I'm in the market for a food photographer, but, how do I know which one is best for me?

If you’re in the market for a food photographer, it can be tough to know who to hire. I’ve outlined below four different key factors (in order of the most important attribute) that you should highly consider before hiring a food photographer.


It’s crucial as a food photographer to make food look appetizing. The work you see on a food photographer’s website should make you feel hungry and/or thirsty. How does a food photographer make food look delicious? It’s ALL in the lighting. While there are other elements (such as food styling, prop styling, etc…) that help make food look good, the MAIN goal of the food photographer is to light food in a way that makes it look mouth-watering. Pay attention to their lighting skills and how that directly relates to making food look irresistible. Also, look at the details of a food photographer’s work when making your decision as to who is the best fit for you. Is it the condensation on the drink glass that catches your attention, or, the sauce dripping down a piece of meat? A GREAT food photographer not only is brilliant at lighting their subjects, but, in showing the details as well.


What kind of clients has the food photographer worked with? Have they photographed your type of products before? Have they done editorial (magazine) or commercial (advertising) work before? The two are vastly different. You’ll want to make sure they have the experience you’re looking for before you consider hiring them for your next project.


That popular catch phrase, “You get what you pay for” is so true for the majority of paid services and it’s especially true when it comes to hiring a food photographer. Word of caution: hiring the least expensive food photographer most often will NOT get you the desired results. I’ve had many clients come to me saying that they bought services from the cheapest food photographer and that they were not happy with the outcome. Make sure you compare their portfolio and experience to their price points. If they are charging a minimal amount or next to nothing for their work, be aware that you might be hiring a novice or a beginning photographer without the experience you need.

How friendly a food photographer is should be another important consideration to make. You don’t want to work with a prima donna or someone who can’t effectively communicate with you. If they’re local to you, are they willing to meet up with you to discuss your business and photography goals? If they aren’t, why work with them? Kindness, professionalism, and courtesy go a very LONG way!

If you’re looking for the consummate food photographer, contact Rob Stathem Photography at:
949-939-0277. If you reside in the Southern California area, I’d be more than happy to meet with you to discuss your business and your photography goals. I’m available M-F 9am-6pm and I’d be delighted to meet with you.