When local photographer Jeryl Tan saw his jobs dry up during the circuit breaker period, he decided that he wanted to do more than binge on Netflix at home.
So he got down to business, helping 17 F&B establishments (and counting) beef up their online presence with professional photos of their offerings — all for free.
Speaking to CNA about his pro bono project, which will continue until the end of the circuit breaker (June 2), the 28-year-old explained that he had wanted to help F&B businesses which did not have access to proper food photography.
F&B businesses have had to rely on takeaways and food delivery services since dining in was disallowed on April 7 as part of circuit breaker measures.
With the authorities' recent announcement that dining in may have to wait, even as Singapore eases its restrictions after June 1, things are not looking up for the F&B industry just yet.
Despite online platforms such as Hawkers United, SG Dabao and Support Local SG mushrooming in recent months, many of the businesses aren't social media savvy, Tan said.
"It actually requires good visual content for people to want to click into your business," he explained.
Having previously worked on commercial shoots for brands such as Lee Hwa Jewellery and Samsung, Tan decided to use his expertise for a good cause, putting out a call on Facebook on May 8 for F&B joints in need of food photography and styling.
The businesses would be able to use the images for marketing purposes, in order to "reach out to the masses," Tan wrote.
He has completed a total of 17 photoshoots in the past two weeks for local F&B joints such as Vegan Haven and Lao Jiang Superior Soup, with more lined up in the following week, Tan said in an update on May 24.
One of the beneficiaries, Eric Lee, 37, the boss of Arcade Fish Soup, told CNA that he saw a 50 to 60 per cent increase in orders after switching out his product images for the ones taken by Tan.
"Through this, we realised that a good product picture tells a much better story than what words can convey and Jeryl's photos definitely had more impact than the ones I took on my handphone."
For those hoping to score a shoot with Tan, there are "very, very limited" slots available this week, he said. But he is still taking requests for businesses that "really need it".
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