For me, the highlight of the International Food Blogger Conference (IFBC) this past weekend in Seattle was NY Times photographer Andrew Scrivani talking about food photography. He was featured in two sessions: one about shooting food photos, and another about workflow and business. Both were practical, straightforward, and really well done. Here are some takeaways.
Buy props that are neutral and versatile. That way, you can reuse them and they will work for many different photo shoots.
Propping is essential to storytelling. Be intentional. A blue or red gingham napkin will tell viewers you’re outdoors at a picnic, for example.
Study your recipe to pick up hints that will help with propping and styling. You may notice a specific garnish will add something to the shot, or part of the cooking process itself is worth documenting.
Back up your original images immediately upon transferring them to your computer, and back up your final edited images regularly. You’ve put a massive amount of time and energy into your photo shoot, so do yourself a favor and don’t risk losing those images, which are potential income.
The first question to ask when working with a potential client is: What is your budget? Andrew Scrivani went over 10 questions to help you price your work and conduct yourself professionally. Your time is valuable, and everything involved in a food photo shoot costs money (food, props, stylist, etc.), so don’t under-price yourself.