Do you dream of collaborating on a cookbook? Is this your ultimate dream as a food photographer? I hereby share with you 3 tips that can make sure your photos can end up in a cookbook.
How did I get my first assignment to shoot for a book?
The very first time some of the photos appeared in some cookbooks was through a client who made cookbooks.
It was actually a collection site full of recipes, also with other photos by others.
In 3 books of theirs, about 4 photos of mine appeared in each book. And proud I was, I had started food photography for 1 year at that time.
The 2nd time I was approached by someone from Instagram. She followed me and was enthusiastic about my photos. I posted very actively in those days (now also but a little less often). After a conversation I was allowed to make photos for her cookbook, also portrait photos and photos with products.
Another cookbook that I was allowed to work on is the cookbook of Omroep Max, and this went through a publisher. These were for TV chefs Sandra IJsbrandy and Chef Toub.
I had connections here because I made photos for TV chefs like Rudolph van Veen, Pascale Naessens, Pieter Kok. And so it happened.
More cookbooks and publications in magazines followed after this.
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3 Tips on how you can get a shoot for a cookbook
1. Make sure you post enough content on Instagram.
Make sure you post enough content on Instagram. Be present, be consistent. That means, for example, always posting 4 times a week.
In the beginning I posted 7 days a week, sometimes more often, and back then you had no stories, no reels. I used the time my kids were awake at 0500 am to post content on Instagram. (Yea really, and I have 3 kids there. LOL.)
Clients often find me through Instagram. And that can include clients who are looking for a photographer for their cookbook.
Be intentional about which hashtags you use.
And yes, sometimes it takes a long time. But in the end, with hard work, it gets rewarded.
I made this book together with my team member Renske van Buuren. She did the cooking and preparing the dishes.
I used a lot of my own photography backdrops from Myluciebackdrops.
I also took the portrait photos from the chefs.
2. Reach out!
If you don’t approach people they don’t know you exist either.
Yes but you think, I try really hard on Instagram, social media channels, I write blog posts, and still those customers don’t come to me.
But there are also many with you. The food photography industry has grown in recent years and there are more and more food photographers and food stylists.
Who can you write to?
Think who would like to make a book.
Food bloggers, chefs, restaurants, TV chefs, winners of famous cooking shows….once you start this you will discover many potential customers.
3. Approach publishers
Take a look at what cookbooks you often have in your hands and what publisher it is.
Send them an email, pick up the phone. Reach out.
But, be aware of exactly what you write in your email.
Make it personal but also not a very long mail.
Don’t get a message back? Pick up the phone. Scary? Oh yes. But what have you got to lose? Nothing.
Maybe they’ll say no. That’s it. Onwards and upwards.
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Do you want to see your photos in a magazine?
My photographs are still appearing in various magazines in the Netherlands and abroad at this time. With food, garden or interior productions.
How do you do this then you might ask?
Well, I’ll tell you all about that in my “Online Photography & Business coaching” that will start again soon.
In this program, we dive into depth.
Because how can you attract customers like a magnet, how do you determine rates?
You are just starting out as a photographer.
You dream of seeing your own work in magazines or collaborating on a cookbook. You want all your clients to come to you effortlessly.
Sounds complex? Don’t worry, I’m here to help you get on your way into the photography business with my Photography Business coaching program.
And sometimes you hear that little voice in your head, where you compare yourself to other photographers. “They’ve already done much more than I’ve done and look, their work is in a magazine again!”.
And I can tell you; I am still sooo happy every time my work appears in a magazine.
Now my clients come to me. But it takes time and a lot of experience.
I'm an open book
I share with you all my experiences in this program. I am an open book.
We go LIVE every week and you get access to an online communion with the other students.
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After this program you felt more powerful, have more clients and therefore more sales.