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Food Styling – When profession and passion walk side by side

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Allow your passion to become your purpose, and one day it will become your profession” – Gabriel Bernstein

How often do you watch the clock and wait for each day to end, at your work place?

Many of us end up taking jobs we hate and get stuck to it as years pass by. 

My story

Food, healthy eating and creativity always fascinated me since childhood, thanks to my doctor father.  

But I failed miserably to convince my family to pursue my passion. 

I suppose for children of 60’s and 70’s there was no such thing as choosing your profession according to your talents or interests. There was nothing beyond engineering or medicine.

And I also followed the herd.

After several futile efforts for a medical seat, I chose to work in corporate world during early 90’s before finally giving up to follow my passion for food and art. 

My Food-centric journey

It all started with an online blog called Lite Bite many years ago. 

It was my creative outlet to share what inspired me. From food stories, recipes, sharing cultures & traditions to holding workshops on various topics.

In coming years it completely changed my world. It opened the doors for many new career opportunities.

Food styling is one among them.

Journey as a Professional food stylist

In India Food styling is still an emerging profession and is yet to be institutionalized.

Back then, I was fairly new to the commercial world of food styling and had no mentor whom I could observe or assist. 

Oh yes, “I had to jump off the cliff and build my wings on the way down.” (Ray Bradbury)

I learnt it the hard way by observing pictures, reading online articles and through hands-on-experiences while working on the sets and film studios.

My transition would have been very smooth had there been someone to guide me through the nitty-gritties of food styling. 

All said and done, it is one of the most rewarding jobs I am doing, both creatively and monetarily.

What is Food styling

Food styling is to create a visually engaging story through food and make food look camera friendly.

More precisely it is to visualize an idea, create an image in your mind and bring it alive with lots of tools and tricks of trade. 

And like many other professions you need to be a team player, confident, problem solver, well organized and should be able to work under tremendous stress. Being creative and a good cook helps.

Commercial Projects

I have completed over 100 plus national & international assignments for various brands, companies, advertisements, packaging industry, magazines, restaurants, TV commercials and TV serials. 

Some of the brands I have worked for are Amazon, Philips, Swiggy, Panasonic, Park Hyatt, Hatsun, Longleaf Tea Vodka (Australian brand) and the likes.

For once, I can proudly say, “If you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life.” This surely is one job which makes me jump out of bed every single morning.

Rewards of having a passionate job – You are

  • Enthusiastic at work
  • Motivated and engaged 
  • Highly productive

Hobby Vs Passion

Just because you like watching cricket or have a camera will not make you a million dollar cricketer or a photographer. Hobby is different from passion.

Your hobby should have a goal and be able to solve a real-world problem, to eventually turn it into a profitable profession.

A passion without a goal will reduce to a mere hobby. There is no easy road to success. 

Following your passion is not enough, you also need to come out of your comfort zone, work hard and make it happen with commitment, determination and lots of sacrifices on your way.

The advantage of turning your profession into a career is that you genuinely love what you do, which could lead to better performance.

How to convert your passion into a profession:

  • Identify your passion or calling
  • Get family support
  • Evaluate the risks involved 
  • Research your subject
  • Determine the demand or market 
  • Make plan and take a plunge

Don’t let your passion take a back seat. Everyone has a passion or a talent which can be turned into a profitable business. But what is rare is the desire and courage to follow the same.

While this may sound like a good advice, it is easier said than done. 

If you’re lucky to have found your calling, work on it, align your goals with it and never let it go.

This has worked for me.

And believe me, there is nothing better than doing what you love and getting paid for it!

Keep knocking long & hard, the door will eventually be open.

 

Some of the Television commercials (TVC’s) and advertisement shoots for various National and regional brands, restaurants and companies I did food styling for, are listed below.

Still shoots for restaurants and packaging brands

 

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