As a Reno Tahoe food photographer and commercial photographer, I sometimes get lucky and get to combine my passion for photography and my job with my love for food! Recently, I was hired to photograph a number of Lake Tahoe restaurants for The Infatuation, a restaurant review and recommendation site that focuses on discovering the best dining experiences in various cities. To be honest, prior to being hired, I hadn’t ever heard of The Infatuation, but I can say with certainty I’m going to be using them as a resource when I travel in the future!  Since Covid, I’ve been focused on growing my commercial and editorial business to be the main source of my income, while shrinking weddings and portraits to be less prominent, simply because I discovered during the pandemic just how volatile depending on that as your sole source of income is. Work smarter, not harder y’all!  I’m excited to share with you some of the work I captured for The Infatuation at some of my favorite Tahoe eateries (and a handful of new ones!) for their article on The 19 Best Restaurants Near Lake Tahoe.

Tips for Finding Editorial and Commercial Clients as a Food Photographer

Regardless of the branch of photography, you are looking to expand your business into, the path to building a successful career as a food, branding, and editorial photographer lies in finding and establishing a strong client base. My main go-to for marketing and finding new clients is always geared towards SEO (or search engine optimization for those of you are aren’t up on their internet lingo). To attract such clients, in addition to basic networking, making sure that you are showcasing your work is paramount. Here are some strategies that have proven effective in my journey:

a) Building a Strong Portfolio: Curate a portfolio highlighting your versatility and ability to capture a wide variety of food, products, and brands. Your portfolio should also focus on diversity in lighting, settings, and presentation styles to demonstrate your adaptability as a photographer.

b) Social Media Engagement: While I would shy away from encouraging anyone to use social media as their main advertising focus, there’s no reason why you can’t leverage those platforms to showcase your new work, engage with current and past clients, and, if you’re lucky, connect with potential clients.

c) Collaborations and Guest Blogging: Partner with local visitor authorities, tourism-based industry publications, or small business owners in your market to gain exposure and create valuable connections.

d) Attend Food Events and Festivals: let’s be real – every event is a networking event!  Do what you love by participating in food-related events and festivals in your region.  You never know – having fun often leads to providing opportunities to meet your next client!

Working as a Tahoe Food Photographer at some of my favorite local spots!

Old Town Tap has been and always will be my #1 go-to spot in Truckee, CA. If you’ve never been to Truckee, you are missing out! It’s an incredibly charming little town, about 20 minutes off the northwest shores of Lake Tahoe. Their owners are absolutely delightful and they exude a rustic ambiance, complemented with delicious comfort food. As a food photographer for the Infatuation, I was tasked with capturing their Los Olivos Pizza and the Sage and Kale Mac’n’Cheese.

I had never been to The Sage Leaf in Incline Village, but it’s a hidden gem with incredibly accommodating owners. They went above and beyond opening their doors on a day off so that I could capture their sage and cheddar biscuits. I can’t wait to go back for brunch!

Base Camp Pizza is always a South Lake Tahoe local favorite. It’s a hub for skiers and summer-goers alike with a massive patio, live music, a great selection of rotating taps, and a convenient location right by the gondola.

I was also thrilled to go back and capture the eggplant crepes at Cafe Fiore, one of South Lake Tahoe’s best date night dinners! Cafe Fiore stands as an elegant eatery offering an unforgettable dining experience and the owner, Nick, is so wonderful, kind, and accommodating, which I never fail to appreciate.

Being so lucky as to be hired as a food photographer in the breathtaking backdrop of Tahoe is always a dream come true – esp because you generally get to eat the food after you photograph it!  I had a blast collaborating with The Infatuation, allowing me to share a little bit of my backyard with their wider audience. Remember, if you’re looking into expanding your business into more editorial, branding, or food photography, building a strong portfolio and networking with editorial and commercial clients are key steps in carving a successful path. Regardless, don’t forget to savor each moment (wink, wink).

For more of my recent work in food and architecture in Reno-Tahoe, Austin, and more, head here.  If you are interested in a quarterly subscription for creative content for your business, I have that info here.