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The average price of Photographers in Massachusetts is $350 per session

Compared to a national average of $250

Ken Rivard Photography profile image

Ken Rivard Photography

Food and restaurant photography. After a career in ghost-writing I got my start in photography shooting the food of my James Beard Award winning wife, Chef Jody Adams. From there I moved to restaurant interiors and staff photography - all of which I still actively do. Eventually I found myself photographing food and people in distant and exotic contexts - the hospitality programs at a Partners in Health hospital in Haiti, cooks and guides on Tanzanian safaris, and clients and activities on culinary bicycle tours in France and Italy. My wall-sized black and white street photography from Greece is an integral part of the designs of the Saloniki restaurants in Cambridge and Boston, as well as an upcoming new Saloniki in Harvard Square, scheduled to open in the fall of 2018. The latter will include a 27' x 10' collage of social life in the northern Greek city of Thessaloniki. Porto, the upscale Mediterranean restaurant next to Sak's Fifth Avenue in Boston's Back Bay displays my large (5' x 3.5') and photographs of octopus, squid, and wild salmon, as well as a giant photo (15'x3') of a red snapper on the dining room wallpaper. My photography has appeared in the Boston Globe, Gourmet, websites for Harper's and the Atlantic, and in Edible Boston. Portrait and headshot photography. Restaurants employ myriad aspiring artists, actors and musicians. I began providing headshots as a sideline for staff members, then recently for outside clients. As part of my pricing I supply images in two formats - one for electronic media and one for print. Depending on style and inclination, clients may be photographed in my Boston home studio or on site. Event photography After being pressed into service for last-minute restaurant functions, I added event photography to my repertoire - birthday parties, small corporate events, etc. As part of my fee I provide digital copies of photographs suitable for electronic use. High-resolution copies for print and physical marketing material may be purchased and downloaded from a private gallery on my website for an additional fee. Physical prints may also be purchased and ordered from the website gallery.

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What’s the secret to taking a great photograph?

Trust. I like working with people, whether it's about the food a chef cooks or shooting a portrait. With food, it means explaining how dishes plated for photography may be subtly different from those plated for diners. I've worked in restaurants, and I still spend a lot my time in kitchens personally and professionally. I know restaurant culture intimately and how its people work. With people, it's about getting people to relax, maybe even enjoy being in front of the camera. Whether it's about people or food, I see myself as a collaborator with clients in producing great images. I don't TAKE photographs - I make great images with my clients.

What questions might you ask a client when starting a new project?

After we get through the business of how many images they want and how they intend to use them, I start asking about visual ideas. What have you seen? What do you like? Is there a particular style you'd like to see in your images. Headshots for a corporate newsletter are going to be different than an idiosyncratic portrait. If I'm shooting food, obviously I'm trying to capture the style of the restaurant; if I'm shooting a food product - fruit, vegetables, meat or fish, I'm trying to convey quality, and perhaps a bit of the story of the people behind the product. But whatever I'm photographing, I try to bring just a bit of something different to each client that says, "This is special. This is me," or "This is who we are, this is what an experience with us will be."

What do you love most about your job?

Working with people, getting them to step outside their ordinary lives for a short while. I love talking to restaurateurs, fisherman and farmers about their work. For a few years I lived on a Michigan dairy farm as a child, and as I mentioned earlier, since I'm married to a chef, restaurants still play a big role in my life. Chefs have become celebrities, but for the longest time they were never heard from. The same is true of farmers and fishermen. People can be enormously invested in what they do, even if they're not compensated for it. I like showing that.

What inspired you to start your own business?

Aside from photojournalists - an increasingly endangered job - when have photographers NOT had their own businesses? My circumstances are a little unusual. During my ghostwriting career I worked with people in the wine and restaurant business. My wife and I wrote a fairly successful cookbook and our agent suggested we start a blog. A food blog without photography is an arid thing. My first photographs were terrible, but then I started to take online classes in and I got better. People began paying attention to our blog (www.thegarumfactory.net) and eventually I began getting inquiries about professional work.

Why should our clients choose you?

I'm easy. I'm willing to adapt if something isn't working. If I sense that a client and I aren't meant for one another, I'll say so. Life is too short for anything but good relationships.

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