Finding New Clients For Food Photographers

Finding new clients does not mean waiting for prospective clients to find you via Google search or Instagram. It means being proactive in both presenting your work to the random eyeballs (aka posting online) and actively reaching out to new potential clients.

Finding new clients does not mean waiting for prospective clients to find you via Google search or Instagram. It means being proactive in both presenting your work to the random eyeballs (aka posting online) and actively reaching out to new potential clients.

So many photographers I work with leave finding new clients to chance.

Many just wait around for clients to find them and wonder why they are not getting any new work. They think that posting on social media is enough exposure for potential clients to find them.

That’s simply not the case.

I can tell you from my experience that relying solely on social media is not the most effective way to get the dream clients you’ll love working with.

Taking matters into your own hands gives the power back to you.

In this article, I want to address how you can find new clients yourself without waiting for them to find you.

Here’s a quick recap of the article:

  1. Re-visit what clients you want to work with
  2. Create a list of clients
  3. Use your network to spread the word

Re-visit what clients you want to work with

As our career as photographers progresses, so does the vision of our ideal clients.

For that reason, I suggest revisiting what an ideal client means to you as a food photographer every now and then. I do this once a year when I set goals for my business.

Not only will defining the niche and ideal client help you narrow down who you want to work with. It will also help you build a portfolio that will attract those clients.

Create a list of potential clients

As a food photographer, you can work with a multitude of different clients. For example:

  • National or international magazines
  • National or international cookbook publishers
  • Local restaurants and bars
  • Large or small food brands
  • Branding and PR agencies
  • Stock agencies
  • Food bloggers and chefs

I like to keep lists of different types of clients so I can refer to a specific type of client, depending on what my goals are for the year or what clients I’d love to work more with at the given time.

Pro Tip: Keep your list at arms reach so you can add new potential clients on the go. For example, create an Instagram save folder for potential clients so you can quickly save them and move them to your lists later.

Keeping client lists will help you when you are ready to pitch so that you can focus solely on contacting them, which will streamline your pitching process.

Use your network to spread the word

We talked a bit about pitching.

Besides actively reaching out to potential clients, as creatives, we also benefit from the community. This may be a community of your friends and family or business communities.

Be prepared to speak about what you do and how you do it to anyone interested.

Don’t underestimate the power of networking and sharing your photography work with the people you know.

Share it in your personal space, online communities or attend networking events.

Just recently, I got to work with a client by being referred to them by one of my old contacts on Facebook. We haven’t even been in contact for a long time, but they referred me to someone they know.

Finding new clients actively is much less stressful

To conclude this article, being active in your client acquisition is the key to success as a food photographer.

Sure, posting on social media seems effective, but think about how much time and effort goes into that and how slim the chances are that a potential client will actually see your post.

Improve your pitching

When pitching, make sure you are well organized and have a schedule. If you need help with finding new clients and contacts, creating a schedule, and crafting emails, you can join the free 4-day Get Booked Workshop here.

Mastering Client Communication: A Guide for Food Photographers

In food photography, mastering client communication is just as crucial as taking the perfect shot. This guide will walk you through the essential steps to ensure seamless client interactions and create the type of photos that will leave your clients wanting more.

In food photography, mastering client communication is just as crucial as taking the perfect shot. This guide will walk you through the essential steps to ensure seamless client interactions and create the type of photos that will leave your clients wanting more.

Here’s a short article summary:

  1. Understanding Your Client’s Vision
  2. Communicating Your Photography Process
  3. Handling Client Feedback Gracefully

Step #1: Understanding Your Client’s Vision

Ask Detailed Questions About the Photography Project

I can’t stress enough how important it is to ask any question you might have, as silly as it might sound to you. Inquire about the desired style, mood, number, and type of deliverables, and so on to gain a comprehensive understanding of your client’s wishes, needs, and vision.

Visualize The Client’s Vision

Use all the information the client has given you to create a clear image of the end result in your mind. Create and share a moldboard with your client to ensure you are on the same page. As photographers, we are used to imagining things in our heads, but clients usually need a visual representation of what they will get. And this is what moodboards are for. I love using Canva to create moodboards for my client projects.

In food photography, mastering client communication is just as crucial as taking the perfect shot. This guide will walk you through the essential steps to ensure seamless client interactions and create the type of photos that will leave your clients wanting more.

Repeat Their Words

What I started implementing a while ago is repeating everything they said to make sure I understood correctly. The thing is, we often understand things differently from the other person, so repeating it and asking if you understood correctly is one of the most important things to make sure you will do what your client expects you to do.

Step #2: Communicating Your Photography Process

Outline Your Workflow and Set the Expectations

It is imperative for a food photography project to be successful and to have clear communication with your client. Ideally, you want the client to understand how you work and their involvement in the process. This includes timelines for all the project steps, your fee or any additional fees that may arise, and what they need to do at each step. This way, you will avoid unhappy clients.

In food photography, mastering client communication is just as crucial as taking the perfect shot. This guide will walk you through the essential steps to ensure seamless client interactions and create the type of photos that will leave your clients wanting more.

Step #3: Handling Client Feedback Gracefully

As photographers, it is our job to create photos as close to the client’s vision as possible. However, if you have done enough client photoshoots, there’s a high chance your clients weren’t always 100% happy. I like to approach feedback with an open mind, viewing it as an opportunity for improvement rather than criticism.

Sometimes, clients expect the photos to turn out in a way that is not ideal (they might not know it) or are impossible to do for the time frame, the budget, or it is physically impossible. It is very important to communicate this with the client in a respectful manner.


Mastering client communication is crucial for success in food photography’s competitive world. By understanding your client’s vision, communicating your process effectively, and handling feedback in a respectful manner, you can establish strong client relationships and create photos that they will love.

Implement these steps into your workflow to elevate your communication skills with your current and future clients.

And don’t forget to have patience when things don’t go as planned!

Want to get more photography clients this year?

Check my Client pitching email templates, which will help you create better outreach emails quicker.

65 Expert Food Photography Tips from Professional Photographers

Since the first day, I knew I wanted to be a photographer (or possibly even before that!) I knew observing and stepping into the world of other photographers was super interesting and incredibly helpful. I have learned so much about professional work from others over the years and am continuously inspired by other professionals in and outside of it.

I wanted to bring you a bit of this world in this article.

My photography colleagues have generously shared their best food photography tips, revealing everything from creating the best light and styling the food to be truly drool-worthy to their best business and mindset advice.

65 Expert Food Photography Tips from Professional Photographers

 My photography colleagues have generously shared their best tips, revealing everything from creating the best light and styling the food to be truly drool-worthy to their best business and mindset advice.


1. Learn to ask questions

When you have created a scene and taken a couple of test shots, ask yourself, “What can I do to this scene to take it to the next level?” I ask myself this every time, and although sometimes I have already created what I think is the best version of the setting, there is almost always another little detail that I can tweak to make it even better. It might be adjusting the lighting, changing the composition slightly, adding a hand or some movement, or a final little garnish for detail.
Nikki Astwood, food, beverage and product photographer

2. Shoot everything!

The great thing about food photography is that we all eat daily, so it’s a perfect excuse to photograph our favorite subjects. The more you shoot, the more confident you become in your skill.
Matt Armendariz, commercial photographer

3. Double diffusion makes a huge difference

I prefer to double diffuse when I am photographing drinks. That way, you can make the diffusion really soft (attached is an example).
Maaike Zaal, food and beverage photographer

4. Keep on working on your personal projects

I always encourage food photographers to do as much test shooting and portfolio building in their spare time as possible. It helps you develop your skills, creativity, and technical knowledge and gives you material for social media and promotions. Also, clients are very interested in seeing personal work because it helps them understand your style and abilities beyond the constraints client work usually puts on showing who we really are as photographers.
Darina Kopcok, commercial food photographer

5. Focus on nailing your lighting and editing skills!

Among the best decisions I ever made was investing in high-quality artificial lighting, which significantly elevated the quality of my work. Learning the nuances of image editing was equally transformative, taking my photos from ordinary shots to extraordinary masterpieces.
Wiktoria Gralka, food & product photographer

6. Go into every photoshoot, big or small, with some sort of plan/vision.

Write down ideas and draw out potential compositions, colors, props, and lighting concepts – there will be times when it doesn’t work, but being prepared in advance will more likely than not end up in success!
Tanya Pilgrim, food & beverage photographer

7. Chase the light!

Always be aware of how the light hits your subject and never be afraid to shape it.
Suze Morrison, food photographer, stylist & chef

8. Exercise your ‘ skill of observation’.

To become a better photographer, we must first become a better observer. Begin by intentionally slowing down, engaging your senses, and looking a little closer and with more curiosity to notice the often-overlooked details around you. Maybe it’s the way the backlight illuminates the white currants on a bush. It could be the unique scent associated with a specific season, a seasonal dish, or an ingredient. Maybe it’s the intricate details of a sage leaf texture. Or ‘sparkling’ droplets on those sage leaves after a rainy day.

This practice can help you notice more of the magical ‘little things’ that surround us every day. It can help you discover something extraordinary in ‘ordinary’ and capture it through your own lens. And it’s always worth ‘sharpening your lens,’ as the way you see is what makes YOU unique.
Bea Lubas, food photographer 

9. Lighting is the key to a beautiful photo

Over the years, I have learned that lighting is probably the most crucial part of food photography. A soft, flattering light is what you want, whether it comes from natural or artificial sources. When light is too harsh or too dark, exposing your subject properly and getting the best image quality becomes more challenging.
Chad Montano, food photographer & videographer

10. Be honest about your goals and skills, stay open to learning, and practice to improve.

Focus your efforts on the areas of your workflow that need improvement, whether it’s food styling, photography, editing, or the business side. Once you’ve improved one area, move on to the next and continue this cycle. Trust me, you won’t be bored ever again.
Kristina Smodila, food stylist & photographer

11. If shooting with natural light, don’t be afraid to move things around to find the best light.

Carry what you will shoot around the house, try out different windows, and see what light works best for the mood you want to create. Try out different angles. I love to shoot with side light and shoot at a 45-degree angle, a 90-degree angle, or a flat lay. I tend to try all these angles for each thing I shoot.
Aimee Twigger, food photographer

12. Don’t be afraid of Photoshop and editing.

Sometimes, doing something in post-processing is easier than getting it done during the shoot.
Julia Konovalova, food photographer 

13. Try not to replicate what others are doing

Strive to carve your own path, even if it means making mistakes along the way. Find your authentic voice. Initially, it’s okay to imitate, but eventually, develop your own unique aesthetic. This differentiation will help you stand out from the crowd and be more competitive.
Erika Rojas, food Photographer

14. For beginners, the backlight is always the top tip I recommend.

It adds beautiful depth to the photo, shows the textures, and adds beautiful tonal contrast to the images.
Lucia Marecak, food photographer and educator

15. Never. Stop. Learning.

Even after years of shooting, I still learn something new. Learning is actually what keeps me interested and motivated. So don’t stop at the first book, video, or course. Keep going! Study other niches, too.
Roberta Dall’Alba, photographer

16. Pre-planning is key to delivering a successful project.

I cannot stress enough how planning ahead of your shoot is so important. Practice the lighting you’ll use, sketch if needed, take test shots with props, etc. This will help solve any issues ahead of your shoot, leaving most of your time to focus on creating beauty.
Gabriel Cabrera, commercial photographer

17. Work with the gear you have until you master it.

Invest in new items only when you find a technical bottleneck situation and/or start earning money with photography.
Reka Csulak, photographer & mentor


18. Keep it real

And don’t be afraid to think outside the box!
Matt Armendariz, commercial photographer

19. Plan, plan, plan!

A very important one is to PLAN your photo shoots (unless when you’re having one of those “freestyle” creative moments:) which I totally support) – by planning, you can ensure you buy everything you need (and more) and the best-looking ingredients.
Roberta Dall’Alba, photographer

20. Keep it simple

Let the star shine. Props are supporting characters.
Gabriel Cabrera, commercial photographer

21. I think the most appealing food photos are those that look the most organic.

Use lots of supplementary ingredients to not only add visual style elements but also add context to your dish or subject. Scatter herbs, berries, nuts, seeds, etc, and then tweak them so they don’t look too placed. Be loose. An artfully placed drip or drizzle will bring viewers into the scene and imagine how good the subject is to eat.
Darina Kopcok, commercial food photographer

22. Think about what kind of mood/feeling you want to portray from your image before anything else.

Lighting and propping should come more naturally once you’ve made that decision.
Tanya Pilgrim, food & beverage photographer

23. Put aside some money from each paying job

… that you can use to invest in quality props that you really need to curate the type of prop collection that supports your style.
Reka Csulak, photographer & mentor

24. While working with color in food photography, it’s best to keep it simple.

Too many colors overcomplicate the process. If monochrome or one color is hard to work with, select two or max. three colors & work only with them in the composition. Choose props, backdrops, and garnish in line with the selected colors. 

Working with a limited palette does not distract the eye with too many colors, saves time by making decision-making easier, tells a cohesive visual story, and builds our skill of working within boundaries.
Dyutima Jha, food photographer and podcaster

25. Don’t be afraid to show a few flaws.

Very few of us bake perfect cakes, have clean set-ups, etc. A few crumbs, holes, and drips keep things real. Not everything needs to be edited in Photoshop.
Suze Morrison, food photographer, stylist & chef

26. I always keep a little bit of avocado oil on hand.

I like to add it to something like a steak or bread to give it a layer of sheen. When light hits it the right way, it will create that beautiful specular highlight.
Chad Montano, food photographer & videographer

27. Think in layers

Whenever I am styling a scene, I start with a base first, then layer props and ingredients on top from there (or in front or behind if it’s an angle/front-on shot). I start with the larger pieces of my scene and end with the small detailed pieces that I call the garnish that really bring the scene together and create that added depth and interest.

As important as having all the right props and ingredients in your scene, it is equally important to know how to edit and remove anything that doesn’t make sense or is cluttering up the frame and detracting from your hero.
Nikki Astwood, food, beverage and product photographer

28. It’s about texture and color

I love to use props that are old or rustic. They have a cozy element to them. I love color, but I find it pleasing to try and use props that go well with the subject. The color wheel is really handy here. Think about different textures, too. It’s great to add different layers of texture, even if it is just the seasoning or styling on the plate.
Aimee Twigger, food photographer

29. Look for props in the clearance sections.

Sometimes plates and dishes have cracks or chips that could easily be photoshopped or covered with food.
Julia Konovalova, food photographer 

30. Less is often more.

When it comes to styling and props, don’t overcrowd your composition. Choose a few carefully selected elements that complement the food or drink. Keep it simple, and let the main subject shine. Sometimes, a single well-placed prop can make all the difference in your shot.
Erika Rojas, food Photographer

31. Add some greenery

Green herbs always go well and improve the photo no matter how “ugly” the food is 🙂
Lucia Marecak, food photographer and educator

32. Add a human element

If I struggle to tell a story in a shot with the food and props on their own, I love adding a human element. It could be just hands or some movement.
Aimee Twigger, food photographer


33. When you’re short on time to set up a real background, use two backdrops

One for the table and another for the wall, like tiles or wood, to create a genuine space vibe easily.
Kristina Smodila, food stylist & photographer

34. I used to only shoot handheld, but in the last few years, I tend to use my tripod for most shoots.

It’s great as it means the camera stays in one place, so if I need to composite any of the shots with Photoshop, it makes it easier. Especially for client shots if I need labels to be clear. If I am shooting for a brand, I like to have a plan of what I need to capture beforehand. That way, I can get all the shots I need.
Aimee Twigger, food photographer

35. Tether on client photoshoots

If you can, use an iPad and set it up to tether further away from the set so the client can see the images you are making without them hovering over you.
Gabriel Cabrera, commercial photographer

36. Get creative with painted backdrops.

Instead of buying expensive backgrounds, you can create your own unique backgrounds for food photography by painting them. Use a large piece of sturdy cardboard or a wooden board as your canvas. Experiment with various colors and textures to match the mood of your dish. With a bit of creativity and some paint, you can have a custom backdrop that adds character to your food photos.
Erika Rojas, food Photographer

37. Turn images into black & white while editing to check the level of tonal contrast.

It helps to understand how much tonal contrast the photo has and helps edit images in a better way.
Lucia Marecak, food photographer and educator

38. Use gelatine in spray for beautiful droplets

Something I’ve learned from another photographer (Valentina Solfrini): to make vegetables and fruit look fresh, instead of water, use spray gelatine. I don’t always do this, but when I do, I see how cute the droplets look (especially when they don’t “vanish” after just a few minutes). Also, it’s NOT inedible, so you can still eat the food without throwing it away.
Roberta Dall’Alba, photographer

39. Correct things right in front of the camera

This way you can save time in post-processing and avoid losing pixels via extensive corrections.
Reka Csulak, photographer & mentor

40. Once you have taken your hero shot and are happy, walk around your set and snap from different angles.

You will be surprised by what you find. Sometimes, this is what makes a new hero.
Suze Morrison, food photographer, stylist & chef

41. Take multiple photos.

The more, the better. I like using a variety of focal lengths and compositions to get different looks.
Chad Montano, food photographer & videographer

42. Learn creating composites

The coconut splash picture (below) is created from several pictures: one with a clean coconut and then several others with the splash and falling coconut pieces. I combined them all in Adobe Photoshop.
Maaike Zaal, food and beverage photographer

43. Be purposeful with your prop shopping

Buy pieces that will last and be able to be used for multiple scenes and themes. For food photography, I love to have a mixture of more modern and some vintage props, which makes for a great collection.

Clear out regularly as well, and take anything you don’t use to the second-hand store. As we all know, props can get out of control.
Nikki Astwood, food, beverage and product photographer

44. It’s food, so there aren’t any hacks, really.

We can’t mess with it too much, as that’s not the nature of food. Just keep shooting as often as possible and use the best light you can get!
Matt Armendariz, commercial photographer

45. When in doubt, use side backlighting.

It has such a great way of wrapping around the light. Angle your set to the window or place your light at 10:00 or 11:00 if you imagined your set like the face of a clock with your camera at 6:00.

Assess your scene as you style and compose by bending down to the same level as your lens so you can see the way the camera does. And always, always shoot tethered so you won’t miss the small details that can make or break a photo.
Darina Kopcok, commercial food photographer

46. For lighting, I like to make sure my main subject/focus is lit the way I need it to be, first and foremost.

Then, I like to step back and see where I can add more dimension if needed. Is there something that can help enhance the scene I’m creating? Take your time where you can and play around!
Tanya Pilgrim, food & beverage photographer

47. Create endless variations of cake stands

Buy a candle holder you like and combine it with any plate you like to create an original cake stand.
Maaike Zaal, food and beverage photographer

Lately, I’ve been creating my custom cake stands using just a cup or bowl and a plate. These stands are unique and can be personalized to match any style. This tip can save you some money and space. (Example in the photo of a cake below).
Kristina Smodila, food stylist & photographer


48. If we want to create a successful business in food photography, we cannot look for instant results.

Like any other business, it takes time to build a client base, get the word out, hone our skills, establish our process, and gain momentum. It is tough in the beginning, but only because it’s new to us. The more we do, the easier it gets. We cannot try out food photography for a short time and then give up, saying, “It didn’t work for us.”

There is no such thing as overnight success.

Anyone who has made a name in the industry has done so by doing the work without giving up. It is 100% possible to build a profitable and sustainable business as a food photographer. As long as we are patient, know what we want, and pursue it relentlessly, a thriving business in food photography is guaranteed.
Dyutima Jha, food photographer and podcaster

49. Try to add lots of different styles to your portfolio.

Even if you prefer to shoot in one style, I find it’s best not to niche down too much there. It’s good to show what you can do.
Aimee Twigger, food photographer

50. Business skills are just as important

In our line of work, business acumen is just as important as the ability to create beautiful visuals.
Reka Csulak, photographer & mentor

51. Photography is a hard business to be successful at.

It comes with a lot of ups and downs. It’s all about connections and relationships. If you have a great shoot, that client will hire or recommend you again. It takes time to build a clientele and find consistency, but it’s definitely achievable with a creative and positive mindset.
Chad Montano, food photographer & videographer

52. Photography business is a business of people

While we may be running a business or taking photos of cakes, never forget that we are the business of PEOPLE. Relationships matter most.
Matt Armendariz, commercial photographer

53. You need to be pitching constantly.

Sending out targeted pitches and proposals every week to the clients you want to work with will transform your business. If you never post a single image on social media again, you can have a successful career through active pitching.
Darina Kopcok, commercial food photographer

54. Don’t be afraid to invest money into your business.

It will ultimately stop you from growing!
Wiktoria Gralka, food & product photographer

55. Spend less time worrying about your Instagram feed and more time focusing on your portfolio.

Make your portfolio tell a cohesive and compelling visual story.

This means curating your work in a way that not only showcases your technical skills but also conveys a consistent style and a clear narrative. Whether through color schemes, lighting choices, or the overall mood, make sure that every image in your portfolio aligns with the story you want to tell about your expertise and the type of clients you want to attract.

All your marketing efforts should lead potential clients to your portfolio, where you display your best and strongest work. A well-structured, visually engaging portfolio showcases your talents and leaves a lasting impression on potential clients.
Fanette Rickert, food & product photographer

56. Developing a business mindset is an ongoing process.

Stay committed to personal and professional goals, polish your skills and strategies, and remember to play and experiment to sparkle your creativity. Don’t be afraid to say YES to projects that scare you and NO when your gut tells you to.
Kristina Smodila, food stylist & photographer


57. Use your senses to guide your style.

Mood boards are useful, but leave them aside and use your imagination to guide you. Would you eat that food? Would you drink that cocktail? What would make you drool? Use that to create your signature look.
Gabriel Cabrera, commercial photographer

58. Stay true to your creative vision while also adapting to market demands.

Invest time in building your portfolio and marketing your skills to prospective clients. Maintain a growth mindset, continuously learn, and seek inspiration from various sources. Be patient and persistent in your journey, as success in food and drink photography often comes to those who blend their artistic flair with strong business acumen.
Erika Rojas, food Photographer

59. Food Photography is a lonely job.

Many creators fall into the trap of comparison, which blocks their creativity, and they lose their passion. If you feel this way, I strongly advise you to meet other creators (photographers) in person and talk and shoot together for personal projects or help them as an assistant for their client shoots. This will help them find passion again.
Lucia Marecak, food photographer and educator

60. Stay true to yourself, and be inspired, but never copy.

We are all creative. We just have to harness our unique style.
Suze Morrison, food photographer, stylist & chef

61. Always prioritize inner work, working on your mindset.

I cannot stress enough how important it is to be able to persist, not give up, and actually succeed (whatever success means to you:) because that’s different for everybody).

The very first step – as cliche as it may sound – is BELIEVING in your skills, in what/who you can become. Results are a natural consequence. Believe in your uniqueness, trust your vision, and do what makes you feel alive.
Roberta Dall’Alba, photographer

62. Always go with your curiosity.

This is something I have been working on a lot lately. Don’t rush things. If you feel something would look better with an extra prop or different lighting, try it out and see how it looks. When you say to yourself, “What if I did this?” it is the time to experiment and see where it takes you. I often get a better result, making the whole creative process run more smoothly.
Nikki Astwood, food, beverage and product photographer

63. Don’t get too caught up in what other photographers are doing

Your work is unique, and there are space and client needs for everyone: creativity ebbs and flows. Make sure you give yourself the space you need to recharge your creativity from time to time.
Tanya Pilgrim, food & beverage photographer

64. When I am feeling stuck creatively, I love to take my camera and take photos of something totally different from food.

I like to shoot nature. I take my camera with me on a dog walk and just take photos of things I see on the way. It often sparks a new idea for me. 
Aimee Twigger, food photographer

65. This is a tough one, but don’t get too caught up in the numbers.

I found that one thing that hindered my creativity was creating for the sake of creating. I felt like I had to have something to post on Instagram, and it had to be something that would get likes. I found it was ruling what I created. Since I have decided not to worry about those things anymore, I feel like a weight has been lifted, and I feel so much more authentic when I do create.
Aimee Twigger, food photographer

4 Tips To Create a Killer Photography Portfolio

Uncover the secrets to an exceptional photography portfolio that will bring in trusted, high-quality clients and leave you confident AF.

Uncover the secrets to an exceptional photography portfolio that will bring in trusted, high-quality clients and leave you confident AF.

Uncover the secrets to an exceptional photography portfolio that will bring in trusted, high-quality clients and leave you confident AF.

I like to see the portfolio as a representation of the skills and style you have, which are there to not only show everyone your gorgeous photos but, most importantly, be the entry point for your clients to see whether you two are a great fit for each other.

Only if you look at it this way will you be able to get clients who will end up being happy about your work and who will keep returning to you for more and more photos.

In this article, I gathered 4 of my top tips to apply today so your portfolio starts shining and bringing in those wonderful clients.

So, let’s dive right in.

Become comfortable with uncomfortable

My students would often say they are stuck in a rut and don’t know how to step up their photography. And it’s always because they are afraid to do something differently.

Embracing discomfort in photography is what pushes you to grow as a creative. It’s a process, and because of that, it takes time, patience, and persistence. By continuously challenging yourself, you’ll not only improve your photography skills but also develop a unique style that sets your work apart from the rest.

Two exercises to practice being uncomfortable

  • Next time you schedule some time for a personal photoshoot, do some research beforehand. Ask yourself, which is the one area you want to be brilliant at? Is it a specific style of photography, the way you edit your photos, or a certain composition style…? Define it and find examples for inspiration. Then, do everything the same way as you would normally, except for that one thing you defined.
  • Keep a journal. Document everything you learned during a photo session that pushed you over your boundary. Write down everything from what you observed to what your feelings were.
Uncover the secrets to an exceptional photography portfolio that will bring in trusted, high-quality clients and leave you confident AF.

Get trusted feedback

Finding your mentor in the world of food photography can be a game-changer.

Seasoned professionals have an incredible amount of knowledge and insights, which makes it easier for you to determine what your focus should be and how you can create a portfolio that will talk to the kind of clients you want to be working with.

With the right guidance, you can refine your portfolio to perfection.

A great mentor offers constructive criticism, which is sometimes hard to hear. When I tell my students I’ll be brutally honest, they often get scared. But in the end, they are empowered to take action because they know exactly what to do.

So, don’t hesitate to seek out that guiding hand to improve your work and your photography portfolio. Your mentor can help you uncover nuances in your work that you might have missed.

Be extremely picky

It can be tempting to select photos we are personally fond of. And it’s hard to choose just a handful of images to display in your portfolio.

But the pickier you are, the more successful you will be at getting more clients and the type of clients you want to work with.

When choosing images for your portfolio, you need to consider these 3 things:

  • Is it the kind of work you want to be doing?
  • Are the photos showing your skills and versatility within your niche?
  • Do clients you want to be working with search for these types of photos?

If not, it’s a pass.

If yes, then you have to do the hard work narrowing down your selection so your portfolio is not overcrowded.

Uncover the secrets to an exceptional photography portfolio that will bring in trusted, high-quality clients and leave you confident AF.

Start and end strong

Think of your portfolio as a story. Every story has a banging beginning to captivate the reader or listener. Then it has a lovely narrative taking you through the story. In the end, it finishes with an unforgettable ending.

If you treat your photography portfolio the same way, you’ll have a much better chance for brands to actually check each image and see it as a part of a story.

Start with show-stopping photos, continue with your carefully selected photos, and then finish off with something unexpected and, again, show-stopping. 

Free Work Opportunities: How to Handle Them

As a creator, how do you handle the free work requests? Read further to see all the traps you need to avoid.

As a creator, how do you handle the free work requests? Read further to see all the traps you need to avoid.

If you are an Instagram influencer, content creator, or blogger, you’ve likely encountered situations where brands offer products in exchange for posts or content creation.

The debate over whether accepting these kinds of free work opportunities is okay is fierce. And I’ll leave the final judgment to you. Nevertheless, I want to share my thoughts on what situations is accepting ‘free work’ worth it and how to handle these non-paid opportunities so you can protect your work and keep it professional.

When is working in exchange for products okay?

As I said, it’s up to you to decide if merely having the product is worth it. But in my humble opinion, there are a few situations where unpaid work is acceptable:

  • When the work you do fits your brand
  • When the collaboration will be beneficial for your social media audience, blog readers, and so on
  • When having images with the product will help your portfolio become better and will attract more clients in the future.
  • When having this product or connection with the brand will help your career in a big way (and only a big way counts).
  • When the product you get is of a very high value, and you would purchase this or a similar product anyway. (In my experience, this is rarely the case!)

I can’t stress this enough, but even if you work in exchange for products, you still have to put effort, time, money, and creativity into your projects, so make sure that whatever deal you make, you gain something from that!

Setting the Stage for a Successful Collaboration

It has happened to all of us – a collaboration that left one or both sides of the party unsatisfied. I like to include some strategies:

  • Clear communication: Be sure to communicate in the greatest detail possible about how this will work. Don’t forget to talk about how many images/videos/reels/blog posts… You will produce, how you’ll include that product, and when exactly they are going out.
  • Product integration:  Clarify how the product will be integrated into your content, whether they will be mentioned or tagged, where, or even IF they can use the content you produced, and every little detail. 
  • Usage Rights: From the beginning, you need to let the brand know how the content you create can be used. Will you be the one sharing it? Can they share or repost it? Where can they use it, for how long, and whether they should credit you?
  • Logistics: Who will take care of shipping and import taxes or any other expenses that might arise?

To ensure the communication is clear and easy from the beginning, I created a pdf with clearly written how I work, what kinds of content I can produce in exchange for products, and how long after receiving the product I can post the content. Will you mention or tag them in the post and other vital information?  So they see that I’m serious and my work provides value! I have this PDF ready online and send a link to everyone who contacts me, so I don’t need to explain all these things repeatedly.

Upselling opportunity

Remember that even if you are in a situation where a brand asks you to work for a product, you have the chance to pitch paid work.

You can:

  • Say no to unpaid work and introduce your paid packages from the get-go.
  • Provide a part of the job for free and charge a fee for the rest. Let them know what you can do for free or how they can use the photos for free, and share your rates if they want extra work or an extra usage license from you.

Protect Your Free Work

We already talked that you should discuss the usage and every other important detail about the collaboration, but you should also write it.

A contract is necessary for every work you do, no matter if it is paid or not. You want to protect your work from being used in ways you do not agree with and get fair compensation for different uses.

Free work conclusions

Collaborating for products is work like any other, so you should treat it as such. It is essential to approach any work with professionalism and a business-oriented mind.

Clear communication, brand values, and guidelines are the foundation of navigating any business successfully.

To make sure these product exchange collaborations run smoothly, I advise you to let the brand know how you work and that you are obligated to protect your work while making sure both parties will be better off.

3 Strategies To Improve Your Client Pitching

Client pitching is absolutely necessary if you are an aspiring photographer looking to secure more gigs and expand your client base.

Client pitching is absolutely necessary if you are an aspiring photographer looking to secure more gigs and expand your client base.

The key to getting great photography clients is showcasing your skills and making a lasting impression on potential clients.

In this article, we are going to delve into three powerful ways to improve your pitching game and help you land those wanted photography gigs:

These strategies will help set yourself up for success in the competitive world of photography.

1. Be selective in your outreach

One of the most common mistakes photographers make is casting too wide a net when reaching out to potential clients.

Instead, shift your focus towards a more selective approach. Identify and reach out to the brands that resonate with your artistic vision and style. Clients are more likely to hire photographers who are genuinely interested in their brand and products because they will know you absolutely want the best for them. This not only demonstrates your commitment but also increases your chances of building long-term partnerships.

2. Present your creative vision through mood boards

As a visual creator, capturing a potential client’s attention requires more than just words. You can explain all you want about how you can help them, but most clients will have no idea how that translates to the actual photos. You need to visually convey your ideas.

A highly effective method is to create mood boards or vision boards. These boards provide a glimpse into your creative process and show how you envision their products in photos.

One of my absolute favorite ways to create mood boards is to use Pinterest to curate a selection of images for the mood board. Then create an on-brand simple mood board in Canva.

By giving a brand you are pitching a tangible representation of your concepts, you’re more likely to stand out and leave a memorable impression on potential clients.

What is more, they will know you wrote to them with a very clear idea to work with them in contrast to a ton of generic pitch emails they are most likely getting every day.

3. Craft a tailored portfolio

Your portfolio serves as your professional calling card, so it is crucial to tailor it to your target clients. 

Showcase a curated selection of photos, videos, or gifs that resonate with the specific brands you aspire to work with.

Consider the preferences and aesthetics of your ideal clients when selecting portfolio pieces.

Strive to include fewer images that reflect the style and values of those brands. This approach allows potential clients to envision your work aligning seamlessly with their vision.

Remember, it’s better to showcase a few exceptional pieces that truly resonate rather than flooding them with a page chock-full of unrelated photographs.

Securing photography gigs demands a combination of skills, strategy, and a personalized approach. Adopt these three strategies – targeted outreach, creative mood boards, and a tailored portfolio – and you’ll massively improve your chances of making a lasting impression on potential clients. 

Remember, it’s not just about the technical photography skills but also your ability to connect with brands and convey your artistic vision effectively.

As you implement these strategies, watch your photography gigs skyrocket and your brand thrive in the competitive photography industry.

5 Business Lessons I Learned On A Month-Long Vacation

Taking time off work can teach you valuable business lessons. In this article, I am sharing 5 things I learned over my four weeks away.

Taking time off work can teach you valuable business lessons. In this article, I am sharing 5 things I learned over my four weeks away.

This July, I spent a whole month in a beautiful spot in Slovenia with my family and friends. We go there every year. But this year was different. We spent an entire 29 days in a peaceful, relaxing spot in the mountains next to a lake.

But it not only ended up being a time to break away from every day, but also an incredible lesson for my personal and business life.

And these are the business lessons that I’ll be sharing with you today:

1. Good mental health is the foundation

Anxiety, stress, and feeling unmotivated. It is all affecting how we perform in our businesses. And it often comes from striving for more and end up surpassing our mental health abilities. This happened to me last year when an unforeseen amount of work landed on my shoulders, and I barely got out.

It got me thinking about how important mental health is in our personal lives and in all other areas, including business.

Taking a month-long vacation this year was a perfect decision for me at the stage of my business I am in. And I know not everyone can afford that. But simply anticipating when you will need some time off to reduce the stress in your life or in your business is crucial. And then, of course, claiming that time.

As a solopreneur, I am constantly present in my business. Even when I am not. Vacation is no exception. Your mind does what it does, and it can be super hard not to think about your business for an entire month. I should say impossible.

To minimize that, I involved myself in activities where I would forget about the rest of the world. It was a refreshing thing to do!

2. Happiness is now, not somewhere in the future

Every morning I woke up with a view of the beautiful high slopes of the surrounding Alps, and it simply made me happy. I was there in the moment, inhaling the fresh mountain air, enjoying every second of it.

And it got me thinking. Why are we often gazing into the future, forgetting that the moment that we should enjoy is right now?

And it gave me the perfect business lessons. Doing things you enjoy in a business is what will make a business owner continue going.

This whole thing inspired me to write a list of things I don’t like doing in my business and think about how to work around that. Is it hiring someone, pivoting my business so it doesn’t need that task, or something else?

I know we can’t always be happy and present (It just isn’t a real-life situation!). But be aware that we should focus on making our business and daily life match that as much as possible.

Who knows where we’ll be in a few years’ time? So why not enjoy this moment? Now.

3. You can’t always do everything yourself

Being in the mountains, we took a few hiking trips around the area. Walking with kids in the mountains in the summer’s heat requires many things in the backpack. Making the trips together with friends, we made sure to be pretty space-effective when it came to filling the backpacks. For example, we didn’t each bring out suncream, bug spray, or plasters,… We made sure only one brought it, which made our lives so much easier (and the backpacks so much lighter!).

If I relate this back to the business. It’s not always the best idea to do it all yourself.

Use the resources and connections to improve your and someone else’s business and less stressful. Borrow things, collaborate with colleagues, or hire help. And see what happens!

4. Never stop taking breaks

This vacation was super active. We were hiking, paddling, climbing, cycling, swimming… You name it; we did it.

And while I enjoyed all of these activities immensely, I also felt tired and didn’t feel like being active all the time. There were days when I would lie down all day, reading a book or taking super long naps. And I didn’t feel bad about it. If I relate back to my regular daily life, I almost never do that.

And it got me wondering, how is this different? Business forces you to be active and on standby all the time. What would happen if business owners simply took some time off and did nothing? Would the business fail? Probably not.

Taking time off not only makes your body relaxed and gives you the clarity and energy to continue going.

5. Be prepared for the unexpected

And unexpected it was.

During our last week of vacation, there were a couple of days of heavy rain, and a big chunk of the country was flooded. The area where we stayed was safe – flooded but safe. 

And so it was no longer a summer vacation. We had to pivot our activities to work in wet, cold weather (I can’t tell you how many times we came back from cycling soaking wet!). We had to change our plans for when we came home (To get to work.) to help our friends who were affected by the floods.

So the lesson learned here is that you can never be sure of something. Changes come when you least expect them in your everyday life and in your business. So it is essential to be mentally prepared that changes can happen, and they will. It can give you the mental capacity to deal with them easier when the changes come.

Taking time off work can teach you valuable business lessons. In this article, I am sharing 5 things I learned over my four weeks away.

I’ve been a photography business owner for four years now, and the business lessons I learned on my vacation this year really got me thinking. So hopefully, they made you think as well. Let me know in the comments!

7 ways to make money as a food photographer

Today I’m sharing 7 ways you can make money as a food photographer. So without further ado, here are the things you can do to make your money this year!

Today I'm sharing 7 ways you can make money as a food photographer. So without further ado, here are the things you can do to make your money this year!

Photography Gigs

As a food photographer, one of the main ways to earn money is through brand photoshoots. This includes taking photos of products for packaging, web usage, social media, and different types of prints. Brands in the food industry often need visually appealing images of their products to use in marketing.

Diversifying your skills in this area is super important. You could, for example, learn how to shoot for restaurants and bars in addition to food brands and have that extra skill up your sleeve.

This allows you to have more options and be prepared for any opportunities that may arise. For example, during the COVID-19 pandemic, the restaurant photography industry took a hit, so having the ability to diversify your skills can help to keep your business afloat.

Styling Gigs

Chances are that since you photograph food, you either do your own food styling or did at some point. Which means you could have the skills to take on styling gigs.

Food styling is used in many projects, from food advertising campaigns and cookbooks to TV shows and social media content.

Food styling often requires some tricks to make food look like the client wants it, so I recommend learning a bit about the tricks of the trade before delving into serious high-volume styling jobs.

Today I'm sharing 7 ways you can make money as a food photographer. So without further ado, here are the things you can do to make your money this year!

Content Creation

In addition to brand photoshoots, another way to earn money as a food photographer is through content creation. This includes creating visually appealing content for food brands to use on social media, websites, and other platforms. Video content is becoming increasingly popular, so having the skills to create food-related videos can open up new opportunities and streams of income.

Licencing & Stock Photos

Selling your food photography as stock images is another way to earn money. While the stock photo market can be competitive, it can be a nice source of extra income. You can upload your existing images to stock photography websites and earn money from people using them. However, it’s important to research which types of photos are in high demand and to carefully read the terms and conditions of each website before uploading your images.

Note: If you want to earn real money with stock photography, you will most likely need to solely dedicate all your time to this type of work.

Selling your photos on stock websites is one form of licensing. However, you may already get inquiries from brands to use your images. In that case, you can license them directly and get paid better than through stock agencies.

Today I'm sharing 7 ways you can make money as a food photographer. So without further ado, here are the things you can do to make your money this year!


Another option is selling prints of your photos. While this does require additional work and cost for printing and shipping, platforms like Pixieset can help make this process easier. Many people have shown interest in buying prints of my photographs, so this can be a viable way to earn extra income.

Today I'm sharing 7 ways you can make money as a food photographer. So without further ado, here are the things you can do to make your money this year!

Affiliates and Ads

Another way to earn passive income is through affiliates and ads. This can include placing targeted ads on your website or blog or joining affiliate programs with brands you love and would be proud to recommend to your audience. Honesty is key here!

You can see how I use affiliate links in this article here.

Sponsored Posts

Another way to make money as a food photographer is to work on sponsored posts with brands your online audience would be interested in. This can include reaching out to brands and working on sponsored posts on your channels, such as your blog, YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, email, and TikTok.

Education Lastly, another way to earn money is through education. Suppose you have a talent or knowledge that you can share with others. In that case, the online education industry can be a great opportunity. This can include creating courses, workshops, mentoring, ebooks, and memberships.

Today I'm sharing 7 ways you can make money as a food photographer. So without further ado, here are the things you can do to make your money this year!


When figuring out how you will earn money this year, I recommend focusing on your main type of work. For me, currently, that’s brands, and these are my primary focus. Everything else is extra, and I don’t want it to take too much time. So if the time required doesn’t justify the income, it’s not worth it.

Once you have identified your main type of work, you can go backward. Think of brands you want to work with and then reverse-engineer your way to your daily schedule. What tasks do you need to do quarterly, monthly, and daily to get to the type of job you want to work on?

Remember, the key is to diversify and always be open to new possibilities. In this way, you will be prepared to face any challenge that comes your way!

Food Styling, Photography & Business Retreat

How to build an email list as a creative or a food photographer

I had an open discussion about the future of social media with a colleague last week. It got us thinking about all the different platforms out there and how much energy it takes to constantly create new content without ever being sure that the right people will see it.

And we both agreed that there is one platform (not usually called social, but in a way, it is just that!), and that’s our emails.

You should start and build your email list no matter what you do. If you are a content creator or food photographer then this is for you.

Building an email list allows you to reach people genuinely interested in what you have to say and offer. If you post on Instagram (or any other platform), only a tiny percentage of your followers will see your post. But when you have an email list, in theory, all of your email community members should get your email. I’m saying this because deliverability is usually not 100%, but still, a number close to that.

You can see the big difference between an Instagram post and an email reach.

The people who get on your email list are there because they took the time to type in their name and email address, which takes much more time and effort than most people will give you on Instagram, TikTok, or any other social media platform. Which is why you will know that these are your people. And it is much easier and often more rewarding to speak to them than to write a post on Instagram. It feels more personal and will also be for our subscribers.

And that’s what we want to build our engaged communities.

Does this mean you don’t need social media and should only focus on email?

Definitely not. Social media gives you exposure to new people who would otherwise have a harder time finding you AND GETTING ON YOUR EMAIL LIST. Both of these together can be magical. So let’s see how you can leverage your current audience to build an email list.

How can you start an email list?

Simply put, an email list is only a list of email addresses you own (unlike your social media followers). 

Everything you need to gather emails is a landing page or a form on your website, which is why email newsletter providers are super handy, and they let you send emails to all your subscribers at once.

Besides, you need to incentivize people to subscribe to your email. A promise of what they get – an opt-in. This could be a PDF, an ebook, exclusive content, free courses and webinars, checklists, guides, and whatnot. Get creative with what you have to offer.

I’ve been using ConvertKit for three years now, and I love how simple it is to use and how time-saving all the automation features are. I can’t recommend it enough.

You should start and build your email list no matter what you do. If you are a content creator or food photographer then this is for you.

How can you grow your email list?

I’ve been building my email list since I started my blog in 2015, and it took a lot of work before I realized how to do it properly.

Unfortunately, once you’ve created an email list, you can leave it there. Instead, you need to find ways for people to see it.

Here are a few ways you can market your opt-in:

  • Adding forms to relevant posts and other places on your blog 
  • Sharing the landing page link to Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube… or any other platform you are using and do so regularly, not just once
  • Add the link in your bio on Instagram and your description on Pinterest.
  • Share it on Facebook groups when relevant.
  • Ask people you speak online and feel would benefit from your opt-in if you can send them the link (You won’t believe how effective that is!)
  • Be creative and constantly search for new places to share your opt-in!
You should start and build your email list no matter what you do. If you are a content creator or food photographer then this is for you.

What to include in your newsletters?

People sign up for your newsletter to not miss anything new you create. So share your latest blog posts, Youtube videos, podcasts, or any content you create. Let them know you have something new.

The good thing is that you can include whatever you are already sharing on social media. Not everyone sees those posts (as we already discussed!), and they definitely want to make sure to see them, so repurpose your Instagram content, especially when it resonates with your IG audience. That’s content your email community will want to see.

An email is also a place where you can be more personal, share stories you don’t share with others, and let your community be a little closer to you.

You can also tell them about your new books, courses, workshops, or whatever you offer that your community will find helpful.

ConvertKit also offers a paid newsletter, which is super helpful when you want to add even more content to your fans and have it delivered straight into their inboxes.

It’s easy for bloggers and educators to share an opt-in. But what if you’re a food photographer?

You can still have an email list even if your audience is food brands, restaurants, and other food-related businesses.

You will also need a very useful opt-in that will help their business and is somewhat related to food photography.

Those are businesses, so make sure to respect their time. It’s enough to send a newsletter to brands only a few times a year. Just enough to keep your name on top of mind in case they need a photographer and not think of you as spammy.

If this is you, I’m giving you a task today.

Think of three topics you can write to your food brand email list. What would they benefit from? What do you have to offer? Do you provide a new service, and how does it help brands? Can you share a photoshoot story to build authority or a behind-the-scenes that they’d enjoy? Or anything else they’d benefit from!

I hope this was helpful!

I’d love to hear your thoughts or worries about building an email list. Let me know in the comments!

And if you’re searching for a great newsletter provider, I can’t recommend ConvertKit enough. I moved from Mailchimp to ConvertKit three years ago, and it was such an easy move and an enjoyable experience to use the app. That said, choosing which provider is not as important as starting your email list today!


This article includes affiliate links, meaning I get a small commission if you purchase through the links provided on this page. Note that I only recommend products I love and enjoy, regardless of whether I get a commission!