Packaging photography is a small niche market for professional photographers, like myself, specialing in food photography; it’s actually a very technical type of photography, which demands great mastery of studio lighting and extensive computer skills.
When it comes to product photography, and especially when the images are for the actual package that ends up on the shelves of supermarkets, retouching is also quite intense and it can be complicated – so here is a piece of advice for the aspiring food photographer: quote separately for your photography services and for retouching; and if you just don’t have that set of skills, use the services of a professional retouching studio – they exist for a reason.
Another very important thing, to keep in mind at all times, when photographing a range of products for a client, is to be consistent; the images you take might be used on the web, perhaps for an online store gallery, or might be composed together for the site’s homepage slider, and might as well be published on a brochure or booklet, for internal or external use.
So make the food the main feature of your shots, cropping nice and tight to reveal the beautiful texture’s details, use a tripod and mark both the position of the tripod and of the food items on the background surface, set the lighting and keep it consistent for all the shots. When you edit the images, try to edit in a batch.
After the job is completed, present the client with a contact sheet of the original images and a couple of retouched images; get feedback and proceed to edit the selected images as per the brief.
Dario Milano is a professional food photographer and food stylist, based in Sydney and servicing predominantly advertising and commercial clients, restaurants and the food packaging industry.
He also teaches regular food photography and food styling workshop in Sydney, as well as in Melbourne and Brisbane.
To get in contact, email firstname.lastname@example.org