It’s been over a year since I started working for Waitr. First as a contractor, now as a full-time employee. Back in school we had a couple food photography assignments, but I never thought I was going to be pursuing it as a career. Maybe as a side-gig, I had done a couple professionally prior to Waitr. Gotta accept what work you can get as a photographer around here.
But here I am, a full-time food photographer. And it’s a blast.
The shoots themselves are a bit different than your typical food photoshoots though, with the goal being to photograph a restaurant’s entire menu. Which requires going through the shots at a breakneck speed; I think the most I’ve done is 110 different items in about four hours. I worked with a food stylist recently where we did fourteen in three hours. And I’m pretty sure that was quick for her.
While I don’t have the the time to individually style and setup every shot differently, the sheer volume of work I do has allowed me to photograph all sorts of different foods and attempt different styles over time. I’ve gotten pretty good at getting to a restaurant, setting up, and pretty quickly figuring how best to photograph their food.
Classier restaurants maybe get more dramatic lighting, fewer props and more elegant styling. Southern comfort food gets a more at-home vibe, reminiscent of sitting at a kitchen table with light shining through the window. Healthy food looks good shot on white to really emphasise that cleanliness.
While it has it’s stressful moments, as any job does, I’m glad to be doing something that has me out and about doing what I love. Food photography might not have been what I envisioned when I wanted to become a photographer, but that seems to be how life works out and I’ve come to love it.