Written by Mark Mendoza on April 22, 2019
Just like any fast-rising start-up, 6AM Health has always been careful about walking that fine line between being scrappy with their resources – and figuring out when it’s worth investing a bit more in a particular product or service.
And naturally, this often comes with a bit of trial and error.
Check out the interview below, conducted by a colleague of mine, to see what Brad Callow, founder of 6AM Health, had to say about this in regards to his search for the right brand photographer – plus a little on what it has been like working with me.
What made you decide to hire a professional photographer?
“We’re a health food company that sells fresh, nutritious meals dispensed from vending machines that are starting to pop up all around the Greater Boston area. Since we’re selling a product that goes into people’s bodies, we knew it was essential for everything to look as appetizing as possible. Particularly since the ‘healthy vending machine’ concept is quite new to this area.
As we grew, it became clear that photos from a smartphone or an amateur were definitely not going to cut it. So we hit the point where it was time to hire a professional.”
What was the hiring experience like?
“Professional photography was not something I was too familiar with. It took me a few different hires to realize that it’s really important to find the right photographer – one who actually specializes in shooting your particular kinds of products.
In the beginning, I didn’t know there was such a thing as a product photographer, never mind a food product photographer. So, we hired about three photographers before finding Mark. While they were talented and less expensive, the problem was they didn’t specialize in food photography. Which it turns out, requires a lot of experience, technical knowledge, and specialized equipment in order to get a great final product.”
What made you finally decide to hire Mark?
“I really liked how his expertise was in food photography. This is the first time I saw that when looking for a photographer.
I also found that a lot of the cheaper photographers were often doing this as a side gig. So reliability was often an issue there. We need a photographer we can count on consistently. Someone we can build a relationship with and call on anytime with questions or edits. And most importantly, someone we know we can rely on to deliver high-quality photos every time.”
How was your experience working with Mark different?
“Working with Mark was educational. I learned just how much goes into the whole food photography process. It’s obvious what a difference all of his training and experience makes. He does things I will never learn how to do. It would take years of training to get to his level of expertise to produce the kind of photos he does.”
Is there anything specific you learned?
“One thing that’s really interesting to observe is how Mark will take five or six photos, and then later combine them to find a way to get everything in focus. It’s insane. It’s great work.
I also learned that there is such a thing as a ‘food stylist’. This is someone whose job it is to come in and style your food to make sure the photos come out looking great on camera. Since we’re not at the point yet where we want to invest in a food stylist, we really appreciated Mark’s guidance in that area. He definitely has some basic knowledge that helped make sure our food looked just as good on camera as it does in real life.”
Are you happy with the quality of the final photos?
“Really happy. The photos Mark does are incredible. We will continue to use Mark for all of our important branded materials.
It wasn’t until seeing Mark’s final products that I realized just how important very high-quality photos are. What a difference they can make in how your brand is perceived. Mark helps our company put its best image forward.”
Thanks again Brad for taking the time to do this interview. It’s a real pleasure getting to work with such an exciting, up-and-coming start-up in the Greater Boston area!
Interested in learning more about the food photography process? Give me a shout!