Food Photography and Food Filmmaking can be fairly confusing if you've never commissioned a professional shoot before. Here are some answers to frequently asked questions we've received over the years!
What is food styling?
Food styling is the art of preparing and presenting food in the best possible way for the camera so that the resulting photograph is appetising and irresistible. It is the ability to translate the perception of taste, aroma and appeal of an actual dish for a 2-dimensional photograph.
Why is a food stylist required?
There are two main reasons for the requirement of a food stylist. Primarily, it is because the food for a shoot should ideally be handled and finally assembled, placed & styled by an individual who has an interest and expertise in the visual aspect of food. Secondly, having a stylist on the set allows the photographer and his/ her staff to concentrate on the photography and lighting rather than coordination with the chef or placement & appearance of the food.
What are your charges?
There is no standard rate card for assignments. Rather, each assignment is quoted for individually, basis the time required and the complexity involved. For a quotation, do get in touch with as many details as you can furnish.In general, the components of the quote are as follows:
- Professional Fee
- Travel & Boarding (if applicable for outstation shoots)
- Hire of any Specialised Equipment (if applicable)
- Props (if specialised or particular props are required for the shoot. Basic backgrounds, tools & props are included in the professional fee.)
Is a food stylist as important as the photographer?
The food stylist and photographer work hand in hand on all the shots – from the discussion of the mood, setting, layout, preparation & presentation. Diplomatically speaking, they are equally important because without a photographer, there wouldn’t be a reason to style food and without a food stylist, the photographer wouldn’t have any food to shoot! It’s very important for the photographer and stylist to work well together, with minimal conflict and the best interest of the final shot at heart.
Do you charge by the photo or by the day?
Although we prefer to charge by the day – half or full – other arrangements can also be discussed. The simple reason for the preference is that irrespective of the number of shots, we will need to dedicate a half day, full day or more to the assignment and forgo other opportunities on the same day.
How do we get started?
The basic process comprises of some very simple steps. We like to meet with the brand custodians for the product – the agency and/or marketing team to understand the brief in detail. This should include the basic product details, the objective of the shoot (end usage of shots) and the expectations with regard to the final look. Basis this, we will raise a quote for the assignment. Once this is approved, PO and advance received, we like to have another meeting with the chef and/ or product development team present to discuss the composition of the food, standard presentation, suggested garnishing etc so we can make a work flow for the shoot days and source the appropriate material for backgrounds, props and garnishes. That’s it. Then we shoot!
What are your payment terms?
50% of the professional fee and 100% of travel & boarding charges (if applicable) is required as advance to confirm an assignment and the desired dates. This must be accompanied by a Purchase Order (PO) confirming the details of the assignment and the charges. Without this PO and advance, confirmation will not be possible.The final images will be accompanied by the Invoice and upon approval final high resolution images will be released on completion of all outstanding payment.
How many shots do you finish in a day?
Each assignment varies according to complexity and requirement but on average, 5-7 shots can be accomplished in a day. This number is determined by the complexity of the dishes and the coordination between the kitchen staff, the photographer and the stylist. Another general assumption is that the first shot and the first day are the slowest – it is the “getting-used-to” period for everyone involved in the shoot. So for example, the first shot could take over 2 hours whereas the subsequent could each be achieved in almost half the time.
Do you style food for films too?
Yes absolutely! You can view some of my work in the Portfolio section. Each project is unique, so please get in touch so that we can start building a brief.
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