205: Food Photographer Tyler Darden Discusses Finding Clients, Knowing Your Market, and Relationship Building Advice

Tyler Darden is a food and lifestyle photographer and cinematographer based in Richmond, VA. After spending first part of his career as a magazine art director, he followed the siren call to pursue photography full time in 2010. He experiments with large format and ultra large format film photography, documentary and filmmaking. His understanding wife and three children often roll their eyes when he wants to test lighting equipment and technique on them. Little known fact—he was a theme park caricature artist for 6 years in high school and college. His photos have been published in Virginia Living magazine, Wall Street journal, Okra magazine, Garden & Gun magazine, Self magazine, Men’s Health magazine, Colonial Williamsburg and for corporate clients, Lidl foods, Giant foods and McKesson medical.

In this interview, we tackle the following topics:

  • How Tyler got his start with food and lifestyle photography
  • His greatest struggles running his business, and how he overcame them
  • The most effective techniques he uses to find new clients
  • The importance of knowing WHO and WHERE your target market is
  • The role of relationship building in his business
  • How Tyler got honest feedback on his work, and how he incorporated it into his business model
  • How Tyler put effort into his online and print presentation
  • The difference in workflows when serving families vs businesses
  • The importance of putting yourself out there and meeting with potential clients face to face
  • The team aspect of pulling off a successful food photography photo shoot
  • How Tyler got an effective website up and running
  • Advice for beginners wanting to break into food photography
  • the resources Tyler uses to make his business more effective than ever

Tyler Can Be Found At: