November 2020 // The Business Edition

The Business of Food Photography | Chelsea Kyle


Commercial food and drink photography creates a picture of a product and lifestyle that is for sale. These contracts are often a small part of a hiring company’s greater overall ad campaign with a predetermined look and feel. Bids and proposals are often a laborious first step to obtaining one of these contracts and require prospective photographers to have advanced technical skills and know how to work within a budget to create and source the ideal team required to complete the shoot. When different advertising usage is involved, knowing how to structure your pricing around them in the bid is a must.

A photographer’s unique style and creative execution are often equally important when being considered for one of these advertising jobs. Agencies hired by the brands, equipped with this knowledge, present photographer options to the client based on who can achieve the technical and aesthetic look they are going for. For example, two photographers can excel at technically shooting a liquor bottle, but if one uses a consistent style that is more sleek and shiny with hard light, that photographer might land a job with a brand that fits that same vibe.

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