Focus on Fantastic Food Photography

Practical tips to create drool-worthy images of school meal standouts.

For as long as I can remember, I have had a camera in my hand. As a photographer for my high school newspaper and yearbook, I aimed for a career in journalism; it was my dream and passion—until I got involved in the food industry, that is! While my career path took an unexpected turn, my fundamental love for photography has not wavered over the years, and it has been more than a casual hobby. For example, for years, I was an official photographer at the Kentucky Derby, and I have had numerous photos published in magazines such as Lighthouse Digest and Sports Unlimited, and, most recently, by the National Park Service. While in COVID lockdown, my travel photography took an understandable backseat to nature photography, which has become my current obsession.

Over the years, I’ve applied my passion for photography to my responsibilities as a school meals program operator. In the process, I’ve learned a lot about the value of good food photography in marketing and public awareness and the challenges of doing it well. I first shared the insights of my experience and unique perspective at SNA’s 2021 Virtual Annual National Conference (ANC), and now have the opportunity to do so in School Nutrition...

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