Get the chance to meet Agnes running workshops at the HBC Summit, happening in London on May 19th 2018. Check the full line up here.
Hi I am Agnes, the woman behind Studio A, Food Content Agency.
My passion for photography developed as I was doing images for my short-lived food blog in 2014. Blogging just wasn’t for me, I didn’t really enjoy it but that’s when I started to pick up the camera and photograph food.
I remember for my very first blog post it took me three hours to capture just one image of an energy bar. It’s been a lot of trial and error but I got there in the end.
If you haven’t guessed, I’m self-taught.
What did you learn since going freelance?
Patience! Projects always take longer than you anticipate. Not necessarily the actual photoshoot but the lead up to it. Products get delayed, concepts get changed – it takes time. The other thing I’ve learnt is that practice really makes perfect. You don’t have to know everything when you start, just start. The more you do something the better you get at it, just keep your chin up. The third one would proactiveness. You need to be proactive and have a go get ‘em attitude, otherwise, nothing is going to happen, so keep hassling. I also got better with money, I’m definitely thinking now twice before I make a purchase – except for plates, bowls and everything kitchen related.
How would you say courses and learning resources have helped you become a better photographer?
I was the biggest anti course and workshop person, until I’ve done an online school about food videography. Completely changed my mindset. It was the best investment I’ve made in myself and the knowledge I got from there, landed me well-paid projects. But, as everything, this should be also taken in moderation and you should definitely do a research beforehand and know exactly what are you going to get out of it.
How has inspiration from other account helped instead?
Being authentic is something that is hard these days, especially on social media as there is a formula that works and people create the same content over and over again because they know it is going to sell. I think this kills creativity because you don’t dare to dare.
One thing I would say other accounts helped me with, is to get out of my comfort zone, try new things and be more creative.
What was the hardest thing about going freelance?
I would say switching to that mindset that I can do this and it’s actually going to work. Obviously, stressing about financials is also there, when I started I didn’t have 3-4 months expenses saved but you kinda have to forget about money and believe that it will come when you need it. To be honest it always did for me. You can also get isolated really quickly, so networking is key. It doesn’t have to be industry related, you can go to a pottery class or fitness class, just be around people.
The biggest success since going freelance?
This is a tough one. Obviously being able to sustain myself financially is a big one, but I would say the confidence I’ve gained since I’ve started and the mental shift I’ve made.
At the beginning I’ve always put myself down and said my work is not as good as so and so’s but I’ve come to realise that I’m just as good as them and I should be just continue doing me.
What’s the first thing you do if asked to take a picture of a specific product?
I’ll ask what is the feeling/message they are trying to get across.
What are 3 things to bear in mind when creating video recipes?
Preparation is everything. Get your script ready, get your ingredients measured and have your battery charged. You don’t want to run to the kitchen for something than back to your set up. Shoot in landscape but see in square. If you are uploading to Instagram then square videos tend to do better than landscape, so I always try to focus the main action in the centre so when I crop the video for Instagram it still has every element visible.
What’s the number one tip when creating short videos?
Practice, practice, practice. That’s the only way to become better at things.
What would you say are the 3 top pieces of equipment to get started with food photography and video?
A good background, an overhead set up/tripod and a set of props. You can make a backdrop really easily, I’ve a few that I actually found in the bin! You can also create a cheaper overhead set up by getting some clamps and studs if you don’t want to spend loads at the beginning. Props are going to essentially give the look and feel of the video so you need to be strategic here. I would say do invest in nice crockery but also go to junk markets where you can find all sort of things for peanuts.
Favourite client / collaboration?
I would say favourite collaboration is the work I’m doing with Farmdrop. I create food videos for them and work closely with their food team. I love doing food videos and they’ve given me quite a bit of space for creativity so I really enjoy that. I also love their ethos so I’m really grateful to be part of their journey.