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It Happened Organically - Meet Food Photographer & Stylist Sabra Krock

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Sometimes there are images that capture you the minute you set your eyes on them. You can spend hours studying the minute details and the care taken to set up the composition. The colors, the lighting, the styling all bring together a powerful atmosphere that makes you go “WOW!” … and that does not change even after you have viewed the images several times over.

Sabra Krock is one such photographer who takes such images. We are extremely proud to have her with us here on the Plate to Page blog as she shares her experience and allows us a closer look into her world of stunning creativity.

Thank you Sabra!

How did you get started?

Believe-it-or-not, I was a management consultant in the consumer goods area (went to business school, previously worked on wall street!) and decided that I really wanted to run my own business.  I took a break to think through ideas and business plans, and as I was doing that, I really pursued my passion for food by being adventurous in the kitchen, starting a food blog (now called Spoonful www.spoonfulblog.com), and teaching myself photography, primarily for the purpose of the blog.  I started a dog product company (which I still run) but as time went on, I found myself devoting more and more time to photography and really loving it.  I really doubled down and learned as much as I could.  Soon I was photographing for clients and photography became its own business.

Why did you choose this field?

I really didn't choose it - it just sort of happened organically.  I have always been very visually inclined and think in terms of images.  When I see a tabletop item or interesting surface I cannot help but see the possibilities for a photograph.  Food photography allows me to combine my love of art and food (my food and still life work can be seen at www.sabrakrock.com).  I now also photograph babies and children (another love!) which adds another dimension to my work and another revenue stream.  That work can be seen at www.sabrakrockkids.com.

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What has changed over the years, in your opinion?

Styles are constantly evolving which is part of the fun. You have to keep up with trends while still being true to yourself.  Food styling has evolved to look more natural and "loose".  Colors and moods change.  Another big change is the sheer number of photographers in the industry combined with the shrinking of the print world.  I am part of that new wave of photographers - it is making it harder and harder to be fairly compensated for your work.

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How has your style changed or developed or evolved?

It is constantly evolving and I am always trying new things.  I think my work, along with the trends, has become less "planned" looking although it is still very deliberate.  I incorporate a lot of vintage or rustic items into the props I use (I am a huge flea market fanatic!). I spend a lot of time looking at other people's work and sometimes try to re-create what they've done from a lighting standpoint in order to learn.  The trick is taking what you see and like and learning from it while making it your own.

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One or two things you learned along the way:

  1. You have to value yourself and not sell yourself short when you are pricing your work.  Underselling yourself only makes it harder for you to run a business and makes it harder for everyone else to stick to their price points.  I've become willing to walk away from a situation that doesn't make sense, as much as it disappoints me to lose the work.
  2. Push yourself.  both in terms of technique and style.  I try not to have overly fixed ideas of what I'm going to do in a shoot.  I always start with a plan but once I have the intended shot, I try different things that I didn't originally plan for - often times I end up with something I like better than my original idea.  I also try to reserve time on my own to try new techniques, for example a new lighting set up.   It's important to keep learning and evolving.