Student Spotlight: Ari from @wellseasonedstudio

Jan 30 • 2020

We’re beyond excited to share our next Foodtography School Student Spotlight: Ari from @wellseasonedstudio.

Her background: I had come off of an academic career in a PhD program to pursue food and wine in NYC, working my way up from cooking in catering kitchens to working the line in fine dining restaurants (it was grueling!) At the time I was trying to figure out what could I do to pursue this career in food and wine (something I’ve been passionate about my whole life) that has a flexible schedule and allowed me to be in charge. Food photography didn’t land in my lap. It took a lot of time to figure out the path I could go down.

Getting started: I purchased books on food photography, and I owned a DSLR camera but had never used manual settings. I started reading about composition and style. From there, it was about practicing. All. The. Time (If I look at those pictures now, I cringe. But it’s all about progress!).

I had been a long time follower of Sarah and Broma Bakery and thought “I would love to shoot like her” so I signed up for Advanced Foodtography School.

I remember my mind being blown with information on composition and branding. I didn’t know anything about anything. She was teaching things that weren’t in the books I was reading. In addition to the hard facts that were being taught, I learned how to pitch myself to brands.

When I first joined, I had maybe 1,000 followers. But I started making a decent amount of money even with a small following. Sarah had drilled into us “content is king.”

Where she is now: It’s been amazing to see my progression. I know would have gotten to this place eventually, but Foodtography School helped me get there sooner. I now have a group of cheerleaders that support me and that I can talk to when I have client questions. We can share photos with each other. We give each other constructive feedback. It’s not just the course, it’s the community you become a part of.

I used to shoot full time for 4-5 bloggers (reshooting new content for them with 1 recipe per week). Now I have capped it at 1 blogger because I’m so busy! I was even recently taken on by an agency that manages all my brand partnerships. Now I get to focus on the creative process – developing recipes and shooting them. I started with brands where it was 1 off deals for not a lot of money and now it’s high-end brands with 6-month retainers.

I have just under 23K followers, and that’s not large by any means. I don’t mean to belittle it, but there are a lot of people that have 200K followers. I’ve taken the time to find my unique style. It’s not shooting like Sarah. It’s a little moodier. It’s me. It’s Ari.

Checkout Ari’s brownies before and after photos. They’re mind-blowing! 🤯

@wellseasonedstudio student spotlight b&a of brownies

Hungry for more? You can find all of our Student Spotlights HERE!