Jump to content
Ed Endicott

Is Food Not Worthy of RM Anymore?

Recommended Posts

My plan in the cold months is to shoot from home a lot more.  I've been doing some research in the collection for "holes" and it appears that the majority of the time, images of food are available as an RF license.  Images of food that are RM tend to be more related to branded items (such as ready meals).

 

I know there are a TON of food images out there these days but are studio food photographers all shooting RF or is this simply a result of the Alamy search algorithm favoring RF (which tends to happen in the shuffle)?

Edited by Ed Endicott
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I want to see the answers for this one, Ed. I just don't know. A third of my sales are of food: produce, cooked food closeups, and people at restaurants. When shooting in restaurants I too often don't have enough control, so I too want to do some shooting at home this winter. (I think I said that last fall, too.)  :(  Most of mine are RM.

Edited by Ed Rooney

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting thread- I've never sold a food or restaurant image- most likely because I've never taken any - if I did think I would stick with RM

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"most likely because I've never taken any" -- Export

 

I think you're on to something. 

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I guess I have mentally filed away food shots being a micro stock staple- studio type shot with lovely white backgrounds - perhaps I'm being a little narrow minded here, and should think again

 

Back to the OP - I think the majority are RF - but I'd go RM

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It could be moot because there is often a pretty thin line between RF and RM sales on Alamy. The handful (or mouthful) of food shots that I have in my collection are RM, but then I have very few RF images. However, I've been experimenting a bit more with RF lately for very generic subjects. Have yet to have an RF sale of any kind.

Edited by John Mitchell

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't have many RF images at all but I have sold a few very generic RF images.

As far as home cooked food I have a specialty...burning it!

 

L

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have few Food shots, which have sold OK (mainly raw fruit and veg, cutouts), these are ideal for RF as there are no people or intellectual property in them.

 

I don't really see much of an advantage of going RF with anything nowadays (in the old days RF sales had disportional higher sales values compared to small RM sales). Relevant searches still show 3 RM's to 1 RF, and the new fixed price structure and the newspaper scheme puts the same values on images regardless of licensing model. By going RF now you right off your chances of getting that big sale, for no advantage. Saying that I still add a few as RF just to keep a foot in the door. 

 

I've always made the decision on RF and RM, based on how hard it would be to replicate an image, eg food cutout, easy therefore unlikely to sell for thousands, Yet a unique and specialist picture that would be hard for the customer to source from anywhere else I put RM , as there is a chance that they would be willing to pay big bucks (still think rarity could and should command a premium!)

Edited by York Photographer

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

High end, highly styled food shots should be RM as they are difficult to replicate, but then they are probably better at a sepecialist library - ideally property released with the chef's name. Generic ingredients and everyday (fish & chips, bowl of pasta) is probably more microtstock territory but I guess does sell on Alamy occasionally. Ed R can probably say whether that is what he sells but my impression is sells restaurant food and ambience pictures - definitely RM I would suggest.

 

As others have said the difference between RM and RF on Alamy is a very thin line.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ed, I see that you do a lot of "pack" shots. Do any of these sell? I'm wondering, because if I had a magazine and wanted to print a pack shot of a certain brand, I'd go to the company directly and ask for press images. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't have many RF images at all but I have sold a few very generic RF images.

As far as home cooked food I have a specialty...burning it!

 

L

 

My speciality is......eating it.

 

Mind you I do a great Spag Bol.

 

Allan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a fair amount of food shots and most of them are RM. They sell okay and mostly used in travel related material. Wherever I go I try to shoot (and eat) foods or dishes that are known to be from that area.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have had a few foody sales - it's not a subject I cover as much as I should. Mine have been RM studio shots, though mostly at very low prices for web use.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ed, I see that you do a lot of "pack" shots. Do any of these sell? I'm wondering, because if I had a magazine and wanted to print a pack shot of a certain brand, I'd go to the company directly and ask for press images. 

 

I recently set up a small tabletop in my front room....I've resolved to shoot my groceries and anything else I buy (my "cold month" resolution this year). 

 

rtf6vp.jpg

 

It's something I started to do about a month ago.

 

Surprisingly, I've gotten a couple of zooms on these images.  I have no idea if they will lead to licenses, and I don't think I'm going to get rich quick, but it is something I am trying.

 

With relation to the food, I am not a food photographer at all (setting up the shot appears to be an art all its own) and it's just an occasional item from the kitchen...I just noticed there are a lot of photographers and agencies on Alamy that do specialize in food and that appear to have their images set to RF....which is why I asked the question.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

p.s. - I don't really usually eat that many ready meals and I usually buy many more generic items....but I've found some that actually taste pretty well (the side effect I am looking forward to on this experiment) and it is an experiment in finding a variety of foods to eat :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

High end, highly styled food shots should be RM as they are difficult to replicate, but then they are probably better at a sepecialist library - ideally property released with the chef's name. Generic ingredients and everyday (fish & chips, bowl of pasta) is probably more microtstock territory but I guess does sell on Alamy occasionally. Ed R can probably say whether that is what he sells but my impression is sells restaurant food and ambience pictures - definitely RM I would suggest.

 

As others have said the difference between RM and RF on Alamy is a very thin line.

 

I agree with what you're saying here, Martin, and yes I do on rare occasions name the chef and restaurant, always when shooting a signature dish. And it's interesting that almost everyone posting has a very good basic understanding of when to choose RF and RM. As John in Vancouver pointed out, labeling food for Alamy is often ambiguous. Let me say this:

 

There is a market for both studio food and real food. Saveur Magazine pioneered real food situations on their pages 20-plus years ago. And food images have always been a part of savvy travel photography. I find it easy to spot 'posed' food, like the difference between posed people and real candids. Some buyers want one of these, some the other. My interest in food, other than as fuel for sustaining life on Earth, comes out of my secondary vocation as a restaurant reviewer and food writer. 

 

One last thing, I have a bunch of images of Mexican food, and although at least half of them look good, I've never sold a one. Oh, another last thing: I'll bet real money that Allan's "Spag Bol" is just a can of tomato sauce with meat and NOT a proper Italian Bolognese. And how would you pronounce Spag Bol in Italian without any vowels at the end of words? That's why the Romans called me Edo.   :D  

 

AH98HX.jpgB533XE.jpgB4YAJC.jpgB442AJ.jpgBBP302.jpgC01YR9.jpgE7FNR8.jpgE82FFB.jpgE1PB3J.jpgDP8F2G.jpg

Edited by Ed Rooney

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When shooting in restaurants I too often don't have enough control,   :(

 

My trouble is when eating in restaurants I often don't have enough control. :(

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

About 7 years ago I took my mother to lunch at Grand Lux Cafe in Chicago and had a small point n shoot camera. We sat in a booth by the  window  and I proceeded to photograph my bowl of cream of mushroom soup in a white bowl.

I did not use flash.The camera was tiny and fit in my hand,camera was silent and no one was sitting around us.

 

The waiter came over and chastised me stating the chef did not want any of his food photographed.

Soup photo? Seriously? Waiter temper tantrum?

 

He must have lost a lot of tips and the that's not a way to keep customers happy and coming back!

 

L

Edited by Linda

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My biggest sale on Alamy was of a RM image of a coconut pie I baked, bought for packaging.

I don't sell many food images, but I can't cross them off. Anything I make with my own hands is always RM.

 

I have some images of a blackberry cobbler I baked last weekend waiting for when I get out of jail.

I've got a pan of apricot filling cooling right now, destined for fried pies.

 

Heaven? College football and warm fried pies.

 

Betty

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've had that happen to me a half-dozen times, Linda. It was almost certainly a case of a message being delivered from the chef and not the waiter's fault. I wonder where that situation would go in court? We have bought and will pay for the food . . . it is not clear to me who would win that case. But then I'm not a lawyer and blah blah blah blah blah.  :)

Edited by Ed Rooney
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Relevant searches still show 3 RM's to 1 RF

 

When I search "Croissant" I see a pattern of two RF images for every RM (RF RF RM)

 

Same pattern when I search "Spaghetti"

 

Same pattern when I search "French Bread"

 

Of two "holes" I've found in the collection and attempted to address -

 

first item - 50 images returned - the pattern is RF RM RM, RF RM RM

Second item - 21 images returned - all of the images are RM

 

So that tells me that in saturated subjects, the majority of the photographers are submitting RF images and there aren't enough RM images to follow the pattern.

Edited by Ed Endicott

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 waiting for when I get out of jail.

 

Betty

 

Not you as well Betty.

 

Now it is really getting crowded in here. NO I do NOT mean you are overweight. Just seems to be a few in here who could be doing better things - like making Alamy even more money. ;)

 

Allan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

About 7 years ago I took my mother to lunch at Grand Lux Cafe in Chicago and had a small point n shoot camera. We sat in a booth by the  window  and I proceeded to photograph my bowl of cream of mushroom soup in a white bowl.

I did not use flash.The camera was tiny and fit in my hand,camera was silent and no one was sitting around us.

 

The waiter came over and chastised me stating the chef did not want any of his food photographed.

Soup photo? Seriously? Waiter temper tantrum?

 

He must have lost a lot of tips and the that's not a way to keep customers happy and coming back!

 

L

 

 

Ah, if the chef is planning to let you eat it for free, then it's HIS food. If you are paying for it, then it's YOUR food to do with as you please  :)

 

Of course precious chefs and waiters wouldn't see it like that - nor would they see the potential free publicity that your shot might get them.  Short sighted.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've had that happen to me a half-dozen times, Linda. It was almost certainly a case of a message being delivered from the chef and not the waiter's fault. I wonder where that situation would go in court? We have bought and will pay for the food . . . is it not clear who would win that case. But then I'm not a lawyer and blah blah blah blah blah.  :)

 

 

Ooops!  Didn't see your post when I did mine....  we seem to be on the same page though - or plate.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

I've had that happen to me a half-dozen times, Linda. It was almost certainly a case of a message being delivered from the chef and not the waiter's fault. I wonder where that situation would go in court? We have bought and will pay for the food . . . is it not clear who would win that case. But then I'm not a lawyer and blah blah blah blah blah.  :)

 

 

Ooops!  Didn't see your post when I did mine....  we seem to be on the same page though - or plate.

 

 

Not a problem, Scotlander. I'll take it as reinforcement.  :)  B)  :unsure:

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.