5 Tips to Better the Craft: FOOD! | Leighton DaCosta, Tampa Beauty Photographer

Craft services could be grand or simple. Presentation and substance matters! Location: Elite Pour La Vie, Atlanta, GA.

Craft services could be grand or simple. Presentation and substance matters! Location: Elite Pour La Vie, Atlanta, GA.

What happens when an entire beauty team has been on set for hours and working hard? HUNGER! In today’s post, I wanted to keep things simple and talk about a different part of the craft. Craft services. Simply the food and refreshments that are provided during extended projects and shoots.

When scheduling a shoot longer than three hours, some kind of refreshment should be provided. For sessions longer than 6 hours, expect to have two to three extended breaks and on set snacks.

Having refreshments will help keep up the energies of all involved. Here are some tips when it comes to setting up craft services.

  1. Be functional.

    • While pretty trays make great visuals, whats more important is what is IN the trays. Plural finger foods go a long way. Crackers, cheese slices, sliced meats, cookies and other snacks are great.

  2. Be Sanitary

    • Have enough cups and serving utensils available. Try to minimize the need to physically touch food, especially foods that the person will not be taking for themselves.

    • If possible have a hand wash station/sanitizing station.

    • If on location, have individually wrapped items or individual portions.

  3. Be Plentiful

    • For me, the standard ratio is 2:1 for each person there for snacks/fruits. This way crew can have options. I’ve found if you got 3:1 there is significant waste, and if you got 1:1, it often isn’t enough.

    • When serving drinks, individual servings are better, unless you have some sort of dispensing system. The best part about small 6 ounce bottles and cans, is the ability to use leftovers for future sessions and events. The worst part is excess waste/trash, so try and recycle as much as possible.

  4. (Don’t) Be Cheap

    • Depending on the crowd and/or shoot, you may not have to have $5 water bottles on set. Often you can find premium labeled snacks and drinks, available in smaller sizes for a great value. This is where quality matters more than quantity. Establish a cost per person, and maintain that budget.


    • For smaller shoots and sessions, craft services seems to be a tradition that is coming to an end, but this could be a great opportunity to find a new marketing partner. I try to use local businesses when possible. It may not seem like a big deal, but an extra $100 to a local breakfast spot goes a long way for one sale, and can often feed about 15-30 people. Just call them up, tell them what you are needing, and let them worry about delivery, utensils, setup, and sometimes, even cleanup.

Do you currently provide craft services to your shoots and sessions? What are some of your tips?


Leighton DaCosta

Hello, I'm Leighton and I help people around the world tell their story. Let me introduce myself. Whether it's for online dating, or a professional profile, it always seems that the "About Me" section is always the hardest to write. Not because you have nothing to say about yourself, but because you want to be sincere, genuine, interesting, and brief all at the same time. I have never been a fan of writing about me in the third person, like: "Leighton DaCosta, was born in Kingston, Jamaica, and moved to Brooklyn, NY at an early age when his parents wanted to form a new life for themselves and their children. In the third grade, the family moved to Orlando, Fl, where Leighton considers his home town. After spending 3 tours in the Navy, he settled in Jacksonville, and now Miramar, Florida, where he now calls home. Today, still wanted by many, he does work as a fashion and wedding photographer. If you have a wedding(or photo shoot)... if no one else can help... and if you can find him... maybe you can hire... ok.. this is not The A- Team." But you see what I mean? What do you know about me? How can we connect? Did you know that my FAVORITE food is Pizza and Sushi? Or that my favorite color is Purple? When I go to the wine bars, I usually order Mimosas, because even the cheapest champagne tastes great with some good ole OJ. When I travel, I like staying in nice hotels. Not because of the name, (even though I AM partial to Hyatt) but because of the bathrooms. One of my favorite hotels is the Viking in Newport, Rhode Island. Small rooms, but AWESOME bathrooms. I LOVE TO EAT, and eating as much as I have, has led me to be about 100 pounds more than I was in High School... Yeah there is some muscle there, but if it was all muscle, I'm sorry folks, I wouldn't be taking photos, I would be retiring from the NFL. If you want to see some of my favorite dishes, follow me on Instagram. Because of that, I find myself now in the gym more than ever. Trying to stay fit and alive... I workout, so I can EAT! Well that's enough for now, if you want to know more about me, follow my blog. Better yet, I want to find out more about YOU. So let's talk!