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Food and drink photography is debatably one of the most difficult specialty areas of photography. There are three basic types of food photography: Editorial Food Photography, Food Packaging Photography, and Food Advertising Photography, and each has its unique challenges.
In editorial food photography, the goal is to make the food look beautiful. Food trapped in the two dimensional world of a photograph lacks the important ability to arouse the senses of Touch, Smell, Taste, and Sound–for example the sound of “the sizzle”. The trick is then, through lighting, props, styling, action, and camera work, to make the food “pop” off the page and entice the viewer with a beautiful image.
On the other hand, food packaging photography can be the most technical, tedious, and micromanaged type of food photography. Usually the layout is supplied and coordinated by the art director, and the backgrounds, props, and framing are predetermined. Generally the idea is to show the food in a well-lit, realistic, favorable way and to communicate the product’s attributes–such as “chunky”, “rich,” “thick,” “meaty” “creamy”– rather than focusing on creating a beautiful image.
Grilled Prawns shot for The Turtle Bay Restaurant. Advertising food photography–like the photos found in food ads, on menus, in product brochures, and on billboards–generally lies somewhere in between the editorial food photography and food packaging photography. Advertising food photography can be as restrictive as packaging photography due to the need to follow an artist’s illustration, but generally there is more leeway there for the photographer to take advantage of unforeseen opportunities like special lighting effects and props to create a delicious image.
An example of the polished look of modern studio food photography. Along with the different types of food photography, there are different styles of food photography. From the stylized, polished look of modern studio food photography to the organic style of food photography found in Saveur Magazine. I can create the images you need. I’m comfortable leading the collaboration between the Food Stylist, Prop Stylist, Chefs, Cooks, and Designers on large projects, as well as to working directly with your restaurant’s chef on smaller projects.
An example of a more organic style of food photography. If you represent a restaurant looking for food and marketing images, you should also consider architectural photography as a marketing tool. Food photos are not the only way to sell your restaurant. Architectural photography allows you to feature the restaurant itself, or the unique ambiance of your restaurant that can only be found during business hours, when patrons are enjoying their dining experience.
Rates for advertising photography are on a case-by-case basis and vary with production costs and requirements. Please contact me for more information.
El Paso commercial photographer Jesse Ramirez serves the El Paso and Las Cruces area, and the greater Southwest region as an experienced and exceptional food photographer. Fandango Restaurant of Pacific Grove, CA.