How to brief a food photographer

food photography, aubergine
Content is king, we hear it all the time! And for food and restaurant marketers, a huge part of our content is beautiful, mouth-watering food photos to get your audience chomping at the bit to come and try it. With such drool-worthy food photos at every turn, it really does pay to get your menu or products shot regularly, and by an expert. So nail your photography brief and you’re halfway there!

It feels like briefing a photographer should be pretty easy – like so easy that why bother doing a blog post about it? But actually there are a few things to think about to make sure you get the best results, and to start building a great relationship with your photographer, and it’s actually surprising how many photographers don’t really get briefed at all.

Chatting to Food Envy Photography’s Tom Waller (and from my own experience!) food photography can be even more of a minefield than other shoots, and requires very specific planning and briefing. ‘I’ve been doing food photography for years, and have worked with lots of clients who aren’t quite sure exactly what they want from the photos, which can make it it difficult to deliver the exact results they’re looking for. It sounds obvious, but by really thinking about why you’re doing a shoot, as well as all the detail of the logistical aspects, it makes it much easier for everyone on the day and much more likely that we’ll get great results!’

Things to think about

Tom has a checklist he sends to clients before every job, to make sure everyone’s on the same page, and to iron out any potential issues before they arise – a really useful guide to bear in mind if you’re getting some shiny new pics done.

1. What’s your budget?

2. What’s the concept/style of shoot? (You should add any images or a mood board of brands/companies that are in the style you’d like to emulate)

3. Who is cooking (and/or supplying the food)

4. Who is styling the food?

5. Where is the shoot?

6. Who is propping the food? (And also supplying the surfaces, backgrounds, plates, knives, forks, raw ingredients for lifestyle shots etc)

7. How many shots/dishes/products/recipes are to be photographed?

8. How where do you want to use the images?

9. Which file format do you require?

10. When do you require the final images?

By nailing just these simple aspects beforehand, or at least having a good idea of each point, you can seriously up your chances of getting some amazing photos, and are much more likely to do the brand justice!

Have a look at Tom’s gorgeous photos and videos here.

Amy Lainchbury

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