Monday, February 23, 2015

Chase Your White Rabbit

We all have interests. Things we find enough worth in spending our time doing that they acquire the title of something we are ‘interested’ in. Interests are a little…well… interesting, when you really take the time to think about them (which I obviously have, hence, this post!). I’ve discovered, from the time you become interested in something, it can go a couple of different ways…

1) You can find it interesting—but not interesting enough that you want to pursue it further. It’s a fleeting interest which will soon be replaced by something else on Pinterest, Facebook, or Instagram.

2) You take action! You explore this interest further, actually investing some time into research.

If you find yourself in the second point, it can then go two different ways…

1) You find it’s not actually as interesting as you originally thought. 

2) (And this is where it gets good) You find yourself genuinely captivated by your interest… You venture down the rabbit hole of continued intrigue set before you and you end up with a hobby and perhaps, even a new passion. 

Lately I found myself as Alice with my head poking down the rabbit hole into a wonderland of Food Styling.

Instagram post from 2 years ago!
It’s been a natural progression—so much so that I didn’t really realize it was a real thing to be interested in until a teacher mentioned it to me. As someone who has enjoyed the art of baking for a number of years now, I have documented the various baked goods I’ve made and posted a good handful onto Instagram for my friends to see. Generally unintentionally posted as a teaser of what my friends would soon get to tantalize their taste buds with, these images allowed me to follow through with the creative energy that was already flowing through the baking process. It was fun to use whatever I could find at home to try to take a fun picture—from wooden stumps to jars, and anything laying around the apartment.

As I moved into professional baking I found myself following bakers and bakeries more closely on social media. I became captivated by how gorgeously a baked good can be presented. Showing a beautifully hand crafted baked good was one thing, showcasing a baked good with perfect lighting and interesting composition with raw ingredients and tools included as supporting actors in the shot made an incredible difference in how enticing the item became. Seeing these images literally captivated me—I could look at them for hours. I began exploring with these same techniques. I had to take pictures for my employers Instagram feed which provided me the perfect opportunity to play around with literally every tool needed at my fingertips.

More recent food styling from Christmas 2014! Mmmm
Egg Nog Donuts *drool*
During the explanation of an assignment at school one day, a teacher said the words ‘food styling’ and it all just clicked. That’s what I have been so intrigued with the past few months! This is the topic I can now type into Pinterest to then spend hours upon hours staring at the images, all while being fully engaged by what is being presented!

I had to complete a project in school where we reached out to someone in the industry, preferably in a specific job we would like to see ourselves in one day or something that intrigues us, and ask them a few questions about their job as well as what they look for in an apprentice and what professionalism means to them. I realized this was my opportunity to learn more about food styling from someone who actually does it! I began to research stylists and found that most of the people I found whose images really spoke to me were of those who were actual chefs in their past. They were the folks creating food for so long and documenting it, that the transition to becoming a stylist was a natural progression.

Even though those I emailed said they would get back to me, and never did, it was still an amazing opportunity to research and gain knowledge on this little piece of the industry I had uncovered. There are food styling workshops you can attend, food styling books, online courses and more.

Recent shot from this week!
Putting the book to use at a shoot you'll see more of soon!
See some sneak peaks on Instagram!
Ar Christmas, my Secret Santa at my previous place of employment was someone I worked closely with. She saw my interest develop and got me a book called Plate to Pixel: Digital Food Photography and Styling. I just had a week off where I committed myself to reading the book and implementing the techniques with the foods I love to create—cakes and cupcakes!

It’s so wonderful to find encouragement and learning opportunities—these opportunities become more evident the more you explore your passions and allow others to come along on the journey with you. Exploring this book more depth will only guide me to other paths to journey along. They will lead me to new teachers to share ideas and learn from, new worlds, and hopefully a helpful array of Cheshire cats to keep me in line and inspire me while I chase this new interest across Wonderland. Who knows, when I find myself peaking up into reality I could take this new interest and apply it in ways I never before thought I could!

I challenge you to allow yourself to get pulled away by an interest to see where it takes you! Baking used to be a random hobby and now it’s my career. Anything can happen and it can lead you to unimaginable places. Be Alice. Chase your White Rabbit. Explore Wonderland. You can do it. It will be worth it. 

Pinterest-- always good for finding any image ever.

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