I am a food photographer and for me food has not only the taste, but also the appearance. Often, working with chefs, first of all I ask them to buy the beautiful products. Sometimes I even go with the buyers to their secret places.

So I want to share with you these secret places where you have to buy the right products for the food photo shoots.

First and most important place – it is a local farmer’s market. There is always fresh, local food just from the fields. You also have a huge selection and the opportunity to bargain. And this food is often homemade. Seasonal products are at affordable prices.

Chefs often have their regular suppliers in such markets with whom they have long exchanged contacts. And chef can know in advance what a particular seller will bring him next time. If you know at least one chef in the city where you plan to go, ask him to take you to the farmer’s market.

Advice from Sergey Baysarevich: “If you are the first time at the farmer’s market, pay attention to the sellers that have products in boxes and packages with different shapes and colors. This is the first sign that this is not massively imported food, and that it is collected from fields in the neighbor farm”.

Where to buy food?

The second place where I buy food is closed farms, which don’t sell their products in the markets. They have enough customers without retail sale.

This is a private network that perhaps was created for particular customers, for the network of restaurants and cafes, which need to sell a small surplus. Or for a particular group of families who value quality and natural products. If you’re lucky and you found such farm, please share contact with me :)

Importers of foreign goods.

Do you like a good, quality Parmesan or suddenly you need coconut milk for a recipe? Don’t rush to buy these products at the local supermarket. Seek importers of those products you need. Again, this is either a firm that serves for the restaurants and retail outlets or small importers who bring those products in small batches, which you liked on vacation in another country.

Advice from the chef Aleksey Shvects: “Ask the chef that you know, when he will order a new batch of products. Perhaps he will be able to order some more products just for you at wholesale prices”.

Where to buy food?

And the last point is a supermarket. It’s worth going to this place just for those products that you couldn’t buy in the places above or you simply don’t have enough time and you’re not willing to wait for delivery. A bit expensive, poor quality, seasonal produce, but sometimes you can buy this asparagus just in this supermarket and in this period of time.

That’s all. And remember, you should be friends with chefs. They can not only cook delicious food, but also show you a good way where to buy good and quality products.