#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

Maha Munaf

Toronto, Canada

Creative professional passionate about design. Photographer, Architect, Traveler and Lover of coffee & cupcakes!