I recently completed The Little Plantation’s signature food photography and food styling course and it prompted me to write this blog post about growth as a food photographer.

I started my food photography journey back in October 2020, in the middle of lockdown. Earlier that year we bought our own flat, which meant that most of my days were filled with looking at interior Instagram accounts, scouring the web for home stuff and endlessly pinning dreamy homes on Pinterest.

That quickly turned into starting my own instagram account solely dedicated to photographs of our flat’s interior transformation (yes I became one of those people). The image below is the first image I posted, of darling little Olaf enjoying the sun streaming into the bedroom.

black cat sitting in doorway
Olaf the cat enjoying the bedroom sun

A month or so later when the renovations started to slow down, and the variety of photos that I could take lessened… I looked for other things I could photograph.

One wintery afternoon I stumbled across an article on ‘How to take indoor photos in low light’. It inspired me to shoot other subjects that I could find around the house, and one of the first things that came to mind was this overly ripe banana. What goes with bananas? Cereal of course!

Then I began to shoot. And that’s when my food photography journey began.

At the time, I felt incredibly proud of myself for my cereal-banana-artistic twig composition (left image) with a sliver of light coming in from the curtains. Looking at it now, I cringe!

before and comparison of photos of cereal
LEFT: 1/40 | f/5.0 | ISO 800 | 17mm RIGHT: 1/125 | f/2.5 | ISO 160 | 35mm

Fast-forward 6 months to this week, having just submitted my final course project, I sat deflated thinking that I had so much further to go in my food photography journey. Unmotivated to keep going, being unable to battle the voices in my head that say “you’re not good enough”, or “you’ve barely made a dent in your progress, you have so much further to go”.

I looked back at this very early photo and I see the journey I took. No way have I “arrived”, nor do I think there’s really such a thing as “arriving” to a final destination that we stop learning, stop growing, stop being open to change and doing things differently.

The image on the right is one I took just yesterday, out of a desperation to just make something in hope that it would get me out of my funk.

Am I out of my funk? Not quite. But I acknowledge the journey, and that it isn’t over yet.

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