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And I Walked Beyond My Dreams – Being a Food Stylist

27 July 2012 73 Comments

Food styling projects

Two phone calls and a few mails changed the entire perspective of my dream. And it was probably the first time ever that I truly appreciated these lines “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.”

When I sit back and retrospect, I feel amazed by the pace at which life has moved forward since I planted the dream called Lite Bite. I really had no plans as to where my dream will take me to, I just loved chasing it.

Life is never easy for those who dream they say, I missed many golden moments of family fun, functions and precious sleep just to be in harmony with the on line world to sustain my dream.

A few weeks back hubby received a call in his office from someone inquiring about the food stylist for Lite Bite (I know .I know, what  you are thinking.. how did ‘he’ receive the call? The account for Lite Bite was opened with hubby’s ID particulars) “My wife does it and she does not have any professional qualification for the same. She does it for her passion for food, and if you still want her services you may contact her at ….”.was the frank reply from my hubby.

And to my surprise I received a mail from this Chennai based photographer Prem who asked me to send my portfolio for a restaurant shoot.

Another day another call, this time it was a lady on the other side, she asked me to forward my portfolio and informed that she will revert back soon. Within minutes of sending the files of my pictures she called me “This is what I have been looking for, will you work for me, there is a photo shoot for a company next week?”

There comes a time in life when you start walking beyond your dreams…yes I did, and this is how it all happened…

food styling

Food Styling for the First Company

Product Food Styling; Met Deepa a few days before the shoot to discuss about the products and other aspects of the photo shoot. Had a wonderful time shooting for a company close to my heart, Brown Tree. The photo shoot happened in a professional studio and we shot close to 25 plus products in a single day.

I was totally amazed by the energy levels, professionalism and dedication of this lovely photographer ‘Deepa’. The shoot was a bit hectic and I could not manage to get candid shots of the proceedings that day. The only picture I took was the one above and then my camera slept till we finished the entire shoot and packed for the day.

Here are a few pictures styled by me and clicked by Deepa for Brown Tree.

And I Walked Beyond My Dreams - Being a Food Stylist

Picture courtesy Deepa and Brown Tree

And I Walked Beyond My Dreams - Being a Food Stylist

Picture courtesy Deepa and Brown Tree

Here is the page on Brown Tree with more of Styling done by me and clicked by Deepa. And now a little about my other venture, styling project done for a vegetarian restaurant.

food styling

Restaurant Food Styling; The next food styling preject was a restaurant shoot, a vegetarian restaurant called Two Square. I was called for food tasting by the client in their restaurant.

The meet was arranged in a conference room with a large table laid out for presenting the food to be shot the next day. Around the table there were the three owners of the restaurant, advertising person Shiva, chef and photographer Prem.

And then the show started, we were presented with steamy hot food in succession.

My..my never had so much of food in a single sitting before..in the end I was like, please leave me, the food looks great and am sure tastes good as well :)

Few signature dishes were selected for the photo shoot.

Back at home I did my homework and segregated the props, boards, colorful napkins and other useful nick-knacks from my treasure which I thought would go well with the theme of the photo shoot.

food styling

A cab was arranged by the client for the shoot. Prem reached much before me and and was ready with the lightnings and other set up. We asked chef to prepare dishes according to the shoot with a few instructions to make the food look good on camera.

One by one coked dishes were presented before us and I was ready with the props to set up the shoot.

Shiva the advertising man was a great help during the whole shoot. He coordinated perfectly between the restaurant people, photographer and me.

Owner and the chefs kept pampering us with fresh fruit juices and snacks every now and then.

food styling

The cheesy baked whole cauliflower tasted so yum but was the hardest to shoot..we tried all angles and tricks to make it look as appetizing as it taste.

food styling

American style corn…I could eat that whole bowl all by myself…

food styling

Vegetable Biryani was flavorful and scrumptious.
food styling

Love the color and crunchy veggies in this recipe…
food styling

Yes, we had our share of fun as well… Prem with the deadly weapon.

food styling

Some of the spices and ingredients used during the shoot.

food styling

A few of my props…

food styling

Looks like someone is having serious business here….will this look nice or should I remove those leaves….thanks Shiva for all these candid shots.

I was humbled by the hospitality extended to me by all the persons I worked with during the entire project. It was great experience working with two different professional photographers. Thanks for believing in me and my work.

With the kind of experience I have in writing, food photography and food styling (Hmm..well, I struggle for words and am still taking baby steps with my camera and styling my food) I could never dream big. But content I am, for I am able to keep my passion alive with whatever little I know.

And for once, I did walk beyond my dream!

....

My gratitude to some of the food blogger friends who played the role of a ‘catalyst’ in different ways in my journey;

Lakshmi, Sylvie , Sala and RL for the guidance they provided by taking out time and writing to me.

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73 Comments »

  • Nandita said:

    Congrats Congrats!!! You deserve every bit of the success and much more!! Wishing you many more opportunities like these :)
    Nandita recently posted..Mint coriander chutneyMy Profile

  • Meeta said:

    I say shoot for the moon if you miss at least you’ll land in the stars. Happy to see you conquering your dreams Sanjeeta. All my very best for the future!
    Meeta recently posted..Ettersburg Castle: A Regal Food Photography and Styling Workshop in WeimarMy Profile

  • shanthi said:

    Wow!!! Very happy to know about it. Wish u all success in your future endeavours too.
    shanthi recently posted..DRIED MANGO SEED / KERNEL – USES & HOME REMEDIESMy Profile

  • Sia | Monsoon Spice said:

    That’s simply wonderful Sanjeetha. I wish u all the success in this new ‘delicious’ chapter of food journey :)
    Sia | Monsoon Spice recently posted..Kaju Masala Recipe | How to Make Simple & Quick Cashew CurryMy Profile

  • chinmayie @ love food eat said:

    This is wonderful Sanjeeta! I am so happy for you :)
    Thank you for the mention… Your blog is definitely one of my oldest favorites and it’ll continue to be one too. Wishing you great luck and success.
    chinmayie @ love food eat recently posted..Healthy Banana Coconut Bread (Vegan)My Profile

  • vimitha said:

    Congrats girl… Keep going with the same spirit…

  • Spandana said:

    Congratulations Sangeetha… and I wish you all the success ahead!
    Spandana recently posted..Prawn/Shrimp BiryaniMy Profile

  • Love2cook Malaysia said:

    OWH WOW! Congratulations Sanjeeta…girl you really rocked! Way to goooooo :)
    Love2cook Malaysia recently posted..Sausage Stir-fry…with Eggs & Dried Shrimps!My Profile

  • Nandita Pai said:

    Hello Sanjeetha,

    I have been following your blog for a while now, and am not surprised to see you going places with food styling, cos ur pics are simply superb and drool worthy :) Very happy for you, all the best for many more such projects :)
    Nandita Pai recently posted..Whole Wheat Garlic Bun RollsMy Profile

  • uma said:

    wow…this is amazing! And as I read each line you wrote ,I get goosebumps and this is surely an inspiration like budding authors like me.

    And as you said, chasing one’s dream is not so easy with kids and a family around…it needs a lot of dedication and loads of patience ..Happy that I see one successful women here :)
    uma recently posted..Disney Princess -Shape poetryMy Profile

  • Aparna said:

    Congratulations, Sanjeeta. Am really happy for you and this is just the beginning. I know you’ll go on to become even better known for your creativity.
    Aparna recently posted..Shades Of Black & White, And The Colours In Between………My Profile

  • Jaishree said:

    WOW! Congratulations Sanjeeta:)
    Jaishree recently posted..Herbed Potato SoupMy Profile

  • Arch said:

    Fantastic – been visiting your blog often, but may never have left comments ! this is just so fantastic – congratulations and all the very best !
    Arch recently posted..Surna Ghashi / Yam in a Konkani style coconut masalaMy Profile

  • Anand said:

    Great Work !!! Congrats !!!

    Wish you success ahead !

  • vaishali sabnani said:

    Congratulations Sanjeeta!…u surely have worked hard and u deserve this…so happy for you…loads of love and hugs!
    vaishali sabnani recently posted..Carrot and Pumpkin Terrine with Gulab JamunMy Profile

  • Priya Sreeram said:

    you go gal ! all the best

  • Lavi said:

    Congrads sanjeeta!! You made it! My best wishes and hugs to you!!

  • thyme (sarah) said:

    I am so proud of you. I can only imagine how nerve wracking that must have been. I always photograph in the peace and quiet of my home so I would be so nervous with so many people around me waiting to see what brilliant composition would be produced!! Your sample photos are wonderful. And..you are so cute!! I hope this is the beginning of many dream jobs to come!

  • Priya said:

    Omg, hats off Sanjeeta, you rock yaar.
    Priya recently posted..Baking Partners ~~ A New Baking Group AnnouncmentMy Profile

  • Lata Raja said:

    Very well done S. Dedication and hard work has made a dream come true for you. I wish you the best of luck with future endeavours too!
    Lata Raja recently posted..Quinoa in peppers – A yellow tribute to Barbara HarrisMy Profile

  • Jyoti said:

    Many congrats Sanjeeta! You are an inspiration!
    Jyoti recently posted..Blueberry Lassi | Blueberry Smoothie ~ To Beat The HeatMy Profile

  • Usha said:

    Congratulations and you deserve it! Very happy that you are able to take your hobby to the next level.
    Usha recently posted..Rajma Pulao ~ Kidney Beans RiceMy Profile

  • Deepika said:

    Wow…congratulatios! Wish you all the best in future.

  • dassana@veg recipes of india said:

    congrats sanjeeta…. reach your dreams… reach the skies and stars… wishing you all the best for your future :-)
    dassana@veg recipes of india recently posted..iftar recipes for ramadanMy Profile

  • Divya said:

    Congrats Sanjeeta-this is awesome!
    Divya recently posted..Kalathi Kadai Rose MilkMy Profile

  • Shobana said:

    Congrats….very happy for you….sure, with your hard work you will experience many more wonderful dreams come true….Have fun

  • Anushruti | Divinetaste said:

    Congratulations Sanjeeta…may you find fulfillment in pursuing your dreams.
    Anushruti | Divinetaste recently posted..Multigrain CrackersMy Profile

  • Priya Srinivasan said:

    Congrats Sanjeeta!!!Happy to hear!!! Best Wishes for your future endeavors!!!
    Priya Srinivasan recently posted..Multi-Grain Flakes PongalMy Profile

  • kankana said:

    Soooo proud of you and SO happy for you girl. I know how it feels to get acknowledged for the work that we have been doing quietly in our home and sharing to the world. You deserve it and I know it’s just the beginning of a wonderful journey. Keep rocking sweetie :)))
    kankana recently posted..Dum Aalu – Bite Size Potatoes In Yogurt GravyMy Profile

  • Foodomania said:

    Gee that’s so wonderful!! :) Congratulations!
    Foodomania recently posted..Caramel Chocolate SandwichMy Profile

  • Magic of Spice said:

    I am so proud of you, and so very happy for you…congratulations Sanjeeta! You are amazing and this is no surprise, but still so exciting! Huge hugs and wishes for continued success!
    Magic of Spice recently posted..Breakfast Taquitos with Apple and Pear Salsa, A Guest Post for Spicie FoodieMy Profile

  • Bharathy said:

    Wow! You are really someone now, Sanjeeta!! So happy for you!! :) Rock on!!
    Bharathy recently posted..A BreakMy Profile

  • Michelle @ Greedy Gourmet said:

    Well done, Sanjeeta – keep following your heart!

  • lakshmi said:

    Way to go Sanjeeta. Congrats!!!

  • Kathy Gori said:

    So so excited for you! You do beautiful work and I remain a huge fan!
    Kathy Gori recently posted..5 Minute Chocolate Cherry Ice Cream. Yes 5 Minutes. Plus a Giveaway.My Profile

  • Poornima said:

    Congrats Sanjeeta, so happy for you and wish you all the best for your future projects as well! ay all your dreams come true!
    Poornima recently posted..Brownie BitesMy Profile

  • Nisha said:

    awesome! :) congratulations! :) :)
    Nisha recently posted..Tomato Paste, Purée, Juice, Gravy, Soup, Sauce, KetchupMy Profile

  • Vishakha said:

    Hi there! Congratulations on your first milestone and achievement. The journey has just begun! Your story is an inspiration for many of us. Thank you and ALL THE BEST!:)
    Vishakha recently posted..Black and White Wednesdays : Week 42My Profile

  • notyet100 said:

    U must have felt so good :)
    notyet100 recently posted..On Advay’s friend demand – Pasta in Red SauceMy Profile

  • JC said:

    I am so happy for your success. Congratulations. Well deserved. You not only make your food look great, but it’s delicious. Thank you for sharing your delicious eats and your lovely talent of making your food look as good as it tastes.

  • Anamika @ madcookingfusions said:

    Hey congrats Sanjeeta, it’s really nice to see people walking beyond there dreams :).Well deserved ….Best Wishes for your future endeavors!!
    Anamika @ madcookingfusions recently posted..Vegetarian Parsi Kebabs, the tempting deep-fried delights – Parsi CuisineMy Profile

  • Deepa said:

    Way to Go Sangeetha ! Congrats for your success.

    Deepa
    Hamaree Rasoi

  • Srishti@ProlificCooking said:

    Really happy for you. Congratulations!
    Srishti@ProlificCooking recently posted..Spinach and Corn SandwichMy Profile

  • Jacqueline said:

    Good for you. I am feeling very proud of you. Go girl!!!!
    Jacqueline recently posted..Raspberry Ripple & White Chocolate Ice Cream (no churn)My Profile

  • mjskit said:

    Oh Sanjeeta!!! Congratulations on the well-deserved recognition and the invaluable experience! I am SO happy for you!! Have you been able to come down off cloud 9 yet? :) What a high you must have been on since that initial contact with your husband! You know I’ve always loved your photos and it looks like you took your talent and professionalism to a whole new level on these shoots! So did you have fun? I know – stupid question. :) In reference to your last comment – you are most welcome and thank you for that!
    mjskit recently posted..Chunky GazpachoMy Profile

  • Anand k newar said:

    Hi am a culinary student and am very interested in food styling.

  • Latha said:

    This is awesome…Congratulations!
    Latha recently posted..Cucumber LemonadeMy Profile

  • Sra said:

    Congrats! But I already told you. And your photos are good, it’s no surprise you got this opportunity. Enjoyed reading this post.
    Sra recently posted..Please Don’t Call Them CornsMy Profile

  • Rose from Magpie's Recipes said:

    oh wow Sanjeeta! So happy for you! You must have had a GREAT time! Congratulations!

  • Nami | Just One Cookbook said:

    Congratulations Sanjeeta!!!! I’m so happy for you and excited at the same time! Your story is very inspiring to me and many others. Please continue to inspire us and best wishes to you!
    Nami | Just One Cookbook recently posted..Sautéed AbaloneMy Profile

  • Usha said:

    Congratulations & what an amazing journey for you. I can also see why you were “head hunted”. You have amazing talent & insight. It really is a pity you are in India, would have loved you to some shoots for me in South Africa, I am hopeless when it comes to food styling, but I do create amazing food. Well done & all the best for the future.

  • Raji said:

    Way to go !! So proud of you :)

  • Faith said:

    I am so, so happy for you, my friend! This is absolutely awesome. I wish you every happiness and success. Big hugs!
    Faith recently posted..Cascal Fermented Soda Giveaway & PollMy Profile

  • Terra said:

    How beautiful!!!! My motto is, “dream big!” So continue going for whatever you want, you truly deserve it! Congrats my friend:-) Hugs, Terra
    Terra recently posted..Valeria Lukyanova – Living Barbie DollMy Profile

  • Jayasri said:

    Fantastic News, I know I am late to wish you all the best, Hugs to you dear.., Absolutely well deserved, I wish you all the success and all my best wishes, I think we will be seeing more beautiful and professional clicks in this space soon :), way to go girl.. you rock, congratulations.., and definitely we have loads of bloggers who are so good in food styling.., who will be with you in your journey..
    cheers and love
    Jayasri
    Jayasri recently posted..Vegan Chocolate & Coconut Panna Cotta with Orange SauceMy Profile

  • Nithya said:

    You really rock and deserve it too :) Awesome and I am super duper happy for you dear :)
    Nithya recently posted..Lemon SquashMy Profile

  • shruti said:

    congrats sanjeeta ! very happy for you :-) wishing you many more happy foodie moments :D you’ll be happy to know you’re thinner than me ;-)

  • EA-The Spicy RD said:

    Congrats on these two big opportunities! So happy for you :-) The photos look gorgeous, and looks like you had a fun crew to work with. Here’s to more amazing opportunities like this!!

  • Reem I Simply Reem said:

    Congrats!!!!
    I am know I ma way too late on this one.. But really congrats from my heart…
    Wishing you loads of success!!

  • Geeta said:

    Hi Sanjeeta,

    As I read your write up …….”And I Walked Beyond My Dreams – Being a Food Stylist”, I had tears of joy in my eyes. It is not every day or for that matter any time in my life that I have come across a person who has walked beyond his or her dream.

    May you dream big and always walk beyond those dreams.

    God bless.

  • sanjeeta kk (author) said:

    @Geeta, I am humbled with your wishes and sweet words! Thanks for the encouragement and support. It is all because of the good wishes of readers like ‘you’ that a common man like ‘me’ could even think to reaching to the stars.
    Warm hugs and best of wishes to you too.

  • Harini said:

    Hey, great going, Sanjeeta! Congratulations, dear girl!
    Harini recently posted..Vegan Vanilla Sugar Cookies [Eggless & dairy-free version]My Profile

  • Rinku Naveen said:

    Hi Sanjeeta
    Congratulations! Wow! thats a dream come true. Really really love your pictures. Great going!
    Rinku Naveen recently posted..Sachertorte – A Viennese SpecialMy Profile

  • Aggie said:

    How exciting!! Congrats!! Very proud and happy for you :)
    Aggie recently posted..Meet My Guest: The Realistic Nutritionist and White Bean Pesto SaladMy Profile

  • Harini said:

    Meant to visit you and congratulate earlier. Very well deserved recognition, Sanjeeta! Congrats, you now have an alternative career looking up.:)
    Harini recently posted..Rasam podi – How to make my mum’s rasam powder; an authentic South-Indian recipeMy Profile

  • Shalini said:

    Hi Sanjeeta,

    Really nice to know that your living your dream and your making it happen. This happens to a chosen few. Congrats and wish you all the very best.
    Shalini recently posted..Tomato Kurma-Happy 2012My Profile

  • Shoba Shrinivasan said:

    Wow Sanjeeta,

    Congrats on walking your dream!!! Looks like you really had a blast! Lovely things happen to lovely people. I know my wishes are coming very late but hey better late than never!

    Shobha

  • sanjeeta kk (author) said:

    Thanks @Shoba!

  • Susan Deborah said:

    I’m an absolute fan of your pictures. They are so carefully done with oodles of love and thought. The earthy tones and presentation is definitely a class apart. Proud to know you and have sampled your delicacies.

    Here’s to more!

    Joy always,
    Susan

  • sanjeeta kk (author) said:

    Thanks Susan! Pleasure is mine to get to know you, hope a little of your writing skills get rubbed off on me as well.

  • Destination Infinity said:

    Awesome. I have never before imagined someone being a ‘Food Stylist’ :) It’s a very interesting specialization and I am sure hotels/restaurants would love to style their food before showcasing them to clients :) The problem for us is, once we see these awesome food stuffs, we want to eat it immediately!! But since I have been practicing some level of ‘detachment’ these days, I am able to survive the ‘temptation’ :P

    Destination Infinity

  • Vidya Sridhar said:

    It was a pleasure meeting you at Gir forest.. your experiences on how you fulfilled and are still making your dreams come true have inspired me tremendously.. thanks for sharing..

  • Sowmya said:

    Congrats! :)

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