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#CreatorConversations: An AMA With Jessica Hirsch On Favorite Lenses, Food Styling & Advice For Beginners

#CreatorConversations is an AMA (Ask Me Anything) series hosted by @sonyalpha on Instagram. As part of the series, we were joined by Jessica Hirsch (@cheatdayeats) of the Sony Alpha Imaging Collective. See some of the highlights below as she shares how she got started in food photography/videography, her go-to gear, food styling tips and more. Visit the Instagram post for the full AMA and make sure you’re following @sonyalpha and #CreatorConversations to stay connected. Ready to give food photography at home a shot? Learn how to do it with Jessica’s At-Home Food Photography Guide.

“As a global society we are all going through a difficult time right now and it's important to feel a sense of community and togetherness while physical restrictions are in place.” – Jessica Hirsch #CreatorConversations

"How did you break into this field and what tips do you have for aspiring food photographers/videographers?" – @ayaamena

Jessica: “I was a HS math teacher and just started shooting to up my Instagram account. My biggest tips are watching trusted YouTube videos to help teach yourself how to use your camera and edit. And it may sound obvious but...practice! I typically bring my camera out when I go to restaurants but now that we're at home, create a little set up similar to the one I show in my article and practice for an hour or two a day.”

"What camera and lens do you use?" – @oliviakmoran12

Jessica: “The Sony α7 III,I have a few lenses but my go-tos are the Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 G Master and Sony 90mm f/2.8 Macro G.”

“What got you interested in food photography specifically?” – @roqueadeleon

Jessica: “I always have been overly obsessed with food (ha) and documenting my experiences. Once I got my first Sony, I was hooked! I felt like I was bringing the food to life when I posted on social media.”

“Are there certain foods that are harder to photograph than others?” – @mrmusclemax

Jessica: “Good question! I think it depends on the photographer in a sense. I was photographing a soup in Thailand and for the life of me I couldn't get it to look pretty, but I think it's all about finding the dishes best angle and styling it.”

"How did you learn photography? Did you practice on anything other than food?" – @ypeels40

Jessica: “I taught myself through watching YouTube videos and other creators. I love photographing family too.”

"Which editing software do you use for photography and which one for videography?" – @creative.pix_els

Jessica: “For photos, I started using Capture One but for years used Photoshop and still use it depending on the photo and what I need to edit. For videos I use Premiere Pro.”

"How important would you say food styling is for these images? Do you do your own styling or work with someone?" – @renomatography

Jessica: “These were shot by me and styled by me. Most of my shots are pretty close-up so in general, food styling for me usually focuses more on the dish itself versus what's surrounding it. Although I like to add something behind it to add depth. I always try to make sure the viewer can see all the ingredients so if I need to style it in a way to do that i will.”

“Do you recommend filling the whole frame with the subject while doing food photography or is negative space good?” – @imcj.in

Jessica: “I shoot a ton for Instagram and since there isn't a 4 by 5 ratio on the camera I usually have space. That’s more logistics. I think this question is up to the artist creating the shot. My personal style is up close and personal with no space.”

See the full AMA here.


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