My experience and impressions after one year of registering as a photographer with Meero.

Hey everyone!
I’m going to write about my experiences and impressions after one year of being a Meero photographer.
If you are thinking, “Should I register as a photographer on Meero?”, please read on.

The only badges I have are for food and drinks

In Meero, you must first acquire a badge in order to take on photo assignments.
A “badge” is like a license that certifies that you can shoot according to regulations.

There are three categories of badges as follows.

  • Real estate
  • Portraits & Interviews
  • Food & Drink

The Food & Drink badge is further divided into two grades within it, as follows

  • Professional
  • Premium

The “Professional” badge is the easier one to get.

However, Currently there are no projects that can be accepted with the “Professional” badge, so there is no point in getting the “Professional” badge.
I would say that the only badge for Food & Drink is practically “Premium”.

The only badge I got was for the “Food & Drink” category.
I have already earned both the “Professional” and “Premium” badges.

At first I thought it was a step-by-step process, where you get the “Professional” and then the “Premium”, but that wasn’t the case.
You can get both independently.

The frequency of case referrals is about 0-3 times per month

This probably depends on the area, but in my case, the frequency of case referrals is about 0 to 3 times per month.
Some months I didn’t receive any referrals for an entire month, and other months I received 2 or 3 referrals in quick succession.

My area of activity is from the western part of Chiba Prefecture to the eastern part of Tokyo.
In areas where there are more restaurants or where the opening/closing cycle is faster, there may be more referrals for projects.

Most shoots take place on weekdays from about 2:00 p.m.

All of the filming projects I’ve experienced have been during the daytime on weekdays.
The time slots were from 2:00 p.m. or 3:00 p.m.
I guess they finish shooting after the restaurant’s lunch hours and before the dinner hours.

Since Meero has a rule that the main light source for the shoot is basically natural light, the shoot will take place during the hours when natural light is available.

Travel time is about 30 minutes to one hour each way

This also depends on the project I accept, but in my case, I try to accept projects that require only 30 minutes to an hour of travel time each way.
Sometimes I receive referrals for projects that take 1.5 to 2 hours each way, but I have never accepted such a project because it is a bit daunting to have more than 3 hours of travel time disappear on the way there and back.

Of course, transportation expenses are covered, but it is tiring to carry heavy luggage for 1.5 to 2 hours to the site, shoot for 30 minutes, and then carry heavy luggage again for 1.5 to 2 hours to come back home.

Transportation expenses will be paid at the amount set by Meero

Of course, travel expenses will be paid.
In most cases, the amount is a guideline calculated by Meero and may differ from the actual amount.
In most cases, the amount is calculated by Meero and may be more or less than the actual amount.

Whatever the actual amount is, you will be reimbursed for the transportation fee provided by Meero.

I only accepted to take pictures for the delivery hall

I was asked to take two types of photos: one for the delivery center and one for Uber Eats.
I think most of them were for the delivery service.

And I have only taken on photo shoots for the delivery house.
I have turned down all photo shoots for Uber Eats.

Because the photo shoot for Uber Eats is a bit more complicated than the photo shoot for delivery service.

What is the trouble?

Props are essential for Uber Eats photography

Uber Eats photos must be taken with props.
What are props? They are things like a luncheon mat, plants, vegetables, or fruit that add color to the photo.
The requirement is to “bring and use props (accessories) that match the atmosphere of the restaurant,” and I have never taken on this job because it is a pain in the ass.

No props (accessories) required for photo shoots at delivery shops

Basically, props are not required for photo shoots for delivery pavilions.
The reason I say “basically” is because the regulation is that “props may be used if requested by the restaurant.
However, at least I have never been asked to use props (accessories) by a store.

The shooting environment at the site is not so fortunate

For example, there are many cases where there are no suitable tables for shooting, there is no suitable light source for shooting, or the location of the store is difficult to find and you have to walk around a lot to get there.

Moreover, you don’t know what kind of environment you will be shooting in until you get there.

Meero will not provide you with any advance information such as whether the environment is near a window in direct sunlight, or whether natural light is not available, what area, height, and material the table is made of, whether there is space for a tripod, light stand, or reflector, etc. So you will have to do as much research as possible on your own to find out. You will have to do your own research to the best of your ability, and be equipped with the flexibility to cope with a certain degree of variability in the environment.

In most cases, the number of photos taken is 14

In most cases, the number of photos taken for a delivery house is 14.
In most cases, 14 photos are taken for a delivery service. 10 photos of a single dish, 3 group photos of many dishes, and 1 photo list, for a total of 14 photos.

The shooting time for 14 photos is 30 minutes to 1.5 hours

If all the dishes for the photo shoot are already ready when you arrive at the restaurant and the setting up and shooting proceed smoothly, the entire process may be completed in about 30 minutes.
On the other hand, there have been cases where the cooking was done while filming, or the setting was not finalized or had to be rearranged, and the whole process took about an hour and a half.

The filming itself is not difficult

Shooting itself is not difficult.
The aperture, sensitivity, exposure, and composition are set in the regulations, so all you have to do is follow them.
All you need to do is follow the above regulations and make sure that the image is in focus and that it is not blurred.

If there is anything difficult, it is the following two points.

  • How to respond to the shooting environment
  • How to arrange the food in a group photo taken in three different patterns

RAW delivery is easy

Once the shooting is successfully completed, all that is left is to deliver the RAW files, which is a breeze.
It’s nice and easy not to have to develop the files.
If the white balance is not right, or if there is color coverage, or if there is noise, it’s Meero’s job to take care of it.

Testimonials

Experience #1: Shooting in the back of the store where no natural light reaches

Meero has a rule that natural light is the main source of light.
However, when this is not possible, we of course use strobes or other lighting.

In my experience, I have never been able to shoot comfortably with just the right amount of natural light.
I always use a strobe every time.

Moreover, in my case, I often have a hard time dealing with light, such as when shooting in a dimly lit orange-tinged store, or when shooting while blocking the strong light of colored window glass.

Experience #2: Shooting in a place where there is no suitable table for shooting

Meero has a regulation that the food must be placed on a table and photographed from a 45-degree angle with a wide enough margin.
To meet this requirement, you need a table of a decent size.
However, in some cases, you may have to shoot in an environment where you cannot prepare such a large table.

In my experience, there are cases like this.

There are many tables, but all of them have partitions that cannot be removed to prevent infection by the new type of coronavirus.
No matter which table I photographed, the partitions were always in the picture.

I somehow managed to complete the shooting, but when I arrived at the scene and learned of the situation, I was a bit troubled.

Story #3: Not knowing where the restaurant is

This is the case of not knowing the location of the restaurant you are going to shoot at in the first place before the shoot.

The address is shared, and of course I go there while checking the map on my iPhone, but I can’t find the restaurant.
The phone number of the person in charge of the store is shared, so I called and asked for the location of the store, which turned out to be a food court inside a home improvement center.
If it was a department store or a shopping mall, I would have thought “maybe there is a food court in there,” but I didn’t think there was a food court in a home improvement center, so I couldn’t find it.

I don’t think I can make it on my main income

Meero can’t really consider this one thing as its main source of income.
Here are two reasons why

  • Low unit price
  • Fewer projects

Low unit price

The compensation you can earn by completing a shoot is about $50 per project.
Since it is a low-difficulty shoot and you only need to deliver the RAW data without developing it, the low unit price may not be an issue.

Fewer projects

As I mentioned earlier, the number of projects is about 0-3 per month in my case.
This cannot be considered a stable source of income.
It’s just a little bit of extra income.

Learn and earn money

Shooting with Meero is good training in how to take beautiful photos in a variety of environments with maximum creativity.
The placement of the food, the lighting, the use of accessories in some cases, and so on.
Of course, I am getting paid to take pictures, so I need to ensure the quality of the pictures.

It is also a great way to gain experience communicating with customers and talking about sales.
This is also very important.

I’m grateful for the training and the money.

So, what did you think of my experience and impressions after one year of being a Meero photographer?
Thanks for reading to the end!
I hope you guys find it useful!

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