How do I Become a Food Photographer?

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  • Written By: Diane Goettel
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 10 November 2019
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A food photographer is a professional photographer who specializes in capturing images of food. These images are usually used for print media, online media, and other advertisements. The skills that go into food photography are quite specialized. In order to gain these skills, you can either take classes on this particular subject or apprentice with an experienced food photographer.

One of the first steps to take if you want to become a food photographer is to improve your general photography skills. If you are a novice, take some beginning classes in photography. There are many schools that offer courses on the topic even to non-matriculated students. If you want to take your education a bit further, you can actually complete a degree in photography. While studying, you will likely take a number of courses in film and media that will help your understanding of the industry.

Once your basic skills as a photographer have been honed, you can begin your specific work to become a food photographer. There are a number of books available on food photography and food styling. Study these books and learn all that you can. Also, you may want to get a subscription to magazines about food and cooking. These are sure to have excellent photos that you can study and learn from.


One of the best ways to prepare to become a food photographer is to practice. Set up a photo shoot in your home using your kitchen or dining room. Take many photographs, analyzing each one to figure out how to get the best angles and make the food look as appealing as possible. It is best, for these kinds of projects, to use a digital camera so that you can see the result instantly and improve your work with each frame. While practicing to become a food photographer, take photos at weddings, parties, and events where food has been carefully prepared and arranged.

Once you have done a number of test shoots and taken a number of good shots, you can begin to develop a portfolio. If you are going to become a food photographer, you will need to prove to potential clients that you have successfully photographed food in the past. Your portfolio should showcase your best work, and you should regularly update it as your career progresses and your skills improve. with your portfolio, you can begin to go after jobs and begin your new career.


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Post 5

nextcorrea.....thank you for the encouragement. Do you believe a degree in photography is beneficial, or can a food photographer be self-taught with general photography courses and experience?

Post 3

I broke into food photography by setting up relationships with local restaurants. A lot of them needed photos taken of their dishes for their menus or their websites.

A friend of mine told me that a restaurant that he worked for was looking to get some photos taken. I went down and offered to do it for dirt cheap. They turned out well and I got recommended to another restaurant. From their things snowballed and before long I had a really nice portfolio of images I had taken. After that I was able to get some magazine and cookbook work.

That was 10 years ago and I'm still going strong. Its a great industry to work for that is undergoing a lot of exciting changes. Certain photographers are taking the art to a whole new level. Good luck to any amateurs out there. Stick with it and your break will come.

Post 2

It seems like there are more and more opportunities for amateurs to break into food photography. I read a lot of different food blogs and I have really been impressed with how much the quality of home food photography has improved in the last 10 years. You read a lot of these blogs by home chefs and their pictures look like they came straight out of a cookbook.

I know that part of this has to do with the fact that cameras have gotten a lot better and mre accessible but I think that people have a better eye for food photography as well. There are some sites where the food looks absolutely amazing, it pops right off the screen. If you can use the internet to highlight really amazing food photos that you take at home this might be a great way to break into the industry as a professional.

Post 1

Food photography is interesting because it requires both a specific set of skills and instincts unique to food, but also a lot of the aesthetic considerations that any photographer would have to keep in mind.

I think about it like this. The food has to look both mouth watering and beautiful. This means that you must highlight the flavors and ingredients, but you also have to consider color, form, shadow and composition just like any photographer would have to.

It's funny to think of crafting an artful photograph of a pepperoni pizza but that is what it takes. Whether it be a fashion model of a big mac it has to look great on film.

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