The life of a Food Photographer

By: Kyra Duffey

What is a food photographer?

Food photographers are people in the industry who take pictures of food to put in anything from magazine spreads to cookbooks. It's their job to engage the clientele into their work emphasizing key factors such as smells, textures, and tastes all in one picture.

Background Information

Average National Salary: $34,000/yr.

Education/Training: There isn't a specific degree level required but having a Bachelor's Degree can increase possible job prospects. In the degree field they must have it in art and must be successful with artistic skills, as well as computer skills.

Career Options: Many restaurants will hire a food photographer to work for them or many photographers will just have their own studios.

A typical day for a Food Photographer

Specific job duties:

-Must attend client meetings to better understand their needs

-They may have to present their work after photo shoots

-They must deal with the needs of their clients at all times

Important Skills:

-Knowing how to work digital cameras

-Working with computer editing software

-They must perform proper lightening as well as provide the right shots to meet expectations of the client.

Disadvantages and advantages of a Food Photographer


-Food photographers can gain new clientele as they help other clients bring their concepts to life

-Food photographers are also able to gain notoriety within the industry by making food look better in photos than in real life


-Very time consuming

-In many cases you have to work fast to work well with some dishes (Ex: Noodles in broth expand)

Qualities necessary to be succesful

-The passion that you have for food that can be shared

-Allowing yourself to be patient when working on multiple projects for clients

-Willing to share your vision to people that can be widely enjoyed with others

How to get started

-Simply take pictures practicing if you were in the industry itself

-Promote yourself in any possible way

-Learn how to work with lightening and have it down to a tee

-Be patient on learning the technique and performing well