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how to start a photography business

Feb 23, 2024

How to Start a Food Photography Business

There’s no doubt that photography is a highly competitive and sought-after profession. After all, who wouldn’t want to work for themself, be creative, and charge good money to take pictures? When it comes to food photography business, the career field can be even more attractive because working with food (instead of people) sounds like a dream. 

But if everyone wants to do it, how do you successfully start a food photography business? It can’t be that easy, right? That’s precisely what we’ll dive into in this blog. So, before you leave your day job, buckle up and keep on reading below!

Working with Food Bloggers VS Working with Brands

First, let’s discuss the two types of food photography businesses: those that work with brands and those that work with food bloggers. This might not seem like a big difference, but it can drastically change your day-to-day workload, skills, stress, and pay.

Food Photography for Brands (Editorial Photography)

When people first consider food photography, they probably think of working for brands. You might work for a magazine (Delicious Magazine, Food Network, Bon Appetite), a food company (Nestlé, Kraft, Coca-Cola), or a restaurant (Olive Garden, McDonald’s, or a smaller local shop). Either way, you’re probably picturing your photos earning top-dollar and getting shown to millions worldwide.

While that is possible, it is highly competitive and almost impossible to break into as a “newbie.” You have to know someone, have a connection, or have exceptional luck with cold-calling/emailing/pitching. And that’s the crux of it. 

When you work with brands, you have to cold pitch yourself, and this can be very difficult. It also has a very low rate of success. If you’ve ever sent out pitch emails, you know how few responses you get out of the hundreds you send out.

And if you need help sending out pitch emails, the best other courses will offer you is help with an email template. They may show you how to navigate Upwork, or how to post on Instagram and tag brands to get their attention, but that’s about it. You can get that same information from a good YouTube video. But the course will not introduce you to brands themselves or help you build those relationships. That is entirely up to you.

On top of all that, working in brand food photography can be “hit or miss” when it comes to money, according to our graduates. Amy, who left the editorial world for the blog world, admits that “it was not as glamorous as it might seem…it was a real slog. It was really hard. Maybe you might get one or two days of work a week.” 

Read Amy’s story about why she went from editorial food photography and blog food photography and what a difference it made in her life.

Food Photography for Bloggers

Now, let’s talk about a food photography business focused on bloggers. You can still get your food photography seen by thousands, if not millions, of people. It’s just on the blog side. Think of some big names in food blogging. They are huge blogs with hundreds of recipes on their sites, and they need food photographers as much as magazines.

And unlike brands, which are all varying sizes of large, food bloggers can be much more varied. This is good news, especially when trying to break into the industry. You can work for a few smaller, niche bloggers first, build your confidence and portfolio, and then work your way up.

The vast variety of food blogs also means a lot of work! In fact, there is a 10 to 1 ratio of food bloggers to photographers! This means that, as a food photography business for bloggers, you can work with anywhere from one to nine bloggers at a time. (Check out these 7 reasons food bloggers hire food photographers!)

And working with bloggers does NOT mean you’ll never work with brands. Many more prominent bloggers have brand deals themselves, so you might end up in a situation where working with a blogger connects you with a brand.

As for how you can start working with blogs as a food photographer, Pretty Focused has the entire process mapped out for you. There’s no guesswork or blind pitching. We have the recipe for you to follow, and we’ve even gathered the ingredients together. 

Let’s talk about it!

Pretty Focused Maps Out How to Start a Food Photography Business for Bloggers

Pretty Focused was designed not just to teach people how to take incredible food photos. We developed our curriculum and system to always focus on the end goal: getting you clients and helping you earn a living. We feel like there is nothing worse than paying for something that’s supposed to help you get a job, and it doesn’t follow through on the promise.

At Pretty Focused, we take people from zero experience to working with clients in three to six months. It’s all about our curriculum, coaching, community, and Buyer’s Club. 

Curriculum

“The way you guys set up the program, you don't need to know how to use a camera. I mean, truthfully, I know my way around the camera with what I need, but I’m sure there are a lot of other functions that I have no clue about.  You can go from no experience to being highly experienced fast. It really fast-tracks you!”Melanie

The Pretty Focused curriculum is focused on providing you with everything you need to know to set up a food photography business—from A to Z. It is a unique training system designed to equip our students with all the knowledge and experience they need to get hired right away after graduation.

You’ll be guided through six modules and 40+ lessons that will provide:

  • In-depth camera and photography training designed for photographers and students who have never touched a camera before. You’ll learn how to use your camera for food photography, what bloggers want, and how to deliver it.
  • A six-step system that teaches you how to create and photograph recipes effectively and quickly (in as little as one afternoon).
  • Exacting strategies for introducing yourself to clients and closing new business.
  • Detailed insight on curating a portfolio of your work, so you can grow as an authority and develop a successful food photography business.
  • Case studies of successful graduates, including their advice for growing your business using Pretty Focused’s systems.

Coaching

“All the advice that coaches give comes from a place of caring. They’ve been in your situation, they can see what’s wrong, and they want to help you improve as much as you can.” Gavin

A great curriculum is nothing without personalized coaching. With Pretty Focused, you’ll also receive direct feedback, personalized to you, on all your work in progress. Our seven amazing coaches will help guide you through the process of creating your business portfolio and successfully graduating from our course. They are always there to give advice, answer your questions, and help you grow during your journey. They want your success as much as you do!

Community

“The community in the group is awesome. I wanted accountability or just to bounce ideas off each other, so I really appreciate my little community!” —Kelly

Above and beyond coaching, Pretty Focused is also a dedicated community of current and former students, all eager to help you on your food photography business journey. Our exclusive community on Facebook is filled with hundreds of students and graduates ready to be your listening ear, friend, commiserator, and so much more. 

Our community is a safe and encouraging space for you to post your images, questions, advice, and feedback. We have no doubt that our community will be one of your favorite parts of Pretty Focused!

Buyers Club

“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 Buyers Club set up with clients as soon as you graduate. That’s unheard of.” Fabiana

As a Pretty Focused graduate, you will also have access to more than 1,000 buyers in our exclusive Buyers Club! This group is only for our grads and directly connects you to bloggers who want the valuable content you create. Not only will you be able to ask potential clients what they are looking for, you’ll be able to sell your work directly to buyers. This exclusive access to food bloggers is worth more than the cost of our entire system!

“The…thing that sold me on the course was the buyers group. Not even 24 hours after posting in that group, I was hired by 2 bloggers to photograph 10 recipes for them. TEN!!! That covered my cost of your course plus extra! I am still in shock! Thank you so much for everything you continually do to help us!!!” —Melody K.

If you’re a blogger looking for a food photographer, you can join our Buyers Club here.

Go From Zero Experience to Working with Clients in 3-6 Months

“It’s just a breath of fresh air. I get to discover me. I've got my own schedule. I've got my own agenda. I can pick and choose how much I want to work or how little I want to work. It's so life-changing.”Jade
Pretty Focused has literally mapped out the entire process of starting a food photography business, and we’ve made it a breeze! So, are you ready to cook, shoot, eat, get paid, and repeat? Join Pretty Focused, today!

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Attention food lovers & aspiring food photographers! Turn your passion for food into a full-time income with our exclusive training. Get insider knowledge, personalized support, & learn how to connect with potential clients.

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April 22, 2024 4:00 PM PST

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