ITS-Food Has Specialized In Food-Themed Photography For A Decade

NANAIMO –  For professional photographer Tim McGrath there is a vast difference between an image, and a snapshot. The owner of, McGrath has spent more than a decade in the specialized and finely focused food photography field – working for clients ranging from restaurants to grocery store chains.

ITS-Food’s work has been used in countless menus, advertisements and cookbooks – just to name a few.

“A snapshot is where you quickly place something in the viewfinder, take your photo – letting the camera and its software do all the work – and then move onto the next thing. An image on the other hand takes time. There is a lot of preplanning, setting up the shot, and of course thinking about how the photo will ultimately be used,” he said.

“The thinking about it, the visualizing of the final product long before you click the shutter is the main difference. A snapshot records a moment in time, an image captures an emotion and in terms of advertising and promotion that makes all of the difference.”

McGrath’s work has been used in everything from cookbooks and newspaper advertising to menus, posters and extensively on line as a part of countless promotional campaigns. “Your goal with a marketing image is always to illicit a response, ideally a positive response in the minds of the viewer,” he said.

“Obviously for a restaurant you’re wanting to make people hungry. Through the photography you want them to desire the food you’re presenting. But you may also want to tell them something about your restaurant; is it casual, is it fine dining, is it fun? That’s where an effective image comes into play. It has to tell the whole story.”

McGrath explains that it can take time to capture an effective image. Each assignment and each subject is different, but the care needed to capture the individual images is always the same. Often using additional lighting and tripods to ensure a consistent level of quality, he’ll spend whatever time he needs to capture the right photos to satisfy the varying needs of the client.

“A cookbook shot will typically be straight down so the reader can see the finished meal. A steak for a restaurant on the other hand will need an entirely different perspective. Taking the necessary time will result in exactly the right image for the assignment,” he said.

To learn more please visit the company’s website at:

Written by David Holmes


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