Gratefully excited to share that I was interviewed with Production Paradise this week for my work as a professional food photographer.
First of all I want to say how much I adore the title “Get a spoonful of creativity: Interview with food photographer and stylist Jena Carlin” and editor of this interview, Jasmine at production Paradice.
I asked Jasmine from Production why they chose to interview me and this is what she said… “We want to interview members within our network that had something to say. That means either an exciting campaign or admirable connection with their work. We loved your work in our “International Woman Photographers Spotlight,” and wanted to know how you got there. In the end, the interview is almost a thank you and a shout-out for being a member of Production Paradise!”
Here is a little excerpt from our interview:
Fascinated with creating a narrative with light, composition, and texture, Jena Carlin has been photographing mouth-watering work for nearly ten years. She regularly executes photoshoots from conceptualization and art direction to set styling and final imagery. As a result, Carlin Creative has a full library of images in beautiful vignettes, perfect for telling the story of a brand in many avenues, especially in the ever-important world of social media. Not only is Carlin a successful commercial and editorial photographer and videographer, but she is also a cookbook author and cooking enthusiast, as shown in her personal blog! We were fortunate to be able to pick her brain about the intricacies of being a photographer, which you can read below.
Production Paradise: How did you get into photography, and what drew you specifically to food photography?
Jena Carlin: I was in junior high when I got my first camera and I fell in love with photography instantly. Shortly after I even did my first career report on my dream of being a photographer. My whole life I have been highly invested in artistry, and after high school I went on to get my Bachelor of Fine Art degree in Painting with a Minor in Digital Photography.
The last summer of college I was thrilled to receive an internship at Reader’s Digest in Milwaukee. They have one of the largest food photography studios in the nation doing photography for Taste of Home, Every Day with Rachel Ray, and many more. While there I fell in love with photographing food and the process of how it took an entire team of professionals to create these portfolio quality images. With my experience as an artist, I quickly became an asset for them by painting one of a kind surfaces for the team. I soaked up every bit of knowledge and insight that I could learn from all the photographers, set stylists, and art directors. During this internship, and every day thereafter, I knew that food photography was my career passion. Then and there I started building my prop collection and portfolio. Even to this present day I will still shoot for fun and test out new ideas every chance that I get.
After graduation from college in 2009 I became a freelance photographer’s assistant and continued to test out my own photography and style by working with everyone I could. Shortly thereafter my work was first published in a national magazine, which was Taste of Home in 2010.
Production Paradise: How do you incorporate your own sense of style into your photography and differentiate yourself in the food photography sector?
Jena Carlin: With a trained eye I am able to think quickly on-set and can make adjustments to props and surfaces right before the client’s eyes. My education in fine art has played a great deal in my approach for styling and photography.
Living an artful life is also something I can never give up. In my day-to-day I am consistently working on myself, my business, and my ideas. Doing my own set styling and prop buying has been a huge factor in my style, as I always keep my eye open for inspiration and possible props wherever I go. Unfortunately, this means I always have more ideas than time!
I have always created work that I believe in and that makes me feel something. I believe if you create the work you love to do you will attract the right clients and ultimately you love your job. I am a huge advocate of this and truly love what I do so much I would do it even if I didn’t need money.
And, if you're interested in touring my studio space, check out my Food Photography Studio Setup post!