this project was pretty intense. And so they what What ended up happening was not because they didn't like the image. They loved the images. All 20 people on set, including agency and client, loved the images. Um, it was delivered and what We went through the 30 day process, but the check never came. So we wait another 30 60 days said on email, and they never answered the check never came. Wait another the fourth or fifth month, and there was never an answer, and I was really nice in the email. Finally, I realized that it never went to print. So a lot of times there's what's called a kill fee. Lot times. If you work with editors, some writers and photographers will ask, Is there a kill fee? A kill kill fee is Are you still gonna pay me if you don't use the images? Basically, that's what a kill feed is. Some clients do not have a kill fee. Some do. Nowadays. Most people I don't know anybody who has a kill fee anymore. So there is an agreement for us, at least two, where you're gonna get the images, you're gonna get the work and whether or not you use it, whether or not it goes to print, whether or not goes a TV, we still get paid. It's not our fault that you decided you change your mind. If it was because you were unhappy, that's another situation. But if just because somebody on your team decided to do a different marketing idea a different campaign and didn't the need the need, the use of our work anymore. They're still delivered. So basically they didn't get back. And, um, it got pretty, you know, you know, attention or in because it was a huge amount. Um, And I thought, OK, I'm going to get a lorry involved. I don't like to get in lower lawyer involved if I don't have to, just because it gets so technical and it gets really mean, you know? And where the people type of people to do with people, others just on a real level. It's just hot in Diane. That's how it iss. So finally, I said, you know, I'm gonna keep emailing one more time. So finally, in the ninth month, I emailed a really nice letter. I said, Hi, I just wanted to connect because I know it's been nine months since we had the shoot. I'm a little concerned. It has nothing to do with money. I'm a little concerned as to where the men the communication got lost. I really care. I care about you. I care about everybody on the project and I care about what you thought of our work because from what I understood, when we shook hands that you really enjoyed the images. So I'm trying to understand what I did wrong on my end. Communicate to communicate with you. Just let me know what I did wrong. They sent that. And then within four minutes, four minutes I got an email from an assistant that said, Send me your invoice. You're getting your check. That's all it is. It was not a Hey, you owe me gotta. But nine months I'm gonna get my attorney. Sometimes you can do that. Sometimes you need Teoh. But my last resort was not a mean approach. It was just really honest. If I did something wrong, let me know. Did I miss communicate anything? Was there something that we missed? Because from what I remember, I thought was a good day, you know? And you liked it, But immediately he didn't say anything. But she immediately just where's the invoice and send us? We'll send you the check. We apologize. It basically didn't go to print. And I figured that I figured I didnt go to print, but you still don't get paid, but science people can get. And this is like a really big company. Huge company, actually, but because but they just, you know it happens. It's not just Mom and Pops that could come into the situation sometimes, and that's not because they don't have the money. Or maybe because they ran out of money. It's because something went wrong and they just couldn't pay. So in our case is because it just didn't go to print and they don't have kill fees or anything like that. But we still we just felt we needed toe stand our ground in business, maintain that relationship, but still not be mean because you know why. Nine months later, they emailed back to ask us to work in another project, and I think that is a huge step. Um, um, this just in terms of relationships on their end to ask us to work again When we said Absolutely, yes, we'll work with you again because that was huge because we knew that there was just something on there and cause we're all people, you know what I mean? The people that the client, they're all people to things happen. We just don't want to be mean about it. But that was a really good opportunity for us toe to build that relationship again where most people would have just said. Screw you. We had never left that shoot feeling like that. We thought, Okay, we got the money. We Thank you. We're not mad. We knew something went on because there's so many corporate heads that were involved, Something happened. So we're not angry. We're not judging. But they called us back this. You didn't go through. But least we had that conversation. They're gonna call us back, and something happened. But, I mean, not that that was huge for them to call us back because And that was a huge just compliment. So rarely do we ever get mean. You know, that's never gonna happen, But it doesn't mean you can hire us enough. Hey. Oh, great. I could hire. That's right. That's just for the even. For Ted. What? So Okay. We just, like, say some things that maybe we shouldn't say Yes. Wondering a little bit about for those of us just starting now, do you recommend a period of volunteer work shooting images for people are I mean, I have no idea. When would I start charging for my work? Oh, gosh. you know, you start still win to start charging for your work. Gosh, that's always a tough question. Some people feel like they can work for free forever, and I don't think you can. That's a confidence question. You know, that really is there. There's no there's no definitive answer for that. I think the question is within here. It's not a question that I can answer. Another photographer can answer, because when I started working, I started charging right away. Even if it wasn't a big amount, it was something just to let them know that there is value to what I do. And I need to get paid because I have a car payment. I have a house payment, have two dogs that have to feed. You know, they need donkey toys. You know, I Yeah, we're, like, single, and people say you guys are dinks. You can, you know, have to worry about it. Will income? No kids? Yeah, w your dink. So you don't you don't need to, like, do all this stuff, But still, I still need to teach art. So I really think of the confidence issue that you just need to know once you've shot enough to get experience and you can volunteer. But being confident in your work to a point where you know it's worth money and I think even like when you're not getting paid, you're still finding ways that you're getting paid. It goes back to placing the value on your work. Um, you know, it's sometimes it's not a monetary thing. Sometimes we're doing things which are not being paid by money, but there's something else that we're getting out of it. So even if you're doing just doing things where it's you're not actually getting a paycheck from it, you know, find some of that you are getting out of it, finding value, whether it's fruit through trades, whether it's through, sometimes in the beginning. A lot of times is for the experience. It's like you want you want to offer something to a restaurant so you can also gain the experience of shooting that restaurant. So you're gaining experience from it at the same time they're getting assets from it, but you're still getting paid in a way. But there was a point where you need shoes. I was like, I'm no longer just getting experience for me. I'm offering them a service, and so when it becomes like you're offering that service, then it's like it's you know, Then I would say then it's time. It's like yet you make sure that it's like you're placing value within yourself, Have that confidence within yourself in my and your own images. As like it's like, you know, I should be getting paid for this one way or another, I should be getting paid for this and it's up to you to choose how you gonna do it. But you have that confidence in yourself. It's like, OK, yeah, Are you charging cower judging passed on? I don't even you know about lenses that this background. So, yeah, I think I have a lot of practicing Dio. Yeah, but even when you practice so some people are so talented, they learn quickly, you know, and some people are just so talented. It's like their work is immediately worth something within six months of shooting, but again like but they're not confident enough to charge for that. I know somebody I talked to one time. She she shot like it so much food event, whatever she was knew she charged $50 like, Oh, that's not bad, you know? And went for two hours and like How long have you been doing it? Just like four years. I just charge $50. It's just you tried to $50 every time. You don't raise rates? No. And that's why she still driving her car. You know what? She but she's not confident. Remember saying like, How come you don't charge more like I just I'm afraid. Okay, everybody's a Fareed. It's that fear of asking for more. I'm not afraid to ask for more if I truly feel like I need it, and I deserve it is even with clients, we go through the same thing with, like, pricing at on this level. We should a client, and then two years later, are we gonna charge the same right? No, it's hard to raise rates because you're already getting a great rate. But sometimes we feel like over 23 years we need to raise something just because things change. The rates for our assistance change. Um, prices for food changes, equipment changes, hosting costs change. So that's another thing was once you've ever, which once you've set your rate. Always think about raising it. And thats another confidence issue. It took a while even for me. I thought I was making good money and that realize I should be making more because everything is going up. Then I just found the confidence to say, You know, I'm gonna raise it because of this much this much this much I need to do this. And most people say yes. Absolutely. That's fine. Fine with it. And then some clients, they don't even need an answer. You just I'm raising my rates in two year were in next year. Just don't let you know. They say Great. So don't think that everybody's gonna turn you down. I think that that fear of not being accepted is one thing that keeps people from setting their pricing and asking for more money. So are any of you right now charging for you? Okay, that's good. Do you raise your rates to Well, that's good. That that's why you did it make you nervous, too. Yeah. Hey, E k. Why you afraid to lose them? I think it's just the confidence of knowing my worth. It is just knowing my worth and being ableto justify it. Yeah, Do you like? Um but but your work is getting better every year. Yes, right. And you have a portfolio. Do you upgrade your portfolio every year to show your upgraded work? That in itself is value right there. You know, you've got something to back it up. It's a part of the confidence that I've been able to get and selling a photography work is backing it up with images and backing it up with the portfolio. So for those of you who are talking just like fresh and you know, you don't have a lot to work with in terms of images, But you do have a couple of great images, but you don't have anything to show for in terms of an online portfolio. Start one because that when I started in on Online for Folio, for our work and food photography, that gave me so much confidence. They give me a lot of confidence to to really put it together in one package the best way that we could graphically and with images, because I would walk away from it for a day or two. Look back and think if a client were to come to this for the very first time. This is what they were seeing. And back then they were just blogged pictures because I still had my portrait studio. But I still built a port full of food photography portfolio based on just blogged pictures and didn't have any clients. But I had pictures that I liked. Then I would look at, I think Dang, that's pretty good, you know? So is it good enough to put out this theory? Blocked? You say, Hey, you know, I But I put it up and then finally, the next level of confidence is you know, a lot of people have a portfolio, but I don't tell anybody about it. Well, why? You know, put it out there, show your work. So then when we started to put that link on our website, we started getting serious work Is that it just showed you that this show people that here's a somebody who puts up good work, and I'm confident enough to say yes, here's my work. This is how much I charge this is how much I will charge. But every time I do do great updates Once a year or whatever like that I was. Make sure the portfolio backs it up. So whatever we charge, I got to make sure everything backs it up and it backs it up in both, you know, documentary and editorial cookbook and stuff like that. Yes, because I I live in a smaller area. I mean, I'm in the Tri Cities. My nervousness was, you know, are the little mom and Pops or just the Tri Cities vs Seattle in New York, And do I price it based on a big city rate on use, the same rate for smaller town? So what I do is I just I look at my experience and what I can bring to the table to make that business growth. That's my selling piece. And I'm constantly updating the website, showing different images that support that message that I deliver, and that's been successful for me, where people are like, OK, we're good with your rates because you're showing us, yeah, what you can do that we can't do because my other concern that I started getting from some people when I would approach them. Oh, we have IPhone, we have grandma on the back with a point and shoot, Uh, and she just takes the pictures and I'm going. And so I got concerned that Oh, my gosh. You know, I'm not going to get any work, but I have been able to get work because of what I'm showing. And now the story piece. I'm gonna go back and shoot pro bono for a winery that I did work for. But I say I want to do the story now and do that piece, so that's gonna really increase my confidence. My, you know, my abilities to showcase what I can do for people. Yeah, and you know that. I think that's case to practicing and always updating with different types of pictures, because what you put up there is what you're gonna get hired for. And we know like Todd and I. When we first started, we wanted to shoot more farm to table stuff because we love farm. We love garden stuff. So if you go through our portfolio, even in our original versions of the portfolio, they're all block posts or garden pictures because I love going out to farms. You know, Anton, I wanted to do that. We love working and and and just, you know, meeting farmers. So what we did is we just took pictures in our garden to make it look like a farm, you know? I mean, I had never shot a farm before. Never closest I ever got to a From was the little local strawberry stand on the corner of the freeway and where we live at the same time, we were shooting something that we love you. So I think that comes across an image. A lot of times when you're shooting things that you love, it's like it's it's felt like you. It's like the viewer's nose. And so the life of our first clients, they were ones where they were asking us to shoot in the fields. And it was because of that. I remember, um, we did one. They would just it would just for a friend that she was, um, a journalist who Biscuit lost her job at the L A Times. Or at least it had been scaled back quite a bit. So she was just starting on Blawg and shoot is just amazing master gardener. And she's, you know, we're just basically just helping a friend out and helping her get started. So we took some shots over the garden and she the reaction from her was just amazing, because it's like you guys get it. You guys understands that units like you walk in my garden and you feeling you understand my garden, and I think taking those images and sharing them it's the same sort of thing that goddesses initial jobs because we're taking pictures of things that we loved. And that's what we feel depressed folio within now settling out of 10 of farm to table jobs, which ended up to a really great Whole foods cake for us three years later, shooting for our region down in Southern Pacific. So that's always starts from somewhere. It's just confidence, you know, just like I've got something here. I could make something of something really something, something big of something really small, which is a guard from the garden to the side of a building city. Questions Well, I would love to know, and I would love to hear from the I asked the Internet as well. But as you started to talk about some of your fears, I think we love this topic on crude five. I think it would be cool if you hear from the studio audience. Anybody else that has fears about their food photography, where whether it's a business or about their work in and of itself. And maybe we can talk about that. Yeah, sure. Do you guys anybody want to share? Yeah, I have a We have fear, but I'm not quite certain how to handle this question. Eso I shoot food and travel, but it also have a fine arts backgrounds. I shoot fine art. Some people say I put it all in one place. This is the classic question. I'm sure you had a 1,000,000 times. Um and that is Do you put everything on your website? If it's not food, or do you make a totally different thing? Do you tell your clients about it? Do you guys have this issue? Totally. We've actually have gone through different stages of trying to answer that question ourselves. We have You can kind of group them into three main loves that we have ones. The food, once the garden, others travel. And just like with on our own personal blogged we've gone through, Should we divide those. Should we do them all together? It's like always asking those questions. And then, of course, that translates across to the portfolio as well, because they're all things that we love. But they all have a different audience, and it comes down to for us how much we want to manage it. We found we thought that if we divide it, then people could just see the individual things that they wanted. It's easier for them. But what ends up happening for us after we did that is that one of those elements would invariably get left behind a little bit, get forgotten a little bit. So for us, because we weren't great at managing all three at the same time, we put them back in together and then just let them all just mingle and so that way, and just figure it's like I client can just see us for everything that we are. Sometimes they may have a specific need, and they'll see that within what we're sharing, where we're sharing everything in all together, they'll they'll find and pick out what they're looking for. When you're looking across the menu, you find the dishes that you love. If you're so salty to pique the lover, it's like you're going to find that on the menu and instant. Then after that, you're gonna look through everything else. What happens when you look through everything else? Sometimes you find something else that you like a well, so for us, we like just having them in altogether. Yeah, just make more sense. It's easy, easy, easy way big, uneasy, you know, at least in our in situation. It's been a huge asset to somebody who found our website for video produce, a food video and it up hiring us to shoot a big photo job because they didn't realize we did photography. So that's always an ass and happens all the time. Clients will go on there and hires photography and see the video and say, Wow, you guys do video well, rather than hire somebody else, can we take a look at your work and talk about you producing this video for us like absolutely, absolutely so. But everything that at least that we do kind of relate to each other in some way. But it doesn't hurt to have that personal part of you on your block because it's about you, because a lot or your website, because a lot of times people will hire you because they like you. You know, there's some commonality there because it's like there could be a ton of all these travel portfolios they're looking at. But it's like, Wow, she's a fine art person to I'm a fine art person. She's interesting. I might want to have a conversation with her and I think when, um, concerns, sometimes we're mixing things together is just making sure that it's still user friendly, so still so that people can find things that they're looking for, that it's not some metal that you have to sift and sort for them to find something that they want. Yeah, and so that becomes just a lot of times. Website layout, um, sometimes just navigation through the website. There's all those little details which you still have to take care of when you are bringing them all in together to make it clean, make it easy for people to get to what they want. At the same time, it's like we like, you know, having them there, so anybody else have any fears because I have 10 no, you go first. Okay. You're gonna say that you re iterated a message I've heard from other bloggers that are very successful or photographers is that they don't necessarily take their old work down. And I like that because I'm a dietitian, so I don't know. When I started the block, I didn't know anything about blogging and know anything about photography. And I keep learning with, you know, things like Creative Live and I keep learning. And then when I fight, go back for any reason looking an old post and I see how horrible dress. Then it does show progress. And so I just I like that you're affirming that it's OK to leave up the old stuff so you can see your progress. So it's not so scary. Yeah, it's not that we are. I mean, it's like so much of where we are is the mistakes we made along the way, not even mistakes. Sometimes it's just learning. We have to start somewhere. We all started somewhere. We all sect at some point way all will second the future, Teoh. Because if you're not that you're not trying because you're not trying something new, you know, it's like you always have. You know, you have to keep pushing. If you're not pushing and trying to find something new, then what's the point E heard at? The bathing was just Just do it like you don't know how to block. Fine. Write something and put it up. You know, take your first picture because you learn each time. Just do it. That's how that's how we got here. What a nice couple wonder. Do it for me. I think my fear of I've talked about this before, and I'm glad you brought it up because it's something that I struggle with all the time. And my fear is fear of saying no and without being hated or miss being misunderstood. I'm not afraid to say no. I'm just afraid to say no and having people misunderstand me cause I say no all the time I have to say no and I don't have a problem saying no, but when I say no, I don't want people to think it's because I don't like them or in rejecting them, because we get emails and requests all the time for so many different things. There are so many great people out there. There's so many great opportunities that come our way by amazing people and amazing organizations. But eventually I can't say yes to everything. So I have to be. We have to be selective not because we have this brand that we have to maintain. It's because we only have, like, 12 hours in a day, you know what I mean and that I have to have my potty breaks and I have to happen for hours, 24 minutes, sleeping the other way for thing. I have to have my snack breaks. I mean, where am I gonna find the time to say yes to everybody? So I have to say no. But the hardest thing for me is saying no and being able to follow up with, like why? You know, when I thank you, because so many times when people hear me say no, they take it very personally, and I want to tell everybody if you email and if you ask something, if I of it eventually have to say no to an amazing event or dinner collaboration, if I say no, it's because I just don't have time. It's not because I don't like you. It's not because I don't think you're a great person. I think you do. But I think you are. I just I just got maybe 14 hours in the day to really focus. After that. I'm just dead on the floor. So I think that's my biggest fear is having to say no, but how to explain it in the right way? Because sometimes so many times I've had to decline something and people got really angry, you know? And I take that very personally. I really dio because it's like we're not bad people. I know you're not a bad person, but it's how to craft that and to be able to say it to where they you know where I'm coming from or to decline or to pass on up open opportunity that I'm telling you is so amazing. But I just can't take it on because I just don't have the energy and the forces to do it anymore. So maybe that's a confidence thing because anybody think I don't want people to hate me, But I don't know, maybe it's that I don't know. I'm just messed up. I just have to have to say no, I just think Okay, I have to sleep on it for three days before I say no. You know, it's like, how am I gonna say no? Is there it? No or no. But, you know, I like you. What? I can't. At the same time, I think saying no more often as also I would rather work a little bit less and then enjoy life a little bit more. Now, I think at this point in our lives, um, you know, it's like we have done and and still do, sometimes 18 hour days, Teoh for work its way. We're no strangers to hard work. Um, but I don't want to do an 18 hour days, 67 days a week anymore. That's I'm done with that. Um, and I think we're you know, we're fortunate at this point that weaken say no when we can begin to become a little bit more selective and we're enjoying life as well. And it's I think we end up becoming more productive when we're like, this is that's my kind of fear. I love that. That's great stuff. So, um, you guys just been overwhelmed by how great these these two days have been. Um, do you have? Is it any final words for today? I mean, what a great with today. It was a fun day, and it was fun to really show those videos because there's so much worked that went behind to producing and managing that boy, you know, I was I felt it. I felt like a princess, just like walking onto set and holding my camera. Because usually for us to do something like that, it's a couple weeks of conversation, so many trips back and forth to get things done in our end. But it just felt so good. So I think that was really great. And I really have to think everybody in the production And who made that one happen? Because those videos, although they were only in like, maybe 56 minute segments, took hours to produce powers. So and I look forward to tomorrow, great shooting a lot more tomorrow

Class Materials

bonus materials with purchase

Gear Guide
Places to shop for Food Styling Props

Ratings and Reviews

a Creativelive Student

First, thank you to Diane, Todd and the CreativeLIVE team for a wonderful exploration of "shooting" food with artistry. This course offers the beginner and professional photographer many incites into the world of natural food photography. With some business and lifestyle tips the majority of this course showcases an effective natural shoot style that allows anyone to deliver wonderful images. The strongest point I found useful is to “find a voice” for the story, your images or your client. While I understand “finding the voice” when writing copy it is the realisation that any activity can have its own voice. Your voice can be the style of image you like, the shoes you wear, the books you read, etc. it is not limited to how loud you (or anyone else) shouts. Using general principles and building good habits through practise will allow you (and me) to achieve, not just find, success. The “lighting clock” is a useful shorthand helping communication with clients, producers and peers. The strong emphasis on practise, speed and taking advantage of any appropriate situation both improves productivity and reduces the impact on a client. Last but not the only other gem in this course is the bald (not a joke Todd) fact that any photography business was, is and will always be based on the relationship between the photographer and the client. Building a relationship is the best marketing device any photographer, food stylist, entrepreneur or creative mind can develop. Other courses offered by CreativeLIVE also stress the relationship aspect of good businesses as their best marketing asset. I highly recommend this particular course for lovers of (in no preferred order) food, photography and life. Thank you for reading and I hope you find your voice in all things. FJH...


Diane and Todd are amazing! They've held nothing back when giving the rest of us an honest, detailed look into what it means to be a food photographer. I've seen many seminars on the topic from different companies and photographers and this one is my favourite. I love their no fuss approach to food photography. It leaves me feeling like food photography is manageable without having to fuss with cameras and lighting gear that are outside of my budget. I love that Diane often mentions how there's more to food photography than the plated dish. And Todd is just adorable and has the cutest laugh! They're a fantastic team that are engaging and make it easy to learn from them. Highly recommend purchasing this course!

MAlisa NIcolau

I loved this class and how Todd and Diane taught it. It was very personal and inspiring, with lots of insight and tips. This is not a camera technical class, but more an artistic, motivational and visual food photography learning environment. Their examples on how to set up scenes and stories behind the food and people involved are very enlightening. They gave me a lot of great ideas and hope that I, one day, will become as good of a photographer as they both are. Great team!!!!

Student Work