#AskMahaMonday: How to become a Food Photographer

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I am not lucky. You know what I am? I am smart, I am talented, I take advantage of the opportunities that come my way and I work really, really hard. Don’t call me lucky. Call me a badass
— S.R

I often get asked why "Food Photography", I even sometimes get "is that even a thing?" .

But the most common reaction I get is people being confused & surprised with my choice to stop practicing Architecture after 9 years and deciding to be a full time Photographer! 

You see, I didn't always know I wanted to be a Food Photographer, in fact, it was never a dream of mine, but when I fell in love with Photography, I knew I wanted to do more with it, I just didn't know how to become a Professional Photographer!

But here is the secret...there is really no secret...you just start! The single mind shift that truly set me on the right path was that I told myself "I am a Professional Photographer" - I literally found the nearest mirror, looked myself in the eye and said "I am a Professional Photographer", this was right after I watched an interview of Steven Pressfield with Marie Forleo titled "Turning Pro"

And just like that I became a professional, I observed, I studied, I researched and most importantly practiced the hell out of Food Photography and Styling EVERY.SINGLE.DAY

  The Early Days

The Early Days

It didn't matter that I performed Photography Acrobatics, it didn't matter if I had the right gear, enough gear or a studio space, I just wanted to take pictures of Food and get better at it! That being said, I was already a practicing Photographer and Educator for years now as a side gig, I just wasn't specialized in Food Photography and the more I did it, the better I was getting at it.

  Recent Work

Recent Work

So here is my advice to you, if you are  looking to become a Professional Food Photographer these are the most important steps to start with:

1. Learn the basics, be comfortable with your camera and know how to use it properly, this way you'll be confident with the technical aspect and can focus on the creative side of Food Photography.

2. Shoot, EVERY.SINGLE.DAY! Yup, you read that right, the more you do it, the better you get at it.

3. Be a Cook. Understanding food, and knowing how it behaves makes you a better photographer.

4. Give yourself an assignment. As soon as I started doing personal projects and sharing it online, I received inquires and got paid for client work.

5. Believe in yourself!! Embrace mistakes, learn from them and keep moving forward.

I created #AskMahaMonday because when I was starting out I was feeling lost and overwhelmed, and I don't want you to feel the same way, so I am here for you, to help you out, share my journey, skills and knowledge. 

I hope this inspires you to start your own journey and wherever you are in life right now, believe in yourself and just go for your dreams!

Love,

Maha

#AskMahaMonday: Food photography tips to step up your game

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The best kind of Monday is one that starts with extra fluffy pancakes topped with bananas, nuts and lots and lots of chocolate!

But, it's a new week and a brand new episode of #AskMahaMonday and today is all about simple tips that will help you step up your food photography game as I am sharing with you the simple process of how I usually style and photograph my food:

1. Scene setup:

I always start by deciding how I want to shoot the recipe and then set up the camera for the angle I think is best for this specific food before I start cooking. In this case, I set up my camera, and then went ahead and made the pancakes.

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Once I added the pancakes, I wasn't very convinced with my framing, so I went ahead and got a little closer to fill the frame with pancakes.

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2. Less is More!

I normally start with less and then add more interest to my scene, before I do the final touches to my food.

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Here is the final shot and I am pretty pleased with it at this point :)

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Let's get a little closer...isn't this just delicious!

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3. Try Different things:

Once I am happy with the shot, I like to try different angles and play a little more with the food, for instance, I cut the pancakes and changed my angle and got this shot which turned out to be one of my favourites!

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Being prepared and having an idea of how you want to photograph your food saves you a lot of time on set, that being said, don't just take that one shot you had in mind, take it a step further, get in close or step away, move things around and make sure you get the most out of your setup!

As always, feel free to connect with me, leave me a comment with your questions and I'll see you next week in a brand new edition of #AskMahaMonday!

Love,

Maha

How to style and photograph festive drinks

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Friends, allow me to introduce you to your new favourite drink, a refreshing lemon flavoured sparkling water with a slice of lemon & handful of raspberries. Shall I pour you a glass?

Six years ago in an attempt to lead a healthier lifestyle I went cold turkey and stopped consuming soft drinks, but I had a hard time giving up the fizz and sparkling water was just a perfect fit. Today, you’ll always find a bottle or two of sparkling water in my fridge!

Since the new year is fast approaching, I've been looking into what habits I should let go of and what I need to keep, and sparkling water is definitely making it to 2018.

And in the spirit of the festive season and celebrating healthier habits, I would like to share with you few tips on how I styled & photographed this drink in partnership with @montelliercanada; a sparkling water sourced from Quebec, Canada!

First let's start by making my favorite drink: (This recipe is enough for you and a friend ;)

1. 4 slices of Lemon

2. 6 raspberries

3. 500 ml Montellier Lemon Sparkling Water

Now that your hero (the drink) is ready, there are three things I'd like you to observe in this photoshoot:

1. Props

When planning this shoot, I knew I wanted to create a festive theme, hence the props which tell you the story while still matching the blue tones of the bottle.

  Festive Props

Festive Props

2. Action Shots:

When shooting a food story, always make sure you include some action shots that entice your viewers and make them want to dig in. 

I usually set up my tripod and get the action going, but for this photoshoot specifically I had someone assist me and pour the water while I shot hand holding my camera.

  Action Shots

Action Shots

3. Detail Shots:

Getting super close can really work if you are still able to tell the story and viewers can make up what you are eating or drinking.

  Close ups

Close ups

I hope these tips help you capture your festive recipes this year, please feel free to connect with me if you have any questions.

For more tips, download the free guide "7 Tips To Insta Awesome Tricks" or tune in to my Instagram every Monday for my special feature #AskMahaMonday. 

Have a fantastic end to 2017!

Love,

Maha, xx

 

 

7 TIPS TO INSTA AWESOME PIX

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You've heard it over and over again, growing your Instagram requires crafting a beautiful feed which means you have to be consistent & post high quality pictures that tell your story.

Sounds great, except; your pictures are all over the place, the only consistent thing about your feed is lack of consistency and you can't figure out what to do & where to start. ARGHHH!

Trust me, I've been there, I know how frustrating it is, when all you want is to share what you love, yet you can't seem to have a consistent theme or prominent style. That's why I wrote this guide with you in mind.

Download "7 TIPS TO INSTA AWESOME PIX"  HERE and learn how you too can craft a beautiful & consistent Instagram feed today!

 

Welcome to The Photo Lounge

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I still remember like it was yesterday....it was 2005 when I first held a DSLR in my hands, I silently wept as I looked through the pictures I just took that looked nothing like I what I saw with my eyes.

Everyone else looked like they knew what they were doing and their pictures looked way better than mine!

I was embarrassed and frustrated,  that little black box scared me but I was determined to crack the code...

 

Today I am on a mission helping others create the beautiful photos they have always imagined, this is why I created "The Photo Lounge", an online space for discussions, training and free downloads that will help you improve your "Food & Lifestyle" photography and create images that you love!

Whether you are new at this game or a seasoned photographer, I believe we all can learn from each other, so grab your favourite drink, a sweet treat (Cupcakes are highly recommended) and meet me at  The Photo Lounge...

 
 
 
 

Why hello 2017!

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Can't believe it's the last Friday of 2016! Aaaah! Where did the time go?

So in celebration of the New Year, I decided to do my first "Cinemagraph" woot woot! Once I get the hang of it, I'll make sure to post a "How to create your own cinemagraph"

Also,, I want to share with you my top three goals for 2017:

1. Spend more quality time with my family and friends; be more present & engaged because in the end this is what really matters :)

2. Travel more; one of my dreams is to visit 40 countries before I turn 40 & I am kind of falling behind!

3. Sharing more training material; Photography has given me a new voice, the camera has opened up a whole new world I didn't know existed & I want to share the love and help others create beautiful pictures.

Whether you want to learn it for your own or because it will help your business, stay tuned as 2017 will bring lots of Photography tips & training material your way & keep an eye on this space ;)

And for now, I wish you all a very Happy New Year, may 2017 be filled with many exciting and sweet moments! 

with Love,

Maha, xx

 

How to capture the splendour of Autumn in 5 simple steps:

How to capture the splendour of Autumn in 5 simple steps:

For those of you who know me, you must have noticed for the past few weeks that I've been totally obsessing over Fall! I honestly couldn't stop enjoying it, it's so magical & it brings out your inner child, how awesome is that!

I also have been getting a lot of questions on how I took all these beautiful images, so I decided to share with you 5 simple steps on how you can capture the beauty of Fall.