make money with food photography

If you have always dreamed of being able to stay home with your kids and still help your family, YOU CAN as a food photographer for bloggers.

Free video training!

Jul 28, 2023

From Portrait Photographer to Food Photographer: Success!

How do you go from being an international award-winning portrait photographer to a food photographer? And why? 

For Fabiana, a photography veteran with more than 15 years of experience in portrait work, it was a leap of faith and a big change. But it was worth it. She wanted to change her lifestyle to be more flexible while still doing what she loved: taking photos.

Still, it wasn’t easy. Fabiana needed help to launch her new career in food photography, and that’s when Pretty Focused entered the picture. She completed the course over nine months, and by graduation, success was already within reach. Fabiana partnered with a food blogger to relaunch a blog and started selling recipes for hundreds of dollars apiece.

So how did she do it, and why should you become a food photographer?

Fabiana’s Story: Portrait Photographer to Food Photographer

While Fabiana is not your average photographer, she had to put in the same work as every other student taking the Pretty Focused course. She just did it with a little extra experience in her repertoire. 

  • Fabina was a successful portrait photographer covering sports, weddings, and more—for which she won multiple awards.
  • Then, she had an accident that made her slow down and re-evaluate her life and career. She needed a change in pace and more flexibility. Thankfully, she found food photography and Pretty Focused. 
  • Over nine months, Fabiana completed the Pretty Focused coursework, all while continuing to take portraits: 6 weddings, 21 basketball games, 13 football games, and 23 high school senior branding sessions (thousands of photos each). 
  • Once she graduated, Fabiana went from earning $4,000 for a single wedding with 80-120 hours of work to earning $4,000 for just ten recipes ($400 ea.) and a lot less work. All while working in her kitchen in her pajamas.
  • 0:00 Countdown
  • 1:28 Introduction
  • 3:33 What were you doing before Pretty Focused?
  • 5:44 Why did you move to portraits and weddings to food?
  • 7:10 What made you decide to join Pretty Focused?
  • 10:59 What was it like being an award winning photographer going through Pretty Focused?
  • 14:04 Do you see a difference in your work since graduating?
  • 17:17 How do you describe Pretty Focused?
  • 20:08 What was the portfolio process like for you?
  • 34:09 How has Pretty Focused given you a new purpose?
  • 43:57 What are important things to know as a photographer for food bloggers?
  • 54:33 What advice do you have for people who want to join?
  • 58:39 What does the coaching look like inside of Pretty Focused?
  • 1:14:05 Choose your own adventure with Pretty Focused

It All Started with a Love for Photography!

Fabiana has always loved photography. “I have been in love with it forever.” She started with black-and-white format film, took college classes about photography (one professor had studied with Ansel Adams), and even had her own darkroom at home. And her love is backed up by experience and skill. Fabiana’s photos have won multiple international competitions, and her portrait career has spanned more than 15 years.

So why would she ever switch from portrait photography to food photography? It began with a move to Idaho with her family, and the need for more flexibility in her life. First, she shifted to digital photography from film. “Digital changed my life. I just love it. I love everything about it.” Then, she switched from portraits to food.

Making the Transition to Food Photography

But how did Fabiana get into food photography? It all started with an accident. About five years ago, “because I’m an idiot,” Fabiana shattered her foot while jumping on a trampoline. It required a huge operation and almost a full year of babying her foot. Unfortunately, not being on your feet is not possible in the portrait photography industry—especially weddings.

Portraits require a lot of work. They involve many, many hours on your feet. “And I just couldn’t keep doing that.” So, while portraits and weddings offered “a huge influx of cash,” Fabiana had to shift gears and find a less physically demanding photography career. That’s when she was lucky enough to discover food photography and Pretty Focused.

A friend of hers, who used to be a portrait photographer as well, had made the shift to blogger and food photographer. And when Fabiana visited for a branding session, her interest was sparked. Then, about a year ago, that same friend shared about Pretty Focused within their niche photography group, and suffice it to say, Fabiana was interested. 

Almost right away, Fabiana started watching all the grad interviews—every interview! “And legit, I was like ‘Alright, let’s try this. Let’s just see what’s happening.’” The rest, as we say, is history!

You can check out all of Pretty Focused’s success stories here!

portrait photographer to food photographer

Is Pretty Focused Helpful for Established Photographers? 6 Insights for Every Photographer

But what did Pretty Focused have to offer a well-established photographer? So much! 

Oftentimes, students come to Pretty Focused with little to no photography experience. And of course, they expect to get a lot out of the course. But even award-winning photographers can learn a lot about food photography from Pretty Focused. 

Fabiana quickly discovered that food photography is its own thing, and she, in fact, did need help. “Food photography is 180 degrees different from portrait work.” So while the coursework was not difficult when it came to using her camera feature, Fabiana did have to learn about blogging, blog photography, lighting, layout, and so much more.

Looking back at her early food photography now, Fabiana is amazed at her growth. “Oh my gosh, it’s laughable.” Her third recipe was so bad she literally erased all the images, even after spending all day on the shoot. But now she’s got the rhythm and balance down and can shoot beautiful photos that sell recipes, and that’s what matters.

Here are six key insights Fabiana took away from the Pretty Focused course and why you should become a food photographer.

Insight One: Pretty Focused Coaches Aren’t Just Teachers, They’re Working Professionals

One thing that Fabiana wants prospective Pretty Focused students to know is that the coaches aren’t just random people who teach because they can’t do the work. No! They are working professionals who have their own clients and know their stuff. They’re in the trenches with their own work, which means when they give you feedback, it’s highly valuable.

“The coaches are seriously amazing women. They’re in the field. They know this stuff.” And the reality is, you can’t get any better if you’re not willing to listen to feedback and learn from it. “I told myself over and over and over again to swallow my pride and learn.”

Insight Two: The Pretty Focused Community is Beyond Compare

One of the best parts about joining Pretty Focused is gaining access to the incredible community. “I literally could call half a dozen women at any time and be like, ‘So, I’m struggling to set up. What am I doing wrong?’ and they would walk through it with me. I’ve made really good friends.”

But it’s not just fellow students and coaches that make up the Pretty Focused community; it’s also potential clients. Many incredible bloggers are part of the Pretty Focused Buyers Club, and as a graduate, you are introduced to this community to sell your first work. Upon graduation, Fabiana had three bloggers, “the nicest women on the planet,” reach out to her and say they’d love her to do some work for them. And so, within days, she was working selling recipes and earning back her investment in Pretty Focused.

Insight Three: Pretty Focused is a Vocational Program

Just as you would go to school to become a cosmetologist, no matter how much experience you already have, you need to go to school for food photography. You have to put in the hours to learn how to take the photos that customers are looking for. And just like in any vocational school, it’s about the teachers that are with you every step of the way.

One time, when Fabiana was really struggling, she reached out to one of the Pretty Focused coaches and just blatantly asked, “Okay, what are you looking for?” And rather than be annoyed, the coach walked her through every single step. From there, Fabiana worked on perfecting her photos. “The material is not difficult to learn, but putting it into practice takes time.”

And once you graduate, Pretty Focused is like no other vocational program, even if you spend tens of thousands of dollars on classes. Because “not one of them has a Buyer’s Club set you up with clients as soon as you graduate. That’s unheard of.”

Insight Four: Pretty Focused Opens Up a Wealth of Work Opportunities

As an already well-established photographer, Fabiana was no stranger to finding work opportunities. But even she was amazed at the many pathways a food photographer could take. “It’s so crazy.” 

  • Fabiana partnered with a blogger who was an Oprah ambassador, Disney ambassador, and an ambassador with a cruise line to relaunch a dormant recipe blog: SheShared. As part of this, she does full recipes with photos. “I tell people, if you get a recipe off of a blog, you need to tell that person how amazing they are for providing it for you because it is a job. It’s so much work, but it’s so fun.”
  • Fabiana also works with Wilton for professional cake decorating. Every six weeks, they send her a box full of goodies so she can decorate a cake and then provide photographs and video reels.
  • Fabiana has also worked with Walmart Plus, Built Bars, Zulily, Cuisinart, KitchenAid, and more.

“Pretty Focused is a choose-your-own-adventure. Because you could do recreations, sell your recipes, start a blog, develop for a blogger, make reels for companies, generate user content, etc. You can do all kinds of things! It’s amazing. There’s nothing like this out there.” 

Insight Five: Pretty Focused Requires You To Put in the Work

“This is not a get-rich-quick scheme.” To do well at Pretty Focused and after graduation, you do have to put in the work. “You’re gonna work your butt off. When I graduated, I cried. This is probably the hardest I’ve ever worked at anything.” You have to be willing to put in the work to create great recipes, take amazing photos, and develop content that will work online. But that doesn’t mean it’s not worth it.

“As demand goes, if you can come up with some good stuff, it’s gone within two or three minutes within the Buyer’s Club. If it lasts an hour, I’m surprised.” Bloggers are constantly looking for great food photography and great food content. So, if you can provide it, you can sell it. “The demand is there for high-quality work.”

Insight Six: Pretty Focused Coursework is Constantly Updated 

When it comes to most coursework, updates are few and far between. And when information or techniques are updated, you have to pay more money for the new knowledge. Worse yet, half the time, the new insight is so small it’s not really worth your time. But that’s not the case with Pretty Focused.

When Pretty Focused updates its curriculum, they let students and graduates know. Even more importantly, they ask graduates “to go in and review all the new stuff” to ensure that it matches what’s working in 2023, not 2018. So even after you graduate, you get all the new Pretty Focused course material without an additional fee. It’s 100% worth it.

Check out Pretty Focused’s new course focused on Food Blog Recipe Development!

portrait photographer to food photographer

Why Should You Become a Food Photographer and Join Pretty Focused? 3 Pieces of Advice

Are you still hesitating to drop everything to join Pretty Focused and become a food photographer? We understand but don’t worry; we have three pieces of advice from Fabiana to help you take the leap of faith and get started today.

Advice #1: Watch all the Interviews

If you’re still hesitating to start Pretty Focused because you’re not sure if it’s worthwhile, don’t guess. Learn what Pretty Focused offers and about how successful graduates are by watching all the interviews. “Go through and watch these interviews. It’s really helpful to hear from real people about their experiences.”

Advice #2: Don’t Box Yourself In

You don’t have to decide how you’re going to make money with Pretty Focused before the course or even right away during the course. “I changed my mind three times on what I was going to do.” Be open to various job opportunities within the food photography industry, and then decide what’s going to work for you. And if you have to change your mind month-to-month, that’s okay too. Flexibility is one of the main reasons why you should become a food photographer.

Advice #3: Take Your Time to Graduate

Fabiana went into Pretty Focused with the attitude, “I’m just going to get this done; it’s going to be so fast.” But that’s exactly the wrong attitude. At one point, she had the realization that it was better to be thorough than quick when switching from portrait photographer to food photographer. 

She recommends doing at least “15 practice sessions”. Then, once the coaches give you the go-ahead to do your portfolio, do more work! Don’t just use your practice sessions. “Take what you learned and reshoot it. Do at least eight, but plan on about 12 portfolio shoots.”

Think of it this way, “you have 30 chances to get feedback from working photographers.” Take the opportunity and run with it.

portrait photographer to food photographer

Choose Your Own Adventure with Food Photography Powered by Pretty Focused

Fabiana can pretty much guarantee that if you decide on a career in food photography, “there are so many things you can do with this knowledge. You get to decide what you’re going to do with it.” There are no limits to where a career in food photography can take you.

And when it comes to Pretty Focused, the course is “a great resource. It’s a great network.” If you’ve spent tens of thousands of dollars on other photography courses and are hesitating to pay for another one, don’t. Not one other course that Fabiana ever took gave her a client. “Not one of them said here’s the Buyer’s Club, and all these people want what you’re offering.” 

With Pretty Focused, you don’t just get great insight on how to become a food photographer, you also get help landing your first jobs. Now that’s a return on your investment!

Food Photography Resources Mentioned

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.

Share the ♡ or save for later


Follow us on Instagram

melodee lynn photography llc / Copyright 2023 / PRIVACY / disclaimeraccessibility / Code of conduct

melodee lynn photography llc
Copyright 2023
Code of conduct