Startup guide for aspiring Food Photographer
Food photography, a type of still life photography, is one of the most challenging kinds of photography. Unlike portrait photography or fashion photography, the subject in food photography is food. And herein lies the challenge – to spark an emotional connect with the onlooker through the image of an inanimate object. Photographing food is a complex and layered process that is carried out in a controlled environment, and requires patience, technical skills, and a keen eye for aesthetics. The photographer must typically take a number of decisions on the spot – choosing the correct angle, the right lighting, bringing in lines and layered effects – aimed at making food appear tantalizingly fresh and appetizing.
For those who wish to professionally take up food photography, the good news is that being a relatively new profession in India, there are opportunities aplenty. What’s more, this is a highly creative field and extremely lucrative, once you gain a foothold. Before moving on to the list of institutes in India where you can enroll to pick up the fundamentals of food photography, it is imperative to take a look at the seven factors to consider when deciding on an institute.
- Duration of the food photography course: Are you up for a 2-year course? Or would you rather sign up for a 3-month programme?
- Faculty for the food photography course: Are they experienced? Are they well-known?
- Involvement of a food stylist: Of course you’d want to know the difference between food styling and food photography and only a stylist could tell you at length.
- Preparing one’s own food portfolio: Always better to go for an institute that gives learners this option.
- Practical classes: No course in photography can ever be deemed complete without involving practical lessons.
- Availability of a studio, equipment, & other facilities: Good institutes will usually have the requisite technical paraphernalia and facilities.
- Availability of customized, one-on-one classes: Every individual learns differently. You may, at some point, wish for at least one or two personal training classes.
Institutes of repute for learning food photography in India:
- School of Photography, Delhi: They offer a 3-month course in food photography, covering a gamut of aspects from the basics of photography to photo editing.
Visit https://www.schoolofphotography.co.in/adv-certification-food-photography/ to know more.
- Flux School of Arts, Bangalore: They offer a professional food photography course with a duration of 6 months. They also have weekend, one-on-one classes on photography that are tailor-made to your learning requirements.
Visit https://www.thefluxproject.com/food-photography-courses-in-bangalore/ to know more.
- Udaan School of Photography, Mumbai: As of 23 September 2020, the website and phone number are not operational. Udaan offered a diploma course in commercial photography with food photography as one of the modules.
- Light and Life Academy, Ooty: They offer a 1-year PG diploma course in professional photography, in which you may opt for specialization in food photography.
- Shari Academy, Mumbai: They offer a comprehensive 2-year diploma programme in professional photography & digital imaging, of which food photography is a part. Practical lessons often involve a professional food stylist who assists the students.
- National Institute of Photography, Mumbai: They offer a 6-month diploma course in tabletop photography, in which food photography is taught alongside other types of still life photography.
Visit http://www.focusnip.com/tabletop-photography.html to find out more.
- Delhi School of Photography, Delhi: They have a 1-month course on food photography. This mostly practical course involves a mix of teacher-guided learning and self-learning. But students should know how to operate a DSLR Camera in manual mode.
Go to https://delhischoolofphotography.in/index.php/courses/detail/food_photography to know more.
- Darter Photography Workshops, Delhi/NCR: A 1-day food styling and photography workshop that acquaints the learner with the elementary aspects of food photography and styling. The workshop presently stands suspended.
- Bharati Vidyapeeth’s School of Photography, Pune: They offer a full-time, 3-year B.A. in Commercial Photography, in which food photography is part of the curriculum. Practical lessons are conducted with the help of a food stylist. Further, students can prepare their portfolio on food if they like.
Visit http://www.bvsp.edu.in/course/photography/ to know more.
- Pixel Institute of Photography, Delhi: They offer a 1-year professional course in photography, in which the student is made to learn all types of photography including food, fashion, product, and events.
Go to https://www.pixelphotography.info/course/1-year-course/ to learn more.
- Light Academy of Photography, Navi Mumbai: They offer a 2-month (weekend) course in food photography. Classes are conducted on Saturdays (half day) and Sundays (full day).
Go to http://www.lapairoli.com/ to learn more.
- FX School, Mumbai: They offer a 15-month Advanced Certificate course in which one of the modules includes food photography. Practical lessons are imparted in which students can bring their own food and learn how it is shot.
Visit https://fxschool.in/welcome/newbatchphoto/ to learn more.
It is important to note that many of the aforementioned institutes do not have dedicated food photography courses; the student is given a broad understanding of all types of photography, including food. This essentially means that earning a certificate is only a stepping stone, and that food photography – like all other forms of craft – can only be perfected following years of rigorous practice and self-learning. While the importance of imbibing knowledge from the experts cannot be overstated, there are plenty of things you’ll learn on the job. And sure enough, you’ll soon begin reaping the rich benefits of experience.
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