How To Become a Food Blog Photographer And Earn Over $50,000 Each Year

Do you want to learn how to become a food blog photographer? Yes, you can learn how to become a food photographer and build a money-making business right from your own kitchen. Many food blog photographers are making $50,000 a year, and even over $100,000 each year. Today, I have a great interview to share…

Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Last Updated: March 7, 2024

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Do you want to learn how to become a food blog photographer?

Yes, you can learn how to become a food photographer and build a money-making business right from your own kitchen.

Many food blog photographers are making $50,000 a year, and even over $100,000 each year.

Today, I have a great interview to share with you. I interviewed Melodee, one of the co-founders of Pretty Focused, on how to become a food blog photographer.

The kind of photography talked about in today’s blog post is food photography specifically for bloggers.

Bloggers will hire people, such as food blog photographers, to help them create and take pictures of recipes.

The demand for new recipes is very high, which is where you, as a food blog photographer, comes in.

Are you wondering questions such as:

  • Is food photography a good career right now?
  • What exactly does a food photographer do? Who do they work for?
  • How much does a professional food photographer make?
  • What do you need to know in order to become a food blog photographer?
  • What food blog photography equipment is needed?
  • What are the steps needed to get started as a professional food photographer?

If so, these questions, plus more, will be answered in today’s interview about how to become a food blog photographer.

Today’s interview will help you get started and perhaps even introduce you to a new way to make money from home.

If you are interested in learning more, in the Pretty Focused course, you can learn everything from how to use your camera, styling, editing, to finding new clients, and more. Over 700 people have already taken this course!

Related content:

How to become a food blog photographer.

Please give us a little background on yourself and how you got started.

I’ve always enjoyed photography and cooking! 

I even started a blog at one point but quickly discovered that photography was my passion! 

As I was in the process of building my portrait photography business, I ended up helping a friend with photos for her food blog.  I was hooked! 

At that point, she introduced me to a whole new world I didn’t know existed.  I was soon connecting with bloggers from all over, photographing old and new content for their blogs.  That’s when I met Stephanie.  I started working with her on a regular basis, and soon she became my only client.

Stephanie was working a corporate marketing job when she first started her blog, Spaceships and Laser Beams.  She was working late nights and weekends, sleeping very little as she grew it to a profitable place, allowing her to stay home with her son, Sam. 

Her blog grew so much that she needed to start hiring and outsourcing work, and photography was one of those jobs she needed help with!  In early 2016, she and I met in a blogging group and hit it off. 

I photographed for Stephanie until 2018, when we took a step back to help grow Pretty Focused.  Stephanie now has 3 Pretty Focused grads working for her at Spaceships and Laser Beams.

What do you like about being a professional food photographer?

I absolutely love the flexibility I have. 

I get to bake, create and get paid while working at home!

Is food photography a good career right now?

Yes! 

In fact there are so many bloggers looking for photographers, it’s hard to keep up with the demand!  Bloggers are complaining there aren’t ENOUGH quality photographers!

What exactly does a food photographer do? Who do they work for?

The type of food photography we are talking about is specifically geared towards food bloggers.  This can look differently for each person and how they set up their business and what services they choose to offer. 

Generally, our students will offer two main services to bloggers:

  • Recreations, and
  • Exclusives

A recreation is when a blogger will give them a recipe that already exists on their blog for the purpose of updating the photos. 

An exclusive recipe is where the photographer will develop a recipe themselves and photograph it to sell.  Not only are they selling their photos, but the recipe as well.

Most people are shocked when they hear that bloggers will hire people to help them develop and photograph recipes! 

But the demand for content is so high. 

For example, Stephanie’s blog, Spaceships and Laser Beams, is putting out at least 1 new recipe a day. And that doesn’t even count the number of older recipes that are being updated every day. That’s too much work for one person!  But build a team, and you can make it happen!

How much can a professional food photographer earn?

This depends upon how much you want/need to work and what services they provide. 

We have some grads who only need or want to do this part time.  Others are full-time. 

Of our full-time grads, 50% are making $50,000+.  Of that 50%, 25% are making $100,000+ a year.

For recreations, because you aren’t developing the recipe, you typically charge less for those.  On average our grads are charging $175 for recreations.

For exclusives, on average, our grads will charge an average of $300.

Are there food photographer education requirements?

To be a food photographer for bloggers, there are no set education requirements. 

However, we do find that there is a learning curve to working with bloggers.  Like I mentioned before, it is very niche. 

Bloggers lean more towards a tutorial based photography over editorial.  Bloggers are typically writing for expert advice, so the job of the photographer is to photograph in order to illustrate the expert advice. 

We developed Pretty Focused so food photographers would be trained in the speciality of food blog photography – therefore making them extremely attractive to hire.

What is a typical food photographer work schedule? Do they work from home?

Food photographers for bloggers do work from home.

They will have an office or a place set up in their house that is designated for them to photograph.

Then, they will make the recipe in their own kitchens and then take it into their “studio” to photograph!

We have photographers who work in their dining rooms, garages and children’s playrooms – with the right lighting, virtually any room in the house has the potential to be an in home “studio”.

What items does a person need to become a food photographer?

We recommend:

  • a DSLR (no phones or point and shoots)
  • Lens– 50mm and 100mm (kit lenses will work to start but we often find people upgrading as quickly as they can)
  • Portable table
  • Styling boards
  • Reflectors
  • Light stands (to hold reflectors)
  • Styling items (nice forks, plates, linens, etc)
  • Lightroom (software)
  • Computer
  • Natural light source
Photo from Pretty Focused

Can you list the steps needed to get started as a professional food photographer?

Start studying food blog photography!  Get on Pinterest and Google and look for your favorite recipes. 

How are they styling?  What angles are they using?

Find one of those recipes, and photograph it!  You have full permission to play with your food!

There are also quite a few Facebook groups out there that are specifically for bloggers to connect with food photographers.  Join them and start to get an idea of how it works.

Are there any other tips that you have for someone who wants to try to become a food photographer?

Yes!  You don’t have to work for free or tag brands on Instagram to get noticed.  You don’t have to fight for clients on Upwork.  You don’t have to pitch yourself to brands to be profitable.

There is another way for you to create a profitable business and you can do it by working with food bloggers.

Can you tell me more about the course you offer?

Pretty Focused is a program like nothing out there.  Not only do we teach how to photograph for blogs, we provide coaching in our community, a portfolio review AND, upon graduation, a community of Buyers who are willing to pay you what you’re worth. 

Honestly, we cringe and cry when we see people selling work to bloggers for $35.  We want to take them by the hand and show them how they can turn $35 into $350 like our grads do! 

Our course opens up once a month. You can sign up for the waitlist to hear about the next launch.

You can also learn more about us at Prettyfocused.com!

Are you interested in learning how to become a food blog photographer?


Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Author: Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Hey! I’m Michelle Schroeder-Gardner and I am the founder of Making Sense of Cents. I’m passionate about all things personal finance, side hustles, making extra money, and online businesses. I have been featured in major publications such as Forbes, CNBC, Time, and Business Insider. Learn more here.

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  1. Wow, I went to Pretty Focused website and it is inspiring. It is very nice and it is great information about becoming a food photographer. Thank you Michelle for sharing this.

    1. Nice one, Michelle.

      Photography is a dynamic evergreen business. I love the fact that they had to niche down to food blogs only.

      Thanks for sharing this interview.

      – Emmanuel

  2. Monica

    I wish the price of the course was aligned with what you could make. A $2,000 course of a potential $50K a year doesn’t sound like a good investment.

  3. What an awesome niche business. Referring to both Pretty Focused and the business of food photography ๐Ÿ˜‰

  4. Drewry

    Food blogging is by far a very lucrative business. When a person does it willingly and as a passionate side hustle, the passive income potential is virtually unlimited!

  5. Nice one, Michelle.

    Photography is a dynamic evergreen business. I love the fact that they had to niche down to food blogs only.

    Thanks for sharing this interesting and educating interview.

    โ€“ Emmanuel

  6. John Ravi

    Hi Michelle,

    My niece is a food blogger, and she is thinking of picking up photography skills to reduce her expenses. I think your article would help her a lot during this process. She may end up getting extremely interested in food photography and take up full-time. I think your article provides a lot of clarification and it will be useful for a lot of readers. Thanks for taking the time in putting together this article.

  7. I appreciate your post and interview about food blogging and photography. I have a client who is a food blogger and I’m sure she’d appreciate these helpful tips about getting started.

  8. There’s great potentiual with the opportunities the internet offers to reach a global audience in a short timespan. Not just with food blog photography, but with almost everything in general.