Creating The Perfect Food Photography Brief

Seven ingredients to creating the perfect food photography brief

Food, more than any other area, requires a very specific brief so that your chosen commercial photography studio can help you create mouthwatering imagery for your projects. But how do you communicate what you need effectively?

Ensuring your project is captured in exactly the way you want needs a little careful thought from the word go.

Here is a simple recipe for cooking up a photography brief that will help us, to help you, deliver a delicious end result!

1. The Finished Dish

Where are these images going to be used? Are they for your website, for marketing material or promotion? Are they for your social media platforms?

The end use tells us a lot about the style and output for your images. In food photography the crop is very important; so if you need square for social media, and widescreen for web banners, your stylist and photographer will need to take this into account right from the start when planning your shoot.

2. What's Cooking?

One of the first questions your photographer will ask is "what is your product?"

Whether it is a cooking sauce or ready meal for ecommerce channels, or a recipe cooked from scratch perhaps as marketing material for your food outlet or restaurant, the ingredients for your shoot are vital information from the start.

Masala curry sauce
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3. Location, Location, Location

What you need to shoot, and your end use, will often dictate a certain amount of the presentation style.

If you want to show your food in a homely setting, or demonstrate how to prepare a dish, you may need some set build for your shoot to give the right backdrop environment.

If you are looking for a fun impactful shot for social media, a clean colourful flat lay background may be more what you need. Or maybe you are looking for a dark and moody shot, with all the added drama possible to really entice your audience.

Alternatively you may want shots to show your own setting, or you want to prepare the food in your own kitchens, meaning a location shoot is in order.

The backdrop for your food photography will greatly affect the set up needed for your shoot, so is key information to share as early as possible.

Colour Food Ingredients
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4. Stylist Support

It may be that you are a chef, and highly skilled at styling your own dishes, in which case you'll be perfectly comfortable without additional help. However, if that isn't your forte, adding a food stylist to your shoot is something you will want to consider.

A food stylist can plan recipes for you if needed, source specific ingredients, and prepare food on set for your shoot. They will then ensure that the presentation is perfect, in line with your brief, ready for the photographer to join the party.

The combination of a talented food stylist, and specialist food photographer, is a perfect recipe for success.

5. Presentation Is Everything!

Do you want to show the stages required to create the finished dish, providing an informative guide for your audience? Or, do you only need to present the delicious end result?

Creating "behind the scenes" imagery in addition to your finished shots gives engaging and entertaining assets which can be used to support your marketing campaigns, so is well worth considering as part of your strategy.

The food is the star of the show, but it may need a supporting cast.

Does your dish speak for itself, or do you need someone to present it?

If you want to include the human element to really personalise your imagery, will you do this yourself, or would you prefer to bring in talent instead. Your photography agency or studio will be able to arrange this for you, tailoring choices to be appropriate to your target market.

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6. Set The Timer

Food photography shoots are generally arranged by time.

If you know how many items you need to shoot, and how many shots you think you need of each, let your photographer know so that they can work with the stylist to give you the best timeframe for your project.

Share the dates too! Do you have a marketing milestone you need to achieve? Whether that is a launch of a new website, a new range or a direct mail deadline, giving this information upfront ensures there are no disappointments later, as food shoots can need a little more preparation time.

7. The Garnish?

One final thing to consider.

Why not show the action as it happens with video content?

Don't let this be an afterthought. Video content is king right now and whether this is the main focus of your project or a vital additional resource, including moving images should definitely be on your list to investigate.

Without a discussion with an experienced food photography agency, you could be missing out on some interesting styles or concepts!

Ready to start the clock on your next food photography project?

At Prodoto, our team work in a 28,000 ft studio fully equipped to handle any photography project. Find out how we can bring your products to life with exceptional photography or get in touch below to speak to a member of our helpful team!

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