After the hectic packing, moving, cleaning, driving, looking for apartments, unpacking, and decorating, I am finally sitting here on my couch, typing my new post from my home in Brooklyn, NY. I took out all my dishes for photograhy, cleared out some space beside the window, checked out some awesome prop shops in downtown, bought a few more things from a retiring prop stylist's sale. I am ready to go back to my routine. I want to keep doing food photography, not just as a hobby, but professionally. New York is the right place for this job. Tons of restaurants, hotels, magazines, newspapers, advertising companies make this city full of opportunities and competitions. There are dozens of prop shops too for the prosperous TV, movie, art and design business. I checked out one called Prop Haus, which was mentioned by a food blogger. Although I had seen some pictures from its website, I was totally blown away the minute I stepped in. Two whole floors dedicated just to food photography and styling. It has everything you can imagine, besides the regular bowls, plates, cups, glassware, cookware, napkins......it has a considerable collection of vintage tables, surfaces, and anything antique and organic. I've been trying so hard to find a nice wood surface, something with light-colored paint peeled off and cracks here and there. They have some perfect ones!! Later when I told a food photography studio manager how excited I was when I found this store, she was so calm and said: "oh, there're a dozen prop stores like this." New York is definitely the right place! I like crowds! I feel alive when I follow the flow of crowds on the street. I grew up this way.
Well, last week I met a food photographer-Colin Cooke, who's in business for 30 something years. He is so nice and ready to share. He told me how technology had affected this business and what the life would be like as a photography assistant. He even extended his generosity to think of ways for me to build my portfolio. To be a freelancer needs lots of self-discipline. Unlike a nine to five corporate job, you have to figure everything out yourself. You have to push yourself. Sometimes you get lazy unconsciously, and sometimes you just don't know how to run this business. So it would be great to have a mentor when you just get your foot in, to show you around, to familiarize you with the process. That's why I want to start as an assistant. I got several photographers interested in me, but nothing is settled yet. Maybe I will meet more people in this coming week.
I styled and photographed the roasted cherry tomatos as my return and the first shot of my new life. I don't usually like the taste of fresh tomatos, sour and boring for me. But this simple recipe of roast tomatos changed my opinion. Just a drizzle of olive oil, fresh thyme and basil, roast in 400C oven for 15 minutes and add salt and pepper after roasting. The sourness is gone! It's so full of flavors and juices.