"How many photos do I get?"
The shoot is scheduled for two hours. You may include as many items as you can prepare in that time. Be aware that each series of photos may take up to ten minutes. Typically, the last item should be ready within the last 15 minutes of the scheduled time.
"How should I prepare my items?"
Make your food as close to the recipe as possible. The food is meant to look as if your guest is seeing it as it would be presented. Avoid cracks or chips in plates and bowls. Try to avoid paper plates, foam, and plastic clam boxes. If that is not possible, then consider making multiple plates of the same item to communicate volume and consistency.
"Some of my items are frozen."
Frozen items like ice cream, cakes, smoothies, or desserts cannot sit out for too long. Saving frozen items until the end of the shoot is best. It is absolutely critical to inform the photographer that you intend to show a frozen item. Only when the photographer is ready, should you prepare a frozen item.
"What is food styling?"
Think of it as makeup for food. It can be simply rearranging lettuce all the way to making meat look more brown. Most food styling is done to make the item look more appealing or correct a cruel fact of physics. There is a risk that some types of styling will render the food inedible.
"Does that include glassware, silverware, and other accessories?"
Any extra material to complement the item should be available at the restaurant. The photographer will have a styling kit. It has tools to improve the look of most foods. Glassware, flatware, bowls, utensils, and other large items are not provided. You are welcome to bring anything with you, but subtlety is best. The item in the photo is the priority. A distracting drink or harsh pattern can easily take emphasis away from the food.
"Will the shoot interfere with business?"
Choosing the right time to take photos is the best way to control interference. Some places are more intimate with a few tables. The space needed to take a variety of poses per item varies, but average space needs are not much larger than two booths. Should you decide to want photos of items as they are ordered, bear in mind that you may want a secluded area in the back of the house away from guests.
"What kind of editing is included?"
Photos will be edited to improve color, remove unnatural blemishes, enhance framing, and sharpen edges. Your logo will appear in the image at the lower right.
"What if I don't have a restaurant?"
Many businesses travel or work from home. Maybe you cater. Never schedule the shoot at the same time of your arrival to your project. Be absolutely certain that your client is not only aware that their property will be recorded, but also that they are not likely to cancel.
"Would my client have to be there?"
If your business can perform on-site without the property owner, then so can we. The property release form must be signed prior to any recording if the owner will not be there.
"I am really busy. Do I have to stop working to make food?"
This package is designed to be as unobtrusive as possible. In the event of a busy rush, food may be used as ordered by guests. It may dramatically affect the length of time to shoot a variety of poses for the menu items.
"All of my food is in containers."
If the bulk of your business is carry-out then consider bringing some plain, white dishes.
"What about buffets?"
Buffet items look better when fresh in the pan. Wide shots of a salad bar or buffet line are difficult to control. More items mean more variables. The best location for a fresh pan of buffet items is in the kitchen.
"The location I want to use is hard to find."
Please provide any access codes or special instructions to get onto or inside any property. Locations that require paid parking, admission fees, special/restricted access,
travel beyond Houston city limits, alternate means of travel, or anything besides a simple parking spot at a reasonable location are all billed separately.
"What about locations that might be dangerous?"
Anything requiring special safety equipment or PPE must be provided by the client. If none can be provided, then any cost in obtaining it will be billed separately. Any recording at night is considered a risk and thereby charged a 20 percent fee.
"May I schedule a video during an officially recognized
Absolutely! There is a 20 percent charge for bookings on the following holidays:
New Year's Day
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
"What is the final product?"
You will receive digital files of at least one image from each food item presented.
"What if I want to change something?"
You or a representative should be available to see the initial images. While they may look different after editing, it is important that you acknowledge that the image of your food was captured.
"May I have the raw files, too?"
Raw files may be licensed as a separate contract.
"What about paperwork?"
After the initial deposit, you will receive a contract along with release forms. No photography can happen until the contract has been signed. Release forms relevant to you and your property will need to be completed prior to any photography. If you plan to use somebody else's property, then they may sign the appropriate releases on the day of the shoot.
"What if I have to cancel, postpone, or reschedule?"
Once a deposit has been made and the contract is signed, then any schedule change will incur additional charges. Inclement weather, disasters, extreme emergencies, and other problems cannot be predicted. It can happen to anyone. If the entire video depends upon one employee or client, then you may want to think about contingencies prior to recording. Those charges are as follows:
Postponements or cancellations on the shoot date, in whole or in part, 50% of the quote.
Postponements or cancellations with less than two business days’ prior written notice, 100% of the quote.
Client will in any event pay all expenses and charges incurred in connection with any postponed or canceled shoot date or other Service.
It is extremely important to be aware of scheduling a shoot around your client. If you are planning a shoot at a location other than your own, then it is your responsibility to prepare your client.
In cases where it is simply impossible to record due to random chaos like weather or disaster, a new date and time can be reached as long as both of us are able after the fact.
"What am I not asking?"
A more detailed description of all aspects of this type of shoot are covered in the contract. Please send an email with questions.
©2018 James W. Price
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