This past year has been my biggest growth year for food photography, so I thought I’d share 14 food photography lessons learned.
You will heal. I will help.
This past year has been my biggest growth year for food photography, so I thought I’d share 14 food photography lessons learned.
It’s been several months of new spaces for us, and yesterday I entered yet another.
Back in January via my delish 3-Ingredient Chocolate Peanut Butter Shake recipe, I shared that I was looking for an office studio space. I mentioned,
So today, and last week, and every single day until I find it…..I am officially looking for office studio space – a working environment away from the home where I’m able to have a better balance of “work” time then “home” time because it’s something I have not had for years.
Recently, I shared that I had found my space, but that I wasn’t ready to share it quite yet.
I’m glad I chose to wait because the spot I had picked out ended up not completely working out. Not “completely” because it’s not the spot I wanted, but I’m still working with the same owner, and that was also kind of important to me.
Anyways, my original spot was one large open room. It needed work and a lot of clutter removal. I was totally cool with it, though, because the space itself came with charm.
It didn’t work out, and that’s probably okay because the new office studio space I got is much bigger, perfectly clean and ready to move into (today!), and has everything I’ll need for all pieces to my business (clients, photography, styling, other content creation, designing, copy, and then, of course, this blog + the very limited health coaching I still do, and Beautycounter).
Yesterday I got the keys to the new place. It’s a 2 bedroom apartment, complete with a full kitchen and bathroom, and it even has a dishwasher, which I find to be hilarious because our rental house doesn’t even have that.
I went yesterday just to stand in the apartment and soak up my vision for what I want to do with it, and how I want to fully utilize the full space (if I’m paying for it, might as well use all of it).
It’s hard to imagine if you’re not there, but these pictures give a rough idea of what the place looks empty.
Here is what I’m going to do with it:
There is this little space in the kitchen for a small table. I’m going to get a table of sorts for this space. Why? Because it can be dual-acting: prepared food extras (for when I need to grab ‘n go for styling) and also for when I want to invite someone over for coffee or lunch. Seriously. It’s going to be quiet in there (which is what I’ve needed), but my plan is to make it cute, cozy, and invite-able.
I am creative, but when new spaces feel cozy and charming, I’m inspired and the creativity runs wild.
Basic. Like any other 2 bedroom apartment in rural Minnesota.
But I finally have a space that’s all mine to separate work and home (and produce, produce, produce!), and I could not be more excited about new spaces. Once it’s all set up (at least structurally, I’m guessing it will constantly be a work in progress), I’ll share what it looks like.
p.s. via a private Studio Spaces Pinterest board, I’ve been saving some ideas, but I’d love yours, too! Do you have your own office space? Where did you find the stuff for it? I’m craving a big, beautiful color wheel, for starters.
p.s.s. Speaking of new spaces, moving into our “new” house is getting closer and closer. I can’t wait to share it with you! In the meantime, I keep adding new ideas to two Pinterest boards you might enjoy: Our New House (I started this one a long time ago, but the recent pins are most relevant) + Kid Rooms (Why do I have only one board for all 3 of our kids? Because I’m not doing any woo-woo “themed” rooms i.e. princesses. I want all their rooms to be a classic, classy, mostly neutral and clean look.)
If you don’t have time to read these posts daily, but don’t want to miss them, be sure to follow via Bloglovin’ and/or join my personal e-newsletter HERE. I am doing my best to send a once per week email recap of prior week’s posts.
If there is a topic surrounding change that you would love for me to include in this series, please just CONTACT ME.
It’s finally Shark Tank time! I started telling you about it in the September recap, but after a few years of wanting to be on the show, it’s happening this upcoming Sunday.
Updated on Monday, October 16, 2017: Makenzie struck a deal with Mark Cuban on the show! It was incredible.
I won’t physically be on the show, but this is as close as I’ll likely ever be.
Click HERE to save this product for later.
I told you in Goodbye, A Loving Spoon nut butters that the reason I wanted to go on the show was for capital. And within the sentence stated, “And so yes, if they reach out now, I will have to decline.” In March of 2016, (immediately after publishing that blog post) Shark Tank did reach out. In fact, the way it all went down (the back and forths with the show) was similar to what Makenzie experienced.
The difference? Third time was a charm for her.
I’ve been with Makenzie (we call her Mak) for over a year now. I started with her during the earlier days of Delighted By Dessert Hummus.
A guy I worked with at Nutiva met her randomly at Expo West 2016. Conversations evolved, and somewhere along the way, she said, “I love the photos at Nutiva. Who does them?”
I was home in Minnesota when I had my first call with her.
I saw so much of myself in her, (from a food entrepreneur standpoint) yet many of the qualities she possed, I was simply never able to bring to life.
She had this wild, crazy, and over-the-top passion for life, people, quality product, spirituality, and entrepreneurship that I resonated with 1,000%.
So, then, how finally Shark Tank for me?
One day this past March (I think it was then….but I can’t even remember), Mak texted me, “Hey, I’m going to be sending you some release forms for your images. I need you to sign and get them back to me ASAP. Shark Tank needs them, but we cannot say a word.”
I signed the papers, and then she sent me a list of some of her favorite images. She needed them in their original sizes so they could be blown up. To this day, they sit in a folder on my computer called, “Makenzie Canvas Project.”
I figured they would somehow be incorporated in her pitch, but until about a week ago, I never knew just how much they would be shown on the show.
From the show’s press kit for this upcoming Sunday, here is a sneak peek.
Guys….I am absolutely, over-the-top excited about this! Kind of school girl-ish, for a million reasons, but mostly because of the fact that I never started my marketing career thinking, “I’m going to be a food photographer.” In fact, even though I photograph food, I don’t even fully consider myself a food photographer.
I niched down even more than the broad food photography category.
I sought to work with only natural food brands whose products I loved and respected in order to help bring their product packaging and brand story to life via images.
I have learned that taking this angle vs. straight food photography are very different, and personally, I really enjoy the brand side of it.
But I never knew just how much I loved it until I saw this press photo of Mak on Shark Tank with all of my images.
Skeptical about it? I was, too. Ryan was. We all were. Chickpeas turned dessert?
But I cannot even tell you how incredible this product is!
Samarah could eat an entire container in one sitting. I’ve also let her do it in the past, too. It’s absolutely incredible, kind of like eating cookie dough right out of a container.
There are 4 current flavors:
They boast facts: Vegan, dairy-free, free from top 8 allergens, gluten-free, all-natural, zero preservatives, and non-GMO.
And if you click HERE you can browse several ways to use it.
You better grab some now (click HERE for the store locator or feel free to reach out to me personally if you can’t find it in your area – p.s. homeskillet MN – it’s at Hy Vee in Owatonna!) before the show airs. Rumor has it that, no matter what – deal or no deal, Shark Tank has the ability to eliminate all stock and crash websites. Ah…..the “problems” Mak is going to encounter. You’ve earned it!
It’s finally Shark Tank time. Tune in this Sunday, October 15th to ABC, 9/8c to see if Mak strikes a deal with the sharks. What do you think?! Will she or won’t she?
I had the most beautiful zucchini all ready for the photo shoot on Saturday. It was lush green and perfectly plump on the outside. The goal was to cut it into strips and slices to display the perfect insides with a little mist and that lush, green color radiating on the outside. The only problem was that it was so ugly on the inside.
I did my biggest one-day food photography photo shoot yet this past Saturday with Megan. I can’t show the final product yet, mostly because it’s not done, but also because I think it’s sort of still under wraps. What I can say is that we spent an entire day playing with colorful fruits and vegetables galore.
The night before and early that morning of, I went on a fruit and vegetable hunt for the most beautiful fruits and vegetables I could find. I went to two grocery stores and the farmer’s market. And honestly, almost everything looked as beautiful on the outside as it did on the inside. Except, of course, for that one zucchini.
It was so beautiful on the outside, but ugly on the inside.
Saturday was a long and exhausting day, and I crashed as early as I could that night because the next morning I had to be up at 3:45 am to be at a friend’s house at 4:30 am so we could drive to the city (San Francisco) for the San Francisco Half Marathon.
I spent over 2 hours running that morning, slow and steady, calm and almost effortless. It felt so meditative, just like the running I remembered from the days when I wasn’t so concerned with hitting sub-8-minute miles.
As I ran with my two friends, we talked most of the time, but during the silence and anytime I pushed myself to do quick bursts of sprints uphill, my mind wandered back to that zucchini, to the prior day, and to the whole idea of something so beautiful on the outside, and yet so ugly on the inside.
There are many analogies I could have correlated to my beloved zucchini, but I kept on coming back to my children.
Go figure. These days, every single thing always seems to come back to them.
I am no different than you. Even though they are not flesh of my flesh or bone of bone, I still believe they are the most beautiful children in the world. My bias is the same as yours, and that is okay.
I want them (and maybe I’m talking more so about the girls now than Isaiah) to know they are absolutely beautiful for their entire lives. Ryan and I are likely to tell them it each and every single day, too.
But I need them to know that all their beauty on the outside means almost nothing, and it especially means nothing if their insides don’t match the outside.
I don’t ever want my children to be lovely on the outside, great at sports, and excel in school, but then turn around, hurt other kids and say mean things.
5 years ago I thought parenting was surface-deep, meaning changing diapers, pampering, buying cute new clothes, and on and on.
But today it’s all so different. I’ve already seen my children’s feelings get hurt. I’ve watched them cry over hitting (sometimes just each other), and feel lonely. I use those times as teaching moments. Please remember this, remember how you feel right now so you don’t do this to someone else.
Like I have told Maya, “You is smart, you is kind, you is important.” You know, the important things.
In food photography, you learn quickly that what separates poor quality from the extraordinary are the details, all those fine little details. The beautiful outside must match the beautiful inside. If it doesn’t, then you can’t cut said item in order to display all of its features. And if you can’t display all the features you can’t create more color, texture, story, and variety. No amount of photo editing will help a rotten subject.
And just how true is this for life?
I strongly believe that one of my top priorities as a Mother is to make sure my children need zero editing, that their beautiful, little outsides always match a beautiful, little inside.
Are you ready for my Gluten Free Recipe Roundup Two? It has only been a little over a month and already I have another entire post dedicated to recipes.
In mid-April, I published the first Recipe Roundup. Now I’m back for more!
Sometimes I wish that all the recipes I create could be for my blog only, living and breathing here. And while the truth is that I could easily come up with hundreds of more recipes strictly for my blog, right now, in the season of life, I have chosen not to.
I am saying “Yes” to client work, recipes, and photography and “No” to hours and hours and hours of extra time doing the very same thing right here. For now, I am okay with the content I produce on my own site because I am still able to share these amazing recipes with you via the round ups.
Click HERE to save these for later.
What’s up next? Summer is just beginning to there will be Peach Rice Pudding Pops and more. I am likely to publish a few of these recipes on my own blog, too, so you can get a little sample of the goodness I’ve been up to!
If there is ever a recipe you’d love to see me create, please do contact me. My wheels are constantly spinning!
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