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on October 12, 2012
Having bought almost every book on food photography that has been written in the last 10 years, I can without a doubt say that Teri Campbell's "Food Photography & Lighting" is THE textbook for anyone working at or aspires to work at the professional level in food photography.

The book takes you through every process of being a professional food photographer, from the struggles of moving from a home, or apt, based food photographer to taking the enormous leap to having your own studio, as well as all the technical knowledge needed to deal with any location, shoot, or challenge. Its like a comforting, encouraging friend sharing their personal stories of success and technical knowledge in a way that makes the reader feel a little more positive about taking similar risks in their own career.

Topics that are so difficult to ever learn about and most food photographers have to learn by trial an error are covered in a clear, understandable way in this book. The business side of food photography is sometimes the most challenging, and until this book arrived there really was no source of information on this mysterious side of the business that rose to the level of detail that is found in Teri's book. I've read countless threads on message boards about "what do I charge?" and "How does a shoot with a client on set go?". Now all I have to do is refer them to Teri's book, and there they can get a clear understanding of probably the most challenging side of food photography, running the business side of a food photography company.

Even though the book contains an enormous amount of technical information regarding lighting, using both natural light and strobes, its told in such a relaxed, "conversation over coffee" way, that its easy to understand, but even more so, its easy to retain. The next day after finishing the book, I was already down in my studio trying out some of the techniques and setups that I read in Teri's book.

But my favorite part is the chapters that cover different shoots, showing both the diagrams for the lighting and prop set up, but also sharing the unique stories behind the shoots. So many times i've been on a food photography shoot and encountered challenges and obstacles, and I always assumed I was doing something wrong, or I just wasn't a good enough food photographer. Reading Teri's stories about the different shoots he has done, I began to realize that even the most prestigious food photographers have challenges with locations, lighting, and gear.

And that was the most personal thing I took away from Teri's book. That reassurance from one of the greatest food photographers, that we all face challenges in being a food photographer. So not only did the book give me a wealth of technical knowledge about both the professional and the business side of food photography, it also gave me the encouragement to take the next step forward in my career.
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on October 10, 2012
I have almost all the food photography books written. This is the first one that explained the use and placement of strobes to get a beautiful 'natural light' look. Thank you Teri, this is the book I was trying to find with each of my previous purchases. I even bought the Kindle version on my iPad. First book I ever bought as a hard copy book and digital version.
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on October 10, 2012
I have read and collected books on food photography over the years, but they are usually geared towards the secrets of food styling or food photography for natural light, editorial-type shoots. Campbell's book is the first of its kind, created especially for commercial photographers.
Campbell divides the books into two sections. The first section covers the business of commercial photography. Here we learn about running a commercial studio, the business tasks involved including paperwork and billing, and he even discusses the chain of command during a photo shoot. The second section provides specific examples (and mouth-watering photos) of shoots he's done, complete with inside tips, tricks and lighting diagrams. This book also contains an online bonus exercises and content that you can unlock by registering your book online.
This book is a definite must-read for anyone considering becoming a commercial food photographer!
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on June 5, 2013
I cannot say enough good things about this book for aspiring/starting/could-be-better professional food photographers: excellent how-tos covering all areas of your business. I'm currently a student in a commercial photography program with the hopes of eventually being a pro food photographer, and am very impressed by Campbell's deep knowledge.

This may be overkill if all you want is to take better pictures for, say, a food blog. This book really shines in its deep level of detail for shooting for advertising and commercial. When you're shooting for a client who'll dictate the parameters and scrutinize the outcome, you really have to nail all the details of the shot, plus look professional to agency reps, etc.

I got the Kindle version which looks fantastic on an iPad (and is cheaper than paper), and happy to have it with me to consult anytime.
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on October 10, 2012
I sat down and read Teri Campbell's recently published book in two sittings. It is extremely well written and beautifully photographed. The chapters are accessible. Instructions are gorgeously illustrated, informative and inviting.

Yes. It's all about food photography. It is also about passion for the medium and Teri shares over 25 years of hands on experience. Teri also shares the back story about how some fruitcake became a new business success. You will learn about the creative process, working as a team, how to get started, estimating, building a portfolio, marketing your work, and will see some jaw dropping promotions that work.

It is not only for photographers, but should be required reading for art directors and members of creative teams dealing with food and food related clients. I think I told you that my first assignment as an art director was for an ice cream account. I wish I had this book and your chapter on ice cream years ago.

Ian Summers
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on October 18, 2012
Teri Campbell's new book is the first one I'd recommend to anyone in the food photography business, whether they're starting out or they're a seasoned veteran like the author. It's thorough, covering all the aspects of the business, like studio layout, estimating, and billing; and a list of all the players from photo assistant to second account executive; and a detailed look behind the scenes of how he captures these beautiful images. It's written in a friendly but highly informative style, and the photography, of course, is gorgeous. A great resource, and an enjoyable read!
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on January 13, 2014
Teri's book is literally the only Food Photography book for professionals out there. Believe me I've seen them ALL. There are soooo many books, tutorial videos, ect out there....but 99.9% of them are geared toward the extreme amateur, or food blogger and written by a food blogger...not a photographer. If your looking at any of those as an option...I can give you the summary of every single one of them: they are all strictly shot in window light softened by diffusion from the side or back. Most are using consumer grade dslr with 24-105 maybe a 100macro cranking the ISO to whatever is needed. There it is...now start blogging.

Now being a professional photographer I can say these options are not always there. I have read Teri's book twice and am constantly referring back to it for tricks and tips. Its gives a fantastic inside look at Commercial Food Photography...From building your studio, marketing, to team building and their responsibilities to what probably most are looking for: gear, software and lighting diagrams. All of the lighting tutorials in the book are real world assignments from editorial to advertising and packaging....With in depth coverage and discussion of them all...Even styling tips and compositing techniques!
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on June 13, 2013
First, the good: Teri Campbell is obviously at the top of his game, so it's great to see his work and get some insights and tips on how to get the perfect shots. He's a genial storyteller who comes across as eager to share his secrets. The best part of the book is a series of case studies wherein he breaks down exactly how he achieved results for a wide variety of assignments.

Unfortunately, to get to the best part of the book, you have to sit through a seemingly endless memoir of how he got to where he is now, and how great his studio is now, and how well he entertains his clients. It surprises me how well he seems to have connected with other reviewers here. To me the very long first part of the book is one humblebrag after another, sometimes not so humble, sometimes bragging about things (his amaaaazing G5 Mac) that in 2013 are long out of date. There are still some useful things in that first part, but you have to sift through too many self-serving passages to find them.

The worst part of the book is that it's absolutely riddled with proofreading errors. I don't know if this is just a Kindle thing or if they're in the print edition as well. But I don't think I've ever seen this many errors in a book from what should be an otherwise reputable publisher. It shouldn't be a reason not to buy the book, but it sure makes the reading experience more painful.

I bought the book hoping that it would help me be a better shooter of restaurant food on location, as editorial food photography is one area that I'm trying to do more of. It is refreshing to see in the book that with all of the tools in his studio, he's happy to shoot on location with nothing more than flash or a well-placed window, along with some foam-core cards for fill, and he feels good about what he can achieve just with those.

Finally, some more good about the book: whatever level photographer you are, he has some great tips about the business side, from wooing clients to keeping track of jobs and shoots to how to charge, all told in an approachable way.
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on March 14, 2013
This book was not what I expected. Almost the first half of the book concentrated on the author's large studio, the thousands of props in the studio, and the many staff people he works with. If you are a professional with a big studio and staff, then maybe this would be interesting to you.
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on October 10, 2012
This book is a "must read" for anyone shooting food or thinking of venturing into the world of food photography! Recognized as one of the best food photographers in the industry, Teri guides the reader through business start up, gaining new clients, the necessary financial considerations as well as offering clearly diagrammed guides to lighting and camera set up. He tackles some of the toughest food photography assignments-- shooting on location, ice cream, pizza, cold beverages-- and gives food styling techniques needed. This is a great reference book for food photographers, food stylists, food bloggers and anyone considering getting into the food photography field.
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