Finding Your Strengths with Food Photographer Penny De Los Santos
To help get ready for our huge upcoming annual event, Photo Week 2015, we’re highlighting some of our favorite instructors who are part of the event.
We’re going to be sharing with you, everything from their tips and advice on how to make it in the photography business, how to frame perfect shots within their domains, how to create your unique style, and much more over the coming weeks.
Today’s interview is with the amazing food photographer, Penny De Los Santos. A returning CreativeLive instructor and veteran of food photography that makes my mouth water, Penny has built a powerful brand for herself by creating a unique, well-defined style that utilizes her strengths as a photographer.
Penny has worked with Martha Stuart Living, Bon Appetit, Time, Newsweek, National Geographic, Cosmopolitan, and many more, to create and share food from different cultures around the world.
Here’s our interview with Penny, where she shares about her journey to find her strengths as a photographer, and more.
Q. Tell me about the moment when you knew you made it as a photographer.
Penny: “I’ve had several moments where I’ve felt like I’ve made it. I still have those moments today. Every time an editor says I made the magazine look better than it ever has, or I take a photograph that is beyond anything I thought I could ever do, I feel like I’ve made it. That good feeling never goes away.”
“Sometimes it goes the opposite, when a project has been especially hard or I’m feeling down because I didn’t land a particular ad campaign then I wonder if I’ll ever make it.”
Q. How did you develop your artistic approach to food photography?
Penny: “You have to walk before you can run. It takes years to be able to figure out your true strengths as a photographer, and then to learn how to emphasize them in everything you shoot.”
“I developed my style and approach after years and years and years of just shooting as much as possible. Failing and not succeeding, yet still getting up everyday and trying just as hard as the day before is what has driven me to where I am today.”
Q. Is there anything else our audience should know about you, Penny?
Penny: “When I very first started in photography, I could’t find a job. I couldn’t get an internship in photography, and I didn’t get into graduate school for visual arts like I had planned.”
“I didn’t know anyone who could give me a leg up or help me in any way. There was no evidence that I would ever succeed in photography, but I kept creating images that I was proud of and continued learning and building meaningful relationships with others in the photography community.”
Penny is a great example of a photographer who has risen to fame, because she continued to work hard and create opportunities for herself. There’s nothing that can’t be accomplished with hard work, dedication to your craft, and a thoughtful eye for building good relationships.
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