Blog Title: My Vegan Minimalist
Tajda (pronounced tide-ah) is a food photographer and recipe developer born in Slovenia and based in Manchester, UK.
Despite her relatively small following on social media, Ty managed to grow food photography into a successful career. She has worked with small local brands and big international companies to help them create beautiful food images. Her images have been featured in print magazines. Ty is also a contributor at Picture Pantry, one of the leading stock image agencies in the world for premium food photography.
Notes from Episode #119:
Fun fact: Tajda didn’t know how to cook or bake until she was in her early twenties. That’s unusual because she’s a food blogger! But Tajda had a mom who was an amazing baker and cook so she relied on mom’s quality food until she moved out.
Tajda took a Food Photography Course that catapaulted her into the food photography world. She really enjoyed the class. But it also helped her recognize she had a passion for business in the food photography realm. She really became aware of the whole world around food photography available to her.
Tajda took spare hours to practice and use free resources to work on her skill. She invested in herself, in honing her understanding of her camera and how to use it. She learned to work on the art and craft of photography.
Tajda found that as she gained more skills, she wanted to pursue her own business. Once her mindset switched to this is a business, she was focused and determined.
One thing Tajda did that set her up well for the future was to seek a business advisor. They helped her to put together a business plan, consider cash flow and diversifying her income. She learned how to present herself professionally to clients.
Another tip Tajda offers is to create a business website that is separate from a blog. Tajda did this herself to display her services and show off her best work with featured images. By doing this, Tajda was able to outline her professional services while her blog was more of her creative outlet.
Her website allowed her to share reviews and testimonials as well. This built up Tajda’s authority to people viewing her work.
Tajda has graphic design experience so she made sure to have her brand carry through her whole website. Everything from the home page, About section and on price guides. Her look was professional and let people know she took her job seriously.
Once Tajda had finished her photography course and put together her site, it took her less than 3 months to earn back her money and start finding clients. This was before she’d even began to pitch to clients and seek out work.
A year after moving forward with food photography and completing the course, Tajda found that she wasn’t having to pitch as ofteb because now she was receiving referrals and people were finding her online through Google and her socials.
Don’t wait until you can buy expensive equipment or all the things to get started. There are so many free resources to train you, to teach you and help you improve so that you get started from where you are!
Tajda lives in the UK where she has a lot of cloudy weather and no view from her home so to maximize photography options, she uses artificial lighting. But if you have a great spot with big open space, windows and daily sun, then you can use natural light to take your photos and its affordable (aka free!).
Food photography exists outside food blogging and social media so there is work you can do. Below are some examples:
Working with restaurants. As a food photographyer, you can offer monthly photoshoots where you shoot new menu options or you set up their whole menu to display on their menus or their website. Pitching to a restaurant is similar to pitching to another Brand. Visit local places you really like, get familiar with their recipes and the vibe they’ve created. Then reach out in person and email to share how you can build on that in photography. Restaurants, bakeries and grocery stores can be great locations to reach out to.
Creating photography for Food Brands or companies that aren’t related to food is another avenue. For Tajda, that company was Panasonic. They have a line of electronic appliances they needed photography for.
Find your niche! This will help you a lot and let your potential clients find you and value your work as well.
Selling stock photography is another avenue to supplement your income in this field. Upload your own images for sale. The Picture Pantry is a site Tajda recommends. She recommends this site because they value quality vs quantity. You can use the photos you have on your block and the other outtakes you didn’t use as well.
Recipe creation and accompanying beautiful photos will help Brands know they want to work with you. So keep working on your photography! For Tajda this has been profitable and married the two types of work she loves.
Focus on practicing and analyze the images. One technique Tajda uses is to take a picture of hers, places it in a Word document. Then place another image similar to it from another persons site. Then play spot the differences! Ask yourself, what is similar; what is missing; how can I achieve the lighting, the colors, the props that speak to me about this other photo. Is it editing? Reflect on your work to improve it. Don’t put pressure on yourself while you’re learning to do this – it’s a process!
Surround yourself with great food images. Follow people on Instagram that had great photography skill so that you are inspired. You’ll see different compositions and become inspired by those professional people you look up to.
It can take a long time to grow your following and audience. You can diversify what you do as you grow by trying out these other avenues to grow your business. Brands will see the value you provide with quality work even if you don’t have a large following.
Quote: Never let the things that you want distract you from the things you have.
Helpful references from the episode:
How to create light and airy food photos.
5 Tips for New Food Photographers
How to find inspiration as a food photographer
How to take action shots in food photography
How to photograph food
How to shoot food on your phone like a pro
Foodtography School, Advanced Foodtography School, FullTime Framework, Artificial Academy.
The Bite Shot, Two Loves Studio
Food Blogger Pro with Rachel Korinek
Food Blogger Pro episode with Joanie Simon
Food Blogger Pro episode with Taylor Mathis