Most Popular Questions
Here are some of the most popular questions client ask. Please send us an email using our contact from or call us if you have any other specific questions.
Your photos may not look all that great when you do. Food Photography is a very specialized niche of photography and it takes a certain skill to shoot cuisine. It is not rocket science, but it is a very specialized skill. It’s a skill honed over years of training, practice and learning. that requires a lot of experience to do well.
Wedding and portrait photographers are not the type of photographers that do well photographing food, usually… Sure, there are exceptions out there, or at least in theory there should be. Wedding photographers are all about capturing the moment and lighting people: food photography is all about creating shape, texture, and still life ambiance. The two skills are not the same thing. Even the equipment is different.
In food photography, it’s all about detail, not a crumb can be out of place. I wedding photography, the shooter is concerned about emotion, the folds of the dress, the composition of the room. In food photography, the placement of an ingredient, can make or break the photo…
The big difference most people will end up noticing, is the lighting. Lighting food is very different from lighting people. You would think that understanding lighting is understanding lighting, and it is. Most wedding photographers can get a good exposure, but they usually work with what they have, and maybe modify the light a little. A food photographer creates the light from scratch, depending on the shape and texture of the food, along with the mood or message that the photo is trying to communicate to the viewer.
There will still be buyers of food photography that cannot see the difference between a food photograph taken by a wedding guy and one take by an experienced food photographer. 90% of the world can see a huge difference, but the buyer may be one of the 10% that cannot. It is similar to haute cuisine, not everyone can taste or appreciate the finer things in food like texture, or the nuance of a particular spice, and that’s okay…
If you want the job done right, go to a specialist. If you want to save a few dollars and the quality really isn’t important and you just need some photos, then maybe a wedding photographer will give you a “good enough” photo to convey to the world the true quality of your food
ITS-Food.ca is primarily an advertising food photographer at heart. An advertising food photographer lights the dish to get the maximum texture and make the food as textural and appetizing as possible. The key is to light the food and show as much detail as possible, editorial food photographers have other preferences. They are more concerned about the overall look of the photo and how it will appear in the layout of the magazine/article. With advertising food photography, the cuisine is the most important thing in the shot; editorial food photography, the beauty of the entire shot is the most important thing.
Food is smaller in the frame in most editorial shots than in advertisements. Editorial food photos will usually find more focus on backgrounds than you will see in advertisements. Beautiful backgrounds tend to take the attention away from the food, beautiful / interesting backgrounds tend to make for prettier layout pictures, which is what magazines and other users of editorial food photography are trying to do, entertain. Advertising is trying to sell the texture and flavour, so the food needs to jump off the plate. You need to be able feel the texture and imagine the smell of the food. It is the old adage, you don’t sell the steak, you sell the sizzle. Advertising food photographers are more interested in detail of the food and showing it off in it’s best possible light. Editorial food photographers are more interested in making pretty pictures of food, primarily to make the article more interesting to read. Knowing the purpose and kind of image you need is critical.
You can call at any time to discuss any questions you might have. This will give you an idea of what is needed to get an accurate estimate.
Some foods are more difficult to shoot than others. Cookies, for example, are easier to shoot than ice cream, Generally a photographer can shoot more cookie images in a day than ice cream photos. The more shots in a day, the cheaper the “price per shot”. Most food photographers charge in increments of “half-days” of shooting.
This sounds like a simple questions, but if you’re new at buying food photography, you probably haven’t determined exactly how many shots you need. You need some food photography for your menu. Decide if you want only the entree’s, or do your deserts play a big profit part in your business? Do you have signature beverages? Do you need editorial images or just advertising images? So you need images of the restaurant and key staff pictures? .
If your budget is a defined number and you want to do as many shots as possible in a day, then you’ll want to make list and prioritize the shots.
It only stands to reason that the more complex the shots, the fewer shots we can do in a given day. Here are a few factors that affect the complexity of the shot.
- Multiple items – How many featured food items will there be in each shot? Will you want non featured food items in the background. How many and what items.
- Environment or outlined – Some clients want to take their photos on a plain white background so that their graphic designer can “cut out” or “outline” the dishes so that they can drop them into whatever background they choose to. The other type of shot is an environmental shot. This is a shot where you have napkins, water or wine glasses, a table surface, and a bunch of other possibilities. These kinds of shots take longer to shoot than outline shots, so it’s important to know which of these two types of shots you are expecting.
- Need for props – If you decide you need environmental photos we’ll need to gather those specific props. A good supply of props are available at the studio for rent. There may be times that you will need something special that needs to be purchased.
- Background surfaces or environments – The background in the photos is a very important element to the success of the images. Like props, it may be available at the studio or purchased.
Special effects – There are some types of food photos that are more difficult to produce than others. If you want to do a “pizza pull” (where a piece of pizza is being pulled way from the pie), or maybe a shot where a liquid is being poured onto something, then I’ll need to take that into consideration. This types of shots take longer to do than to static food photos.
Occasionally, a client will want a special piece of kitchen equipment in the shoot, it may be a wood-fired pizza oven or a special cappuccino machine. That may require an on location shoot.
This is something will greatly influence your cost. A food stylist is normally well worth the price, if you’re trying to produce the best food photos possible, but they’re expensive.
A food stylist is usually required on 95% of my special haute cuisine projects, but there are times when a stylist really isn’t as important.
Some clients don’t mind working really long days, or starting at unusual times a day. The hours may influence the price because of overtime charged by the various crew members.
As mentioned earlier, preparation needs to be considered into the cost of the photo shoot. This would include packing up equipment, travel, parking, and various other time and expenses involved.
Especially on a complex shoot, it’s a good idea to had a pre-production meeting to insure that all preparations are completed for the day of the shoot. This meeting will include the specifics of the shoot, including props, backgrounds, shot order, start time, and a hundred other details.
Finally, If there is any retouching or image compositing to be done, That needs to be discussed. Simple retouching and color correction is done during the shoot, but if you need anything beyond that, it will affect the final cost…
As mentioned, photo sessions are based on time in half day increments, that includes preparation, any travel costs and time. Post- production processing fees are in 15 minute increments.
Experience is a major factor, but so is being aware of current trends. As foodies become more sophisticated, so has food photography. The picture from the diner counter in the 1960’s has changed significantly.
Light is the single most important difference, mastering the light is critical for a food photographer. Fill light, background light, key light are all very important. Knowing what equipment is needed for the compression, the blur, the correct focus point are all important. The difference is a pretty good picture and a awesomely scrumptious image.
Food photography is very subjective. The criteria may differ on the type of cuisine, the uniqueness of your dish, and the type of client you want to attract. One of the best ways is to know your competition! Know your market! You need to know who your current client is and who do you want for your future client? Research your competitors menus, websites, social media and advertising. Research the other businesses you want to emulate.
Accumulate pictures of what you like, what you want and the type and level of images you want. Look for a food photographer specialist! Ask reputable professional photographers for recommendations
ITS-Food.ca offers professional food images on a contract hourly basis similar in concept to other photographers. The photographer owns the copyright of the image. No alterations can be made without written authorization. The purchaser is licensed to use the image in print and digital format as long as they are in business under the same name. TV/broadcast rights can be negotiated. Transfer of the licence is prohibited.
As an alternative some clients prefer to lower the cost and lease the images for a specific time period. Ask for details. ITS-Food.ca wants to establish with clients a lont-term partnership . Smaller, more frequent photo sessions as your dishes evolve may be more practical. An ongoing relationship will only come to fruition if we are both in business. Let’s talk.
This has be discussed at the pre-production meeting. It is a complex issue and depends on numerous issues. If a food stylist is needed you will be advised and costs will be discussed.
This will depend on YOUR needs. You should explain what you need the images for. Social media images are usually of lower resolution and are often in JPEG or PNG format. High resolution images are sometimes needed in different formats for high quality print materials. Images to mount on the walls of the restaurant/facility could be canvas, metal or print. The actual deliverable format should be part of the contract.
See above. This will depend on your needs. You should explain what you need the images for. The actual deliverable format should be part of the contract. The cameras we use are the best technology can provide and can be in excess of 50 Megapixel, most often way beyond what the average client needs.
Yes, most images will have some amount of post production included. If you have special requirements that should be discussed as part of the deliverables. If significant composite processing is required, there is an additional investment required.
ITS-Food.ca is a food photography specialist. We do have a sister company that may be able to satisfy your additional photography requirements, let’s talk.
Food photography is subjective. How YOU see your food and the photographer’s point of view may be different. It is recommended that a person with the authority be at the shoot to decide if the image meets your needs.
There maybe some food changes required at the photoshoot. If a plate needs to be redone, that person should be on site during the shoot. Timing between food delivery and the image is critical to maintain freshness.
That will depend on the complexity of the images you want captured. Generally beverages and items like cookies, nuts and many deserts can be shot at either location. When temperature and freshness are critical to the image, the location is a little more critical. As discussed above, if specific equipment is required or atmosphere needs to be captured, on location may be the only choice.
See above. It will depend on YOUR needs. Do you want advertising images or editorial images? Do you want ‘outline’ or ‘environmental’ images? This is discussed during the pre-production meeting.
A photo session is a busy place, it may include special props, often utilizes lighting equipment. The setup is critical and often takes up your prime choice tables. Many clients may find it interesting, but others may be put off by delays, disruption and privacy concerns. Normally, photo sessions are restricted to off hours or very slow hours.