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why bloggers hire food photographers

Sep 15, 2023

7 Reasons Food Bloggers Hire Food Photographers

Why do food bloggers hire food photographers? Why don't they just do their own photography? They can snap a few photos, and post them on their blog, right? How hard can it be? Yeah, it’s not even close to that simple.

As a reader yourself, you know that great food photography is essential to the success of a recipe. After all, few of us would try a recipe where the food looked mediocre. It’s the picture that grabs our attention first and invites us to dig in further. 

Something a lot of people don't realize is that running a food blog is a ton of work, and photography is just one piece of that. Food bloggers need and want help.

So, let’s dig into it.

Reason 1: Good Photographs Sell Recipes

raspberry bars

As we’ve already mentioned, great photography is critical for great recipes to gain attention. Bakers and cooks choose which recipe to make based on the really yummy online photos that make them go, “Oh, I want to make that one. It looks delicious!”

Without good photos, food bloggers have nothing to distinguish themselves from every other recipe out there. Beautiful photos are the invitation to stop and take a look, without which there would be no recipe traffic. 

Don’t believe us that photographs are important? Think again! Take a look at some hard facts:

All this means is that food bloggers hire food photographers because they know it will earn them more website visitors, which means more revenue! As a food photographer, you will earn your keep, and they know it!

Reason 2: Professional Blogs Require a Team to Run Well

Okay, you’ve got it. Food photography is important, but can’t bloggers take their own photos? Sure, if they have the time, skillset, equipment, and ability!

Did you know the average blogger spends SIX hours on a single post? That’s almost an entire workday on one blog! So, it should be no surprise that one of the greatest challenges facing bloggers today is the ability to create content consistently. That’s why the most successful food bloggers rely on a team of people.

Gone are the days when a single person could create and manage a successful food blog all on their own.  Yes, there are still some small blogs that are one-person machines, but can you imagine the work that takes? That means they are recipe creators, designers, writers, bakers, cooks, photographers, advertisers, social media gurus, and more!

It truly takes a TEAM of people to run a successful food blog website that gets millions of views. They are big businesses, which means they have many roles they need to fill—food photography being a big one. In fact, most big food bloggers hire multiple food photographers to get all the pictures they need because even one photographer would struggle to keep up with all of the demands.

According to our 2022 Grad Survey, 81% of Pretty Focused grads report working with multiple bloggers!

Reason 3: Blogging is a Full-Time Job, NOT a Side Hustle

The next question is, “How do bloggers afford a team? I don’t pay for these recipes, so how are they making money and enough money to hire a food photographer?” 

Food bloggers aren’t sharing recipes and spending hours crafting immaculate websites out of the goodness of their hearts. Successful blogs make money—a lot of money. They are fully-fledged businesses with multiple employees earning thousands of dollars a month. How much? Food blogging is the highest-earning blog niche, with a median monthly income of $9,169

The sky is the limit for food bloggers—the more time and energy they put into their blog, the bigger they can grow. So, they are willing to put in the dedication and commitment to earn the salary they want. That’s also why they’re unafraid to hire photographers to get more out of their recipes.

Reason 4: Bloggers Make Money Through Ads, Ads Require Traffic

But exactly how are food bloggers making all of this money? They earn 42% of their income from ads, and ads work via blog traffic. Let’s break this down simply. It works just like TV commercial advertising.

Companies want to sell their products. To do that successfully, they take out advertisements to get their products in front of as many people as possible. The more potential customers they can reach, the more money they are willing to spend on advertising. This means that companies are always on the lookout for websites that reach wide audiences, particularly those within their niche (a cookware company advertising on a food blog).

So, in order for a food blogger to sell advertising space, they need as many monthly visitors as possible. The more traffic to their website, the more they can charge for ad space. And every additional website visitor they receive results in more cash in their pocket because ads pay per visitor —between $1 – $18 per 1,000 impressions.

Thus, if fantastic recipe photos are the main traffic driver, then most bloggers hire food photographers without a moment’s hesitation because it directly results in more ad revenue.

Reason 5: Bloggers Are Always Looking to Grow Their Business

food bloggers hire food photographers to develop and photograph recipes for their food blog

And more ad revenue equals a bigger business! Already, food bloggers have four times as many followers as any other blogging topic, but they are always looking for more ways to grow. They want to keep increasing their earnings, which means increasing what they are offering their readers. That means a constant flow of new recipes that draw in new and returning eyeballs. 

To keep their traffic high, food bloggers require a never-ending supply of gloriously yummy content! They need seasonal recipes, everyday favorites, one-off themed bakes, pop-culture cooks, and so much more. And every single recipe comes with a need for great visuals—and a lot of them.

The good news is that not just anyone with a camera can take a recipe photo that drives traffic. It takes knowledge and skill that few people have, so bloggers hire food photographers who make taking recipe pictures the bread and butter of their business. Because if the photos don’t make people stop and look, then they are worthless.

If you want to work in an industry that has a high demand for skilled photographers, this is it. Food bloggers are more than willing to pay top dollar for great photos because it helps them grow their business and earn top dollar in return.

Reason 6: Bloggers Benefit From Outside Perspectives

If having high website traffic wasn’t enough, bloggers hire food photographers to also gain something else: an outside perspective. We all know how easy it is to get lost in the weeds of your job when you do it day in and day out. It’s hard to see what a customer sees or figure out what they want because you are too in the middle of it.

And since 50% of people prefer visual information over text, a new perspective on the types of photos people want to see and click on is critical. A food photographer trained by Pretty Focused, offers bloggers an outsider’s view of what sells. They can look at the recipe provided by the blogger and figure out the exact composition of a photo that will make the recipe pop! This is vital.

Or, if you’re a food photographer who also creates recipes and sells exclusive sets, you can provide bloggers with both brand-new recipe ideas and photos—all for a single purchase price. This fresh flow of new ideas can be essential for a food blog’s success because after creating and posting thousands of recipes, it’s beyond difficult to come up with new ideas.

Reason 7: Bloggers Need a LOT of Photos

food bloggers hire content creators to develop and photograph recipes for their food blog

Let’s end with a little side challenge for you. Go onto your favorite search engine and type in, “Chocolate Chunk Brown Butter Cookies.” Choose a recipe, whichever one speaks to you personally. Scroll through the recipe, and count the photos. How many did you count? 5? 7? More? Those are just the photos for one recipe.

Start looking around the website, really look around. Look at the hundreds, if not thousands, of recipes the blog has. Every single recipe has a similar number of photos. The more complicated the recipe, oftentimes, the more photos. The rule of thumb is one photo every 150 – 350 words!

Can you imagine being a food blogger and not only having to create recipes, write blogs, organize the website, promote ads, AND take 5-10 photos per recipe? Who has the time or the skill set to do it all?

Bloggers hire food photographers to take recipe photos because they need so many photos on a weekly basis. And we all know a photographer who specializes in recipes will not only be able to take higher quality photos, but they’ll be able to take more photos faster and with greater success because they have the necessary skill set. It’s really a win-win for food bloggers.

Is There Demand For Bloggers to Hire Food Photographers?

So, now that you know why bloggers hire food photographers, you might be wondering, “Is there demand?” Surely, if there are so many reasons for a blogger to hire a photographer, then there are already thousands of photographers filling that demand. No. 

We’ve found that there is a 10 to 1 ratio of bloggers to photographers, and demand is continuing to grow all the time! But that’s an entirely separate blog for another time. Don’t worry. We’ll cover it soon, so stay tuned.

For now, check out these testimonials from our Pretty Focused graduates to get an idea about how in-demand food photographers are.

What if you could turn your passion for cooking and photography into a dream career?

Pretty Focused – Food Blog Photography helps aspiring food photographers get hired. Whether you’re looking to make a full-time income or just supplemental income, there is something for everyone inside our course. Plus, with the support of a community and top-notch coaches, as well as our Buyers Club that connects you with clients, you’ll have everything you need to succeed.

So if you’re looking for a new career or just want to explore the possibilities of working from home as a food photographer for bloggers, join the Pretty Focused Roadmap and learn if this is right for you.

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