Teach yourself photography at your peril, especially if it’s food, drink & hospitality. So says the self taught professional photographer! However I started learning many, many years ago and haven’t ever stopped. It’s my all consuming passion and has been for many years.

If I was busy doing something else full-time and needed images I’d be looking for a fast result that paid dividends right away and a teach yourself photography route is not that!

Can you Teach yourself Photography

Yes you can do it. I’ll not dispute that.

I’m living proof after all. But it won’t be fast, it won’t be consistent and you might not find what you really need. More importantly you probably don’t know what you need to know, to be able to go and find it. And you may have trouble finding ‘experts’ who really do know their stuff.

The Issues with teaching yourself Photography

Images like this don't happen they are created, carefully. Goat Burger Stack, served with chips and lager.

Images like this don’t happen they are created, carefully.

There’s masses of free stuff out there, but its sorting the wheat from the chaff and finding the photography tutorials that actually answer the problems you have. More importantly they aren’t all good and some are just plain wrong. You can’t always believe what you see/find on the internet after all.

This is the above image at the planning stage. The scene is built up slowly, here you have a burger bun on a plate, the napkin, the empty glass and the empty basket that will hold the chips.

This is the above image at the planning stage. The scene is built up slowly, here you have a burger bun on a plate, the napkin, the empty glass and the empty basket that will hold the chips. The bun isn’t the final bun, it’s a stand in. This allows me to check the scene before the food arrives. Food doesn’t live long for the camera! Hopefully this gives a little insight into what it’s all about.

There’s plenty of books, videos and more out there on light for instance but no one else will have the particular issue with lighting that you have, or, of glass in every direction and too much light, or dealing with the reflections and so on.

So the solutions you find may not help you OR you could spend hours, many hours finding what you need. Time you probably don’t have, but on the face of it, it looks cheaper because you aren’t paying out. Except you are! As all that time you spend trying to learn is time not spent doing what you are great at and that’s costing you money whether you like it or not.

That’s just one for instance. The question is do you have the time to do that? Most people running businesses are pretty full on as it is without trying to take on something else. Time is money is the old saying. How much time could get lost here?

The solution?

Find a course that really does address your own particular issues. Better still work on a 1-2-1 basis with a great food photographer (like me!).  General information may get you so far but it won’t get you the full distance.

When you work in the food, drink & hospitality industry you are dealing with a very specialist genre and you need someone who really understands food and food photography. It can seem like a black art at times.

But if you are learning with someone then you get the chance to ask questions and questions that relate to your specific situations. That means you get real answers to your problems solved as you learn.

I’d alway recommend a professional photographer for your photography, but if you’ve limited budget or need to take additional images then taking some training can help you hugely. The cost is minimal too, as once you know what you are doing you can carry on doing it, meaning that your ROI pays dividends each time you pick your camera up.

To recap – Teach yourself Photography at your peril.

So to recap you could spend days, weeks even trying to go it alone and how much would that cost you in time? Or you could pay to do a course or even a bespoke course and be up and running in half the time with no issues? I know what I’d choose? Which direction will you go in?

Action Points

If you are serious about photography for your business, drop the google endless searches and come and work with a pro food photographer to get a real insight into what is needed. Have a look at the options here.  And if you’d rather have the photography done for you, then get in touch.

My six week online Food Photography Essentials course starts on the 5th September, come and join us.