The Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts in Boulder, Colorado reveals that there is a lot more to this profession of snapping photos of food than being able to press the click button on your Smartphone. The school shared in a blog post that a food photographer must be able to deal with lighting issues, edit photos, network with people in the food publication industry, and sometimes you apparently even have to be able to cook. That sounds like a lot of work.
The blog goes on to further lament that just because you are spending a great deal of time traveling from shoot to shoot, you cannot neglect networking because food photogs are independent contractors. Basically, as a food photographer, you are part of the eat-what-you-kill population where you only get paid for the work you hunt for and actually get (via Compensation Café). And it might be less than what you need to make ends meet. According to Salary.com, a food photographer can generally expect to make anywhere from $36,638 and $44,041 on an annual basis, with the average hovering at $41,631. Clearly, there are some photographers who make more and some that make less, but if you have the skills, and there’s adequate demand, that might be enough to pay the bills and enjoy your love of all things food.