I have to share something with you… it’s personal and hard to admit.
Something that’s very hard to say out loud.
I did not reach my food photography goal this year.
There… it’s out now… I said it.
Here’s the thing –
This year, I set a goal to make more food photos in a year than ever before. And the truth is I am behind… way behind. In fact, I am embarrassed to even write this.
I am feeling a bit uneasy about this.
Deciding a goal and then weeks turn into months. After months, still being behind on the goals.
Have you felt this way? Uneasy about being behind on your goals?
Did you reach your all food photography goals this year?
Did you meet the outcome for your food photography goals?
Were you consistent in taking food photos?
Did you start that food photography business you wanted?
The year started with best intentions and then somewhere losing that momentum and getting behind.
I worked on my goal for first few days and then, I don’t know where the year went. Did the year disappear for you?
Why You Are Behind on Your Food Photography Goals
My second food photography goal was to create a very detailed and thorough course on the topic of composition in food photography.
This goal was my second biggest personal goal. The goal was to create a very detailed video/visual course teaching all aspects of composition.
I really struggled with this goal too. It was the middle of the year, I was behind on this goal too. Way behind.
To be very honest with you, I was disappointed in how little progress I was making on both my food photography goals.
Do you feel the same way about your food photography goals this year?
Maybe, you wanted to take more food photos this year – one every week perhaps, but only did this for few weeks.
Maybe, you wanted to sign up more clients but did not.
Maybe, you wanted to create your portfolio, but your portfolio is still done.
You are not alone!
The initial excitement that’s present when we first decide the goal and start working on it quickly fizzles down.
We miss making progress one week and then the next and then the next.
The resistance to making progress on our goals is so high that we end up not doing anything. We can further and further behind.
If your goal was to take more food photos, maybe you did take food photos initially and then you made slower progress. And then, before you could realize, you didn’t make any progress and the goal disappeared from your mind.
Happens to all of us.
Just yesterday, I finished the composition course. Uploaded on the videos and created the quizzes etc. Tied the bow to that. (Thank you for the first batch of students who signed up).
So how did I turn one of the food photography goals around?
How did I get back on track?
How can you do the same?
How to Get Your Food Photography Back on Track
Before moving forward, let me tell you this – you will learn my detailed process to get back on track. Download the “Back on Track” planner and work along with me.
The key to making progress is momentum.
Things in motion remain in motion.
If your momentum slows down, you will end up stopping completely. If you were taking food photos every week but then decided to stop or due to reasons beyond your control, end up missing a week or two… the momentum begins to slow.
To restart and get back on track, the idea is to start very very small. Take “tiny steps” and start the motion.
The “Back on Track” plan is divided into two phases.
Phase 1 is something you will do right now. Download the Back on Track Planner to start phase 1. Print the planner and start filling it as per the instructions.
Phase 2 of this exercise is the execution of what you decided in phase 1.
Phase 1 – Do This Now
This phase has 5 specific steps. These steps help you to start giving you micro wins and will start to build the momentum. So let’s begin.
Are you sure?
Before we start, let’s pause for a min. Do you really want to get your food photography back on track? Are you sure?
If you are sure, a step before moving forward is to ask yourself why making progress in food photography important? Dig deep. Be specific about your why.
If you are still convinced, let’s start the exercise.
Step 1 – Inspire Yourself (10 mins)
The first step in starting to make progress on food photography is to be inspired. Start a timer for 10 mins. Do not do this without the timer – the internet is a rabbit hole.
In the next 10 mins, visit Pinterest. Here’s LFP food photography board for some inspiration.
Or visit your favorite food photographer’s portfolio and simply browse the portfolio.
Or pick up food magazine that you like and find few food photos you like.
That’s it. once the timer goes off, move to next step.
Step 2 – Take Tiny Steps (2 mins)
In this step, you will take two very tiny steps to start build that momentum. Once again, don’t forget the timer.
Tiny step 1: Take your camera out of the closet and set somewhere you can see it. That’s right. Just pull the camera out and place it in your living room or somewhere safe and where you can see it. I keep my camera next to my office desk.
Tiny step 2: Create a list of 5 subjects that you want to shoot. Think simple here. If you cook something interesting every day, think about your favorite quick recipe. Alternatively, think about subjects you don’t need to cook. Still-life food works well here. Or buy something from a bakery or restaurant.
The idea is to here is to take simple small steps and make progress.
Step 3 – Decide one easy subject to photograph (2 mins)
From the list of 5 subjects, just pick one subject that you can photograph in coming days. Choose the path of least resistance. Subjects that are easily available or can be brought in without much hassle.
Once again, choose a subject that is easy to get and simple.
My suggestion is to pick something that does not require cooking.
Step 4 – Schedule and Communicate the Shoot date and time (2 + 5 = 7 mins)
In previous steps, you’ve chosen a subject from the list of subjects. Now we need to schedule the photo shoot. Right… by the end of this exercise, you will have scheduled, planned and made several solid decisions to shoot one subject.
Two specific things here:
- Decide a date from next 7-10 days for scheduling the photo shoot with this subject. Now decide the time… mornings, or afternoon or evening? Decide the time.
- Note the date on the Poster page of Planner. Like shown below…
- Communicate to your loved ones them that you will be working on this and that you are blocking the date and time for yourself. Tell them that you will be unavailable. Set the expectations.
Step 5 – Decide What Preparation is Needed? (10 mins)
Now in the Back on Track Planner note down what you need to prepare for the shoot. Spend not more than 10 mins. (Start the timer)
- Shopping – Do you need to shop for food? List down what you think is needed.
- Props – What props do you need or plan to use?
- Backgrounds – Do you have one at home, or will you need to buy something?
Two days before the shoot date, make sure everything you need from the list above is in the studio or home.
Before moving forward
Make sure you have completed phase 1 in the planner. [Download “Back On Track” Planner and get your food photography back on track.
Don’t wait for things to be perfect. Perfect things never happen. It’s a subtle procrastination.
Finish Phase 1 before reading ahead.
Perfect is the enemy of progress
Phase 2 – Execute
Now that you’ve completed Phase 1, in this phase your goal is to execute on the day of the photoshoot.
Step 1 – Getting Ready
Two days before the scheduled photo shoot, make sure you have an idea what type of image do you plan to create. Do you have a concept in mind?
- If you need inspiration, go to Pinterest and search for “subject + food photo”
- Shop for the Stuff – Based on the decisions, do you need to do any shopping? Get it done at least two days in ahead of scheduled date.
- Decide the props by physically locating the props and noting it down on the “Back on Track Planner”
- Prepare for the photo shoot the night before and remind your loved ones about the shoot.
- Prepare the camera
- Check that the batteries are charged. I keep my backup charges as well.
Step 2 – The Photoshoot –
This is it. Today is the day. If it is hard or overwhelming to start, use these tips:
- Simply line up the plates and backgrounds and props you plan to use
- Set up the scene by arranging the props
- Pick up the camera and simply click one photograph. Don’t overthink at this stage
- Bring the hero to the set
- Simply press the button once. That’s right.
- Now you’ve gained the momentum
Step 3 – Schedule your next photo shoot
Keep this momentum going. Before cleaning up after the shoot, pick a date and time for your next photo shoot. Communicate this to your loved one.
In the comments below, share one food photography goal that you would like to get back on track.