My free checklist will help you get organized so you can finally run a smooth food photography shoot!
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I have been taking pictures for most of my adult life. But honestly, for the longest time I was just taking average (even bad) pictures, using auto mode. I was too scared to get started. All the vocabulary and technical aspects were just too overwhelming. If you are reading this, you know what I am talking about.
I’ve since learned a lot about photography in general, and food photography in particular. I found most of the information online. There has never been a time where the resources have been so readily available and abundant. And yes, it might just be the problem: the food photography classes are too abundant and you just don’t know where to start. So I thought I would share with you my favorite resources, from the basic photography classes to the professional level food photography and business of photography classes.
Before you dig into the fascinating (and mouth-watering) world of food photography, you need to get the basics straight. A great place to find classes that will demystify your camera settings (and finally uncover all the amazing possibilities of shooting in manual mode) is Skillshare. This is where I started learning my photography skills.
They have so many great videos, on topics ranging from photography to design, business, crafts, marketing, and more. Besides the fact that they have classes on just about anything, they also have a great app. There, you can download your classes and watch them offline.
For around $10 a month, you can get access to thousands of Skillshare classes. Each class has a project so you can put apply your skills and share your work with members around the world.
The classes range from 20 minutes to several hours, so you can always find a video that fits your schedule.
Before I started my photography business a few years ago, I worked 3 days a week as a e-commerce specialist and social media manager for a small startup. The other 2 days (and most of my weekends and evenings), I spent my time watching live classes from CreativeLive. Every day, CreativeLive records classes in their Seattle studio and broadcasts the live classes while they do so. They have a variety of topics about photography, video, marketing, business, art & design, and music.
Their classes are a little more specific. The very cool thing about them is that you can ask questions directly through the live chat since they are broadcasted live. Once the broadcast is over and recorded, you can purchase the class and watch it at your own pace. Most of what I know about product photography and artificial lighting I learned on CreativeLive. I cannot recommend Don Gianatti’s class on product photography enough! I’m also a big fan of all of Mark Wallace’s materials. Whether you want to become a landscape, fine art, wedding, portrait or commercial photographer, there is a class for you.
Rachel from TwoLovesStudio is one of my favorite photographers and the creator of (in my opinion) the best food photography classes. A lot changed for me after I discovered her materials. I’d watched a lot of classes on food photography, but many of them were quite basic and geared towards food bloggers, not photographers. Rachel’s e-book, the Art of Light, is the most inspiring book I have ever read about “seeing the light” in photography. Do yourself a favor: go and get a copy right now. I’ve also taken 2 online classes by her: Composition Essentials and Lightroom Masterclass. They are both the most complete and in depth classes in their respective fields.
Each of them comes with detailed cheat sheets and homework to keep you engaged and practicing. She keeps private facebook groups reserved for her students where she reviews work and answers questions. She even reviews some of the homework assigned in the classes and gives individual feedback. Best of all, she is constantly adding new materials and sharing live sessions.
in 2018, Rachel announced that she was offering a free 6 months mentorship and I was selected alongside my co-mentee Martin Willmann. I got regular calls and emails with her and we worked on topics such as finding your style, creating an engaging and cohesive portfolio, finding and approaching clients, etc. She was (and is) an amazing mentor. I am unbelievably grateful to be able to learn directly from her.
Dani Meyer from The Adventure Bite, is putting together an amazing amount of content on the business of food photography and food blogging. Besides her introductions to DSLR cameras, Lightroom, and Photoshop Basics, she has classes on mastering the sales process, the Food Blogger Funnel, and her amazing Food Blogger Academy, which will teach you everything you need to know from how to dial in your mindset, to branding and systems & workflows.
All her classes come with access to her Facebook group Food Blogger Entrepreneurs Academy, where she personally answers questions and gives feedback. It also includes a weekly Q & A session. If you want the top of the top, you can sign up for Food Blogger Insiders, her coaching program. You’ll have direct access to her through Voxer and as well as a weekly coaching session. I was a part of the beta testing group, and I can tell you that this is worth every penny. The wealth of knowledge that Dani shares and the accountability she holds me to has done wonders to get my business to the next level.
There are so many great resources out there! I couldn’t possibly give them all the space they deserve in one blog post. But before you go, here are a few other resources I wanted to be sure I mentioned:
One of my absolute favorite food photographers. She shares her beautiful work on Instagram and on her website, along with some recipes and tutorials. She also shares some great behind-the-scenes info on IG Stories about her creative process and how she “builds” (literally) her photos. It is fascinating and I always learn something new. She regularly hosts great challenges, too. She also gives some in-person workshops, which are very often sold out. That should tell you something!
Joanie Simon is another incredible food photographer. On her YouTube channel she shares great videos about Lighting, Gear, Food Styling, etc. I always learn new things and her personality is awesome and very fun. You can also follow her on Instagram, her stories and IGTV are great resources. When I released my ebook, The Upwork Playbook, I was honored to join her for a live video and she was just amazing.
There are, of course, a lot of other resources out there, but there is also a limited (very limited) number of hours in a day. So I try to stick to the resources I listed here for now. They have enough content to keep me busy for the next 10 years! What are your favorite classes and go-to online resources?