Everyone is a Photographer until they find the ‘manual’ mode.

You’re out at a fancy dinner and really impressed with the dish you’ve just been served. What do you do? You pull out your phone, and ‘CLICK!’ You take an amazing photo of your meal, add a filter and post it to Instagram with the hashtag #PhotoOfTheDay –  you get many views.

Do you know that there is a working photographer out there that follows #PhotoOfThe Day’, and has viewed your photo and already thought of 20 different ways of improving it? They can’t help it—with their experience and training—it comes naturally. Using a professional food photographer and stylist may be costly. But it may be just the service you need…

“Technology doesn’t change the way photography is, It just makes it available to more people, which means there’s going to be much more really terrible pictures taken…” – Van Sickle

Now there is nothing wrong with the authenticity of a ‘dinner’ shot and there are talented ‘iphonographers’ out there. There is also a time and place for these images, such as candid social media content. But not, in our opinion the best option for ad campaigns, books, billboards, e-commerce and the like.

There is a real ‘art’ to taking the desired photo — whether it be a bag, clothing or a styled meal for a menu — an art that has been devalued when every person in the world has been given the tool in the form of a camera phone.

Recently we sat down with Gary Matodes, Managing Director and Photographer from Bolder Creative and  Kai Ellmann a food stylist for over 20 years to find out why it is beneficial to use professionals for photography and food styling.  We then had a couple of questions for these two… 

What are the benefits of using a professional food stylist?

  • A food stylist will write the recipe if needed and source all the ingredients for the shoot.
  • Part of the job can also be sourcing, hiring or supplying the correct props.
  • Having food professionally styled will achieve showcasing your products at their most appetising with enormous crave-ability in a setting that is in trend and best suited for the occasion.
  • A food stylist has the tools and techniques to make any food look fresh, colourful and delectable as well as giving the food a natural fresh appearance.
  • The camera sees food very differently, a food stylist understands at what angle the food needs to be placed and has the knowledge to give it the edge by making it look irresistibly appetising.
  • Also, food stylists have the skill to choose the correct coloured, textured backgrounds and props to make not only the food shine but create a look and feel that completes the entire scene to stimulates the senses.
Poached egg with Salmon and Avo on Sour Bread - food photography
Poached egg with Salmon and Avo on Sourdough

Shot by: Gary Matodes. Styled by: Kai Ellmann


What are the benefits of using a professional food photographer?

  • A professional food photographer knows his equipment and can manipulate the camera and lighting to achieve a unique result. The manual mode mentioned in the title of this blog. We then have more creative control!
  • At Bolder Creative, we’ve been taking photos of food for quite a while. So like any other professional in the field, we have tricks and techniques to ensure your food will look its most appetising in the final image.
  • The final image of your food will be of high quality. Great imagery sells – you’d want to make sure the imagery you use for your marketing or product is of professional quality.
  • If there is a bigger team on the project, the photographer will also be able to art direct the shoot, ensuring the image is on brief and the brand is maintained.


Slow-cooked pulled beef and dark ale pie - food photography
Slow-cooked pulled beef and dark ale pie

Shot by: Gary Matodes. Styled by: Kai Ellmann


Yes, anyone can take a snap of their food at a restaurant, and everybody now has the means. There are also many apps to edit and make your shot look ‘cool’. But maybe you’re thinking that your images don’t quite represent your business, product or brand well enough.  Maybe there’s an element missing and you can’t quite figure it out.

Give a professional a go – they’ll know straight away how to create an image that works for you.

There are many of our images currently being used on products or in magazines, books and billboards. All serving their purpose – selling your product or recipe to the consumer. You can have a look at some of our previous work here.

We’re always prepared to have a chat about any of your food photography projects or even if you’d like to investigate further  –  get in touch today.

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