See, when people ask what I do and I tell them I take photos of food, they get all confused. They think I eat all day long. It's also easy to mix up food photographer with food blogger (which I am not). My focus is on providing food photography services to restaurant and other food businesses. On the other end, which is the b2c side, Dish Crawl Co focuses on helping food entrepreneurs, whether through helping restaurants through influencer marketing and helping aspiring food photographer master their craft from both a technical and business side.
As a food photographer, my job often looks easy and is met with awe and admiration. Through the beginning, I've been blessed with positive comments and adulation. Friends often come to me and say how much I've inspired them. I am equally thankful for these encounters and could have never dreamed that I'd inspire anyone with my work. Through the countless positive remarks, there have been only about a handful of cases of negativity - passive aggression as we call it, but I won't go into that here.
My work requires a lot of due diligence and grind. 90% of this game is strategy and understanding how this ecosystem works. Currently, my wish is to dominate the ecosystem of food photography within the SF Bay Area region. This means that, I'm hoping to work with larger deals than restaurants currently. I'm looking for commercial deals as well as cookbook deals. If you have any leads, I'd love to hear you.
All creatives deal with emails, logistics, and planning, and the business talk. It's essential to learn to deal with people with the highest level of professionalism. If a deal isn't fair, you must learn to communicate it in a cordial manner. You must also know how to provide value and continue providing the amount of value to match your pricing strategy.
No two days are the same. I'm currently enrolled in a masters program at a university within the SF Bay Area and have been trying to run my own food photography business, as well as Dish Crawl Co which helps many restaurants in SF Bay Area. I wear many hats as an entrepreneur and realized that since I do not deal well in structured environments, this is the way I learn the fastest. I have dealt with the simple side of business from communications, public relations, and email marketing, to accounting and finance, managing invoices, customer service, account management, marketing, and most importantly, sales. I couldn't have learned any of this in an MBA program, and I'm thankful that I now have the opportunity to apply all of this skills in a way that makes most sense to me.
Through my time as a food photographer, the most part is executing the actual food photoshoot. It does not take too long, and I always love meeting the restauranteurs at hand and having a good time with the shoot. The hardest parts involve the logistics.
Currently, I plan to do food photography for a long time - as long as I can. I'm also working on my food videography to capture more of the market, but to also target online education for food photography workshops. These videos will serve 2 sets of consumers, 1) consumers who want to learn about branding and food photography and 2) consumers who want to learn how to build a customer base for their restaurants. This will all be done through Dish Crawl Co.
That said, no days are the same at all. On most days, I'm working on school work, and then working on food photography edits and photoshooting at restaurants. I attend many tastings for influencers that help restaurants and host an occasional food photography workshop event. I also wrote an ebook recently that can be found here. I've been working on brainstorming and ideating for my next ebooks, workshops, and photoshoots. I'm also working on different post-processing techniques, and finding a way to streamline my food photography business from a logistics standpoint. I also spend a lot of time talking to restauranteurs and finding a way to bring in more customers for them on a macro aspect. This is managed through Dish Crawl Co.
I'm often hustling at this work during school (during class time) and during meetings that are not related. As an entrepreneur, I realize that there needs to be a time for proper relaxation, as life is stressful and these tastings are not healthy. As such, I try to make a point to exercise around 5 days per week. On Monday/Tuesday/Thursday/Friday, I lift, and Wednesday I run. I occasionally run or hike on the weekends. These gym sessions help me stay grounded and keep me happy.
I realize that a lot of what I do is potentially glamorous, but many people do not understand what goes behind it, and what the diet entails. I believe that much of it is unhealthy as it is filled with processed foods, high carbs, high salts, high cholesterols, fatty/oily foods, and ultimately food that should have no place in my body. As such, I have decided to change my life, by still attending these tastings, but really just tasting, instead of ingesting a full meal of it. I plan on focusing on a more wholesome diet that is high in proteins, and low in carbs and sugars to ensure that I have a higher energy throughout the day. I have recently heavily decreased the amount of coffee I drink and that has made me already feel much better. I used to drink coffee a high amount per week and believe that is not the way to live.
Through all these tastings, adventures, and shenanigans, I now know that I want to live a healthier life, one that is healthier in terms of diet, exercise, and relationships, as well as one that free from stress and maximizes experience based happiness. I know that it doesn't take much to be happy, and understand that a focus on finding my purpose, working towards it, as well as working on myself in ways that are simple, yet make a huge difference will ultimately garner the highest level of happiness.
I never want to stop doing what I do and I'm very thankful for those who have supported me. I hope that my work inspires others to lead a life that he/she has always wanted and to never stop learning and doing.