Food Photography Cost

Factors Affecting Food Photography Cost


Factors Affecting Food Photography Cost

Factors affecting food photography cost. Over the years, I’ve had to have more than a hundred calls asking how much I’ve calculated for my food photography. Whenever I have to explain that it is impossible to quote the price by phone without a fairly extensive interview process.

To make an accurate forecast, I need to understand exactly what customers expect. I understand that people on the phone usually just “feel me out” to get an “idea” fee, but the prices can vary so much, I still need to know “about” what they are looking for. Let me explain to you some variables that can affect the cost of food photography.

Food Photography Cost
Food Photography Cost

Time is money

Like any profession, food photographers basically demand time.  Some photographers also charge for “use,” but we’ll discuss them later. The more time a photographer spends on a project, the more he has to charge.

“Day Rate” is a common way food photographers wear it for their time. Some shooters had “half-day prices,” but I didn’t because I never had a food shoot, it only took half a day. It just doesn’t happen. So the big question is how many food photographers can be ready on a normal day of filming? Well, it depends on the following topics.

Complexity of shooting

I took twenty pictures of food in one day and then there is a day where I can only take a picture. The complexity of the recordings usually determines how many recordings we can make in one day. I will list only three variables that affect the complexity of food images, but there are others.
Number of foods in shots

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Shooting a variety of foods in one shot is a more time consuming to shoot food. If you take photos of many different foods, the composition becomes more complicated and will take time to train.

Lighting is another problem that becomes more complicated with multiple elements in a photo. I use mirrors and some lights to create feelings and textures that make food sad. The more food, the longer the lighting will be perfect.

You can understand why two-course photography takes longer than an image of one. If you want to shoot twenty foods in one shot, it may not take twenty times as long as it will shoot an item, but it will take longer than just shooting one item.


If you’re completely new to food photography, you can’t see or not that the photographer isn’t preparing food. This is usually the work of a food stylist or, in some cases, a chef. However, the preparation of food takes time and different foods require different times. For example, it takes less time to prepare a salad than to cook a turkey. Cooking time and preparation of different foods influence how many shots can be made in a day and should be taken into account.


I’ve found that there are basically two types of photos that most food photographer customers need.  A type of shot is called a “parsed” shot. The footage described was described as something with the intention of “cutting” and being placed in a different background. Normally I like to take photos like this against a grey background. This type of photo is usually quite quick to shoot because of its simplicity.

Another type of shot is what I call the “neighborhood” of shots. Food photographers can take pictures on-site to take advantage of the existing environment or to photograph in the studio and create their own environment.

Going to a site is optional, but packaging and moving take time. Further location, takes more time and sometimes requires travel expenses such as airfares, accommodation, and hotels. Travel expenses are usually calculated on 1/2 fares.

Creating an environment in the studio is what I usually like to do. I have a lot of props and backgrounds to choose from, so come with just the right “look”, usually no role. Create a more time-consuming environment that shoots only on a gray background. Composing photos so that “beautiful” takes time, sometimes a lot of time. The more complex the environment, the longer the recordings will take, and, as I said, time is money.

Firing multiple shots in the same environment takes less time to shoot the same number of shots in different environments. The change in background and props created all the new challenges that food photographers face. So if a customer wants to fire a few shots, it takes less time and therefore costs less money to shoot in the same environment than with different backgrounds and different props.

Number of food images required

Of course, food photographers need to know how many shots are needed to make an estimate. It sounds obvious, but I can’t tell you how many times someone is called and doesn’t know the answer to that question … Since I charge “from day to day”, there may be times when there are no additional prizes to shoot “another shot” as it fills the day in the end.


Some tasks can be performed before the actual shooting date, but still, have to be included in the shooting prices.  Assistants or stylists can shorten the shooting day, but still, have to be paid for their work.

Cooking – Some of the dishes were best cooked the day before. It doesn’t make sense for food photographers to sit around and wait for the turkey to cook when it looks just as good when it’s cooked the day before. Of course, this doesn’t work for all foods, but for many it does.

Props and grocery shopping – If a particular prop is an important backdrop for a shot, then it must be preserved before shooting, but it still needs to be considered when it comes to food shooting prices.

Food costs – Some customers provide their own food for photoshoots, others don’t. The actual cost of food pictures can face hundreds of dollars, so it is important to take that into account.

Kit – I already have a photoshoot where I have to build a set the day before the shooting, so there’s an extra effort than a day when we actually take pictures.

After the payout

Returns – To save money, it can be a good idea to rent a specific prop or background. If we do this, we must return the goods and someone must be paid for the service.

Retouching – Depending on the type of photo, I need to retouch. Some retouching is easy for photographers to do between shots, but there are occasions when a wider retouching is required and news that professional retouching needs to be done. This doesn’t happen often, but it can increase the cost of filming.

Do we need a food stylist?

This is probably the biggest variable when trying to determine the price of photographing food photography. Stylists are expensive and usually work every penny. Stylists are not always necessary, but maybe 95% of the shoots I do are with the help of a stylist. If you come out of a restaurant and have a chef who can fit the bill, then it will save you a lot of money, but usually, the chef is more about the “taste” of the food to do well and not know all the little tricks that make the food “look” good.

Craft services

It is a term from the film industry and refers to food and snacks that are found on filming. It doesn’t sound like it’s adding a lot of money, but I’ve done a few days of filming where the cost of croft service has exceeded 500.00. There is nothing to shine about.


Props and background materials are typically calculated in addition to the normal daily rates. Some of these items are plates, table surfaces, walls, flat equipment, towels, salt and paper shaking, cutting boards, and everything else that may appear in the recording.

Location costs

If a job requires us to shoot in a specific location, costs or costs may be associated with that location. We may need to rent a house or shoot down a restaurant-dining room. It can cost you to do something like this.


Some photographers charge “studio rent” for studio recordings. I’m not.

Some photographers want to charge extra, in addition to the time, it takes to shoot your work. These fees are called “usage” and are based on how you want to use photos and for how long. This type of charging is very popular among “big cities” photographers living in a market that charges these costs. And an example can be a few thousand dollars for “one-year use of billboards”. I give my customers “unlimited use”.

Regional differences in the cost of food photography

I work in Pittsburgh, PA, and don’t load as much as a food photographer from NY or Chicago. I spend less and can save my customers, but if you want to hire someone from a larger city, you can say that the price food photographers will charge will be higher than the size of the city of Pittsburgh.

So you can see the food photographer needs to know many details before he can give you a price. If you ask for a “daily rate” and try to base your budget on this number, you are far from the finite cost. Even comparing daily rates can be confusing. Some photographers manipulate or mark spending on makeup at a lower daily rate. Perhaps the best way to get the cost of proper food photography is to incorporate a lot of thoughts into what you really need, and then have a long discussion with the work of food photographers that you really admire. The numbers are finally too high, try it with other photographers and compare them. Anyway, you have to spend time.

I know this doesn’t really answer the question “how much food photography costs,” but at least it gives you an idea of what’s inside comes at a price. If you know this, you will be better prepared if you are looking for predictions.

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