Welcome to my Behind the Scenes. A blog about behind the scenes knowledge, with different photographers around the world. We are all connected by our passion for food and photography. This weeks guest: Andrés from @makemecrave.
Can you introduce yourself?
My name is Andrés Ariza, I’m 27, and originally from Venezuela, from a city called Maracaibo. I’m living in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Since 2016.
I’m a professional chef. Worked in the hospitality industry till January of 2020, when I quit my job as Manager of two restaurants.
How did you start and how did you learn? Do you have tips for online courses?
I started as photographer in 2015 when I bought my first camera. And started practicing with my own plates. Cooking in the classes and making photos of it.
When I moved to Argentina I studied with Marcela Lovegrove a really well known Food Stylist of Argentina, I started to work as food stylist and prop stylist for several brands, then I realised that I needed to learn more about photography and started to shoot on manual mode.
Start with artificial light courses, its really necessary.
Where do you get your inspiration from or any specific photographers?
I get a lot of inspiration from Pinterest, from a lot of Food Photographers such as Andy Scrivani, Joanie Simons, Beata Lubas, Rachel Korinek, Erika Rojas, Scott Choucino, Jordan Hughes for cocktail photography, Evan Naka. And Lucie of course.
How often do you blog?
I do not have a blog, I only use Instagram. But I try to post at least 3 times a week.
Do you work with brands?
Yes, I work for brands here in Argentina, and several Brands from Mexico and the US.
Do you have good tips about your portfolio? What do you think should be in it?
Make personal projects to show in your portfolio, when you work passionately on a project it looks better. Also, try to show all the relevant client projects that you have.
From photos in the studio, to restaurants and coffee shops. This will give you the opportunity to reach more clients.
How much time do you spend on social media and which channels do you use the most?
Pfff this its a tricky question jajaja. I spend a lot of time on Instagram, watching stories and reels.
Then YouTube, where I watch a lot of informative videos and courses.
Then Pinterest, when I have to look for references or to build a mood board.
I’ll say about 4/5 hours per day.
Do you have 1 good tip for Instagram and 1 good tip for Pinterest?
For instagram: START MAKING REELS RIGHT NOW
For Pinterest, get your boards sorted.
Who are your clients and how do they find you?
My main clients are Specialty Coffee Roasters, they find me through my Instagram account.
Then there are my international clients, who found me from pitching emails. Which is a very good tool to find clients.
How do you make sure you find a balance between leisure/home and work?
I’m quite a workaholic, so it’s really hard for me. I’m really trying to set some boundaries.
I try not to work on the weekends and at least take two holidays per year.
What lessons did you learn along the way?
It’s really necessary to rest, to invest time in your loved ones. Take time for yourself too, go to the park and read a new book. Find something that you like, a hobby, something that makes you get out of the everyday work flow.
For example, I’m taking pottery classes, trying to make my own stoneware props.
Do you have any new plans for the coming year?
One thing the pandemic taught me is not to make long-term plans. Because many things can happen.
So my plans are very short term, to continue creating content and I would like to start teaching Food Styling courses. Which is something that I am really passionate about.
Where do you make your photos, at home or in a studio?
Right now at home,
How do you prepare a food styling set?
With very fresh ingredients, I try to go two or three times a week to the Farmers Market to get them.
And of cours with a very bounded list.
What tools in a photography setting can’t be missed?
Foam boards, to shape the light, clamps, gloves and desire to create.
With which light do you work (daylight/artificial)?
I work with both. But if I have to choose, I´ll choose artificial without doubt.
Can you tell which equipment you work with?
Tips and tricks?
Invest in props and backdrops, and education too.
If you want to start in food photography, invest in education first, then artificial light, then in lenses and finally in a good camera body.
Want to see more of Andrés his work?