Self-promotion and marketing can be difficult for even the most experienced of photographers. Denver-based food and drink photographer Rick Souders not only pushes his self-assigned projects to the next level, but travels the country giving lectures and encouraging other colleagues to do the same. Rick shared with us some of his latest self-assigned food photography, as well as his philosophy.
Rick’s philosophy is that in a creative business like photography, one should be sending around 10% of their income back into their marketing across all platforms and mediums.
I think when people use a combination of strategized media, they establish and solidify their brand. Our most successful campaigns seem to be self-assigned photography projects.
Souders Studios typically creates between four to six self-promotional images or series per year. They challenge themselves to stay on top of industry trends, new lighting techniques and styling, and not relying on commissioned work alone to demonstrate their full range of skills. For this particular set of images, Rick wanted to focus on blending these trending styles with today’s marketing and social media needs.
By allowing himself to show his fun and passion through more personally styled images, Rick believes the result can be more attractive to other creatives and clients. He is always looking for how people react and enjoys putting new work in a printed book and having people say, “Who did you shoot these images for?” He says that curiosity makes him feel like he is going in the right direction.
We find areas where we feel our clients can gain value and insight from our new ideas and promotional works.
No doubt we can see that question coming up in his incredibly delectable image of a carefully-styled burger. Rick saw an unfortunate trend heading towards social media-based food imagery, where the burgers looks messy, poorly lit, and unappetizing.
As a photographer, I wanted to create a “Personal Burger Shot” that was still loose and messy, but that had a lot of taste appeal and had an interesting fresh look that still fit into the social media realm.
He personally styled, lit, and photographed this piece to demonstrate to clients the range of editorial, social media-targeted work he could do.
So far, Rick’s work has been well received. His lectures and image series have inspired others to follow in the trend of really exploring their own creativity, and pushing the limits of their personal work to keep their portfolios fresh, and their branding and marketing heading in the best direction.
To see more of Rick’s work, check out soudersstudios.com.