Need a little help producing food photography that sells?

Everyone who produces food photography looks toward the day when they can not only sell their images, but also make a living from them. But it isn't easy.

At The Picture Pantry we welcome approaches from photographers who want to sell their imagery to advertisers and editorial clients around the globe. But, as a small team, we can only do so much, and understandably work with photographers who are well in to their journey, and either understand or are prepared to learn about the intricacies of the stock business.

Stock photography isn't a case of simply selling photos you think are nice. It is much more than that. It is firstly trying to understand what type of imagery is in demand, then creating images that satisfy this demand, whilst also having your own particular method of styling a food photograph. Once taken, you would need to complete post production on an image, ensuring you don't damage it in the process, and then add metadata to record the image caption and keywords. Finally, you have to provide the image to your chosen marketplace alongside any model or property releases. Knowing all this places you in a strong position, and explains why we only work with a small number of new photographers each year.

So how can Mentoring by The Picture Pantry help?

The Picture Pantry was started by photographers, and grew with photographers. We are all about improving the playing field for photographers, and are now one of the most respected stock agencies around. So, when we start working with a new Picture Pantry photographer we hold their hand through this journey in to stock, ensuring their images meet the demand of modern magazines and commercial clients. For example, we started working with one photographer several years ago, when she was relatively new to photography, but with a lovely style to her images - and just last month we sold one of her images for the front cover of National Geographic Traveller magazine. This 'hand holding' ensures we all succeed, but it also means photographers take away knowledge for other areas of their photography business, such as what is expected on commercial photo shoots they may complete, or when producing images for their blogs.

We are now also making this mentoring service available to photographers and bloggers who aren't presently represented by The Picture Pantry. This means you have access to the Founding Partner, Craig Holmes. He has knowledge gained from 20 years of photography, producing imagery for six recipe books, working alongside hundreds of commercial clients (including some of the world's largest organisations, from the BBC to Virgin), whilst also founding and growing The Picture Pantry over the last decade, to become a world leader in food stock photography that fairly represents world class photographers.

National Geographic Food Cover Photography
As the demand for high-quality images among small and large businesses, advertisers, and publishers rises, photographers need an ally more than ever. As a self-taught photographer and full-time food blogger, I cannot imagine a better place than The Picture Pantry to get your photos seen by the “right” eyes.
— Aysegul Sanford, Foolproof Living, Content Creator and Photographer

How does the mentoring work?

  • Craig Holmes will look at a selection of your images and provide you with a report on where things are not quite going to plan - such as styling, captioning, and image quality - and also highlight when you are heading in the right direction. The advice can be on a variety of topics to suit your growth as a food stock photographer - and you can then follow up with questions via email or Wire.

  • If you use Adobe Lightroom, then we can point out the best policies to make your images stand out - without reducing quality.

  • We will also explain captioning and keywording if you aren't familiar with the process - again, Lightroom or Photoshop are recommended.

  • Further explanations can be given to explain stock terms, such as Royalty Free, Rights Managed, Model Releases, and Exclusivity.

  • If required, you can speak with Craig Holmes, via phone, Wire (free secure text, voice, and video messaging app), or email. As far as we know, no other photo library in the world gives you the facility to speak with the Founding Partner for advice.

  • Choose how much contact, and how much detail you want to pursue through the various mentoring options, and simply sign up below. You will then need to upload around 5-10 images for Craig to take a look at. It is important that you upload images that represent your style and typical standard at this time. You will be sent an upload link for the images. A report usually takes around 7 days to compile.

  • This mentoring facility isn't for existing Picture Pantry photographers - you can contact us anytime for help and advice.

The Mentoring Options

Introductory Mentoring
  • Review of 5-10 images

  • Full report on suggested improvements to sell imagery as stock

  • Highlighting particular improvements in Lightroom editing

  • Suggestions on markets for your imagery

  • A follow up email to answer any specific questions you may have from the report

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Intermediate Mentoring
  • Introductory Mentoring, plus the following...

  • A single thirty minute phone or ‘Wire chat/call’ with Craig Holmes, the Founder of The Picture Pantry

  • Unlimited questions can be emailed or messaged via Wire for two weeks after the initial report (48hr response times, excluding vacation times).

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Advanced Mentoring
  • Introductory Mentoring, plus the following...

  • Thirty minute monthly phone or ‘Wire chat/calls’ with Craig Holmes, the Founder of The Picture Pantry, for six months

  • Unlimited questions can be emailed or messaged via Wire for six months after the initial report (48hr response time, excluding vacation times).

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The small print: Whilst we think completing the mentoring scheme will be of benefit to you and your ability to sell food stock photography, it doesn't guarantee success, nor does it mean you would be accepted as a Picture Pantry photographer in the future. This may not be a reflection on your ability, as numerous factors are taken in to account when selecting Picture Pantry photographers. It is expected that emails will be answered in less than 48hours, but this excludes weekends, and holiday vacations. When chatting, calling on the phone is fine, but you may prefer to use the Wire app (free) for communication and calling if outside of the UK, as there is no cost to this.