For example, candidates coming in for mug shots were guided to the nearest blank wall, which in our crowded office wasn't easy to find. It was generally in the middle of the action somewhere, which certainly didn't help the subject from feeling a little self-conscious as office staff went about their business.
Isolating a still life against a white background involved a great deal of prep work with blank papers propped against books and a step ladder for us to take our camera and rise above it all. Poor lighting challenged us to lose the shadows.
The ad department in particular felt the need most, as they often wanted a photo of merchandise from a particular business for the comp department to use in a promotion. It generally fell to editorial staff to take the shot, and one of the subjects that challenged our writers with cameras to do well was food. Oh, we could deal with composition, and setup. But it's not enough.
If being a food photographer is something that interests you, you'll have to keep in mind that the end result has to entice. It should be as appetizing, perhaps even more so, than the real thing. To get started check out these great resources for helpful tips:
Digital Photography School's Introduction to Food Photography
8 Tips for Taking Picture Perfect Food Photos
Take a Perfect Food Photo
Digital Photography School Tips to Take Mouth-Watering Images
How to Photograph Food
Nikon's Tips for Taking Tempting Food Photos