The Professional’s Guide to Food Photography


If you’re a photographer, don’t miss this new guide from PhotoShelter—because “unlike ever before, magazines, restaurants, bars, bloggers, artisanal producers, and recipe sites are craving top notch food imagery from skilled creatives.”

In PhotoShelter’s new (free!) guide, The Professional’s Guide to Food Photography, you will learn how to hone your talent and find new business opportunities in all things gastronomic. Inside the guide, you’ll find in-depth interviews from established food photographers, including their tips to:

  • Break into the industry and attract the clients you want
  • Lock in editorial clients
  • Think outside the box for creative food projects
  • Shoot in-house for a publication like Bon Appétit

Here’s a short excerpt from the guide:

Making Money in Food Photography

Without a doubt, the explosion of food has created new and greater opportunities for photographers. New digital properties like Food52, Eater, and Tasting Table combined with an explosion of new products produced by the artisanal food movement have created new avenues for food photographers. This is also a great time for professional food photographers to branch out and develop their own aesthetic for this space as it changes and grows. Here are some types of clients who are looking for food photography.


photo by Andrew Scrivani

MAGAZINES/EDITORIAL: Food magazines, their digital components and online-only media need a steady stream of both studio-styled recipes shots and lifestyle-driven photos to illustrate travel features, trend pieces, restaurant roundups and profile stories. The big ones like Bon Appetit, Food & Wine and Saveur come to mind, but there are few magazines these days that don’t include food in some way. Look into local and regional publications, newspaper, and other lifestyle magazines that have regular food columns.

Photo by Alex Lau

Photo by Alex Lau

COOKBOOKS: Photography has always been integral to a good cookbook, and even more so today. High-end cookbooks with beautiful photos are performing surprisingly well in a struggling book publishing industry, and the rise of self-publishing is also turning more cooks and chefs into authors. For cookbook projects, the publisher sometimes hires photographers; other times a cook or chef and photographer team up to pitch a concept.

ADVERTISING AND PACKAGING: Previously limited to  the food industry (restaurants, markets, specialty food stores), food photography now spans a wide breath of commercial/advertising campaigns. Food is most often associated with comfort and happiness, so it’s no surprise that clients like American Express and CNN are now seeking food photographers.


Photo by Ellen Silverman

STOCK PHOTOGRAPHY: Although selling stock photography isn’t as lucrative as it used to be, food is a popular topic that stock clients are continually looking for. Instead of shooting generic photos of ingredients, photographer Taylor Mathis has a good tip: focus on foods of your region that editors from afar might be searching for.

Get full version of The Professional’s Guide to Food Photography here.

Y0150Selling Your Photography by Richard Weisgrau is the road map to help photographers find their way through the complexities of the marketplace and get their images published! This insider’s guide examines magazines, newspapers, books, posters, greeting cards, calendars, brochures, print and Web advertisements, annual reports, and more. Chapters cover the technical and aesthetic requirements of given market segments, and how to break into the marketplace. Readers will find proven strategies for making new clients through past publication and how to make additional sales with the same photographs. Explanations are also provided for the nature of relationships between client editors, art directors, communication directors, and others and the photographer, and how each relationship is crucial to overall success. Anyone who plans to have his or her images published will need this handy guide.