Andrea Araiza is a food photographer and stylist—browse her Instagram feed for too long and you'll find yourself getting hungry! But for Andrea, the hard work happens away from the plate. The key to Andrea's mouthwatering shots lies in efficient organisation and seamless client collaboration, for which she enlists the help of Visualist.
Hello! My name is Andrea Araiza, I'm a food photographer and stylist. I work with restaurants and brands to capture their menu and their essence. I photograph so many amazing dishes but my favourite has always been salads. I'm not overstating when I say I love all kinds of leafy greens. They bring so much to a plate when paired with the right dressings, fruits, vegetables—anything really! A salad's place in my heart is undisputed.
I also develop my own recipes to photograph in my studio, I love to cook and I am always eager to try new things—learning has always been half the fun behind the camera and the kitchen. I use my social media as a space to share stories about what I do and how I do it.
What projects have you been working on lately?
I have recently conducted a photo shoot with Don Francisco Cheese, a Mexican American brand. The brief was to capture different ways to incorporate their product into classic dishes with a modern twist—we wanted to create light and airy images that had traditional elements but still felt approachable and young.
I used Visualist to plan the shoot. It is so important for me to be collaborative with my clients and Visualist acts as a visual record of our shared thought process.
Most clients are looking for that real personal touch. Without collaboration, clients are usually dissatisfied as they feel the resulting shots are not characteristic of their brand.
Do you use moodboards in your work?
Yes! Moodboards make it easy for my client and I to understand one another and find the common ground. I make my moodboards in Visualist and save them as a PNG to share with my clients. This makes them easily accessible whilst still making me look professional—how you package and deliver your services speaks volumes.
While the low-hanging fruit answer here is definitely through pictures, I want to say that besides being professional, having a good and casual relationship with your clients is also important. It is highly likely that your client will have someone who's supervising the project and who is more than willing to answer all your questions and share the bits of insight that they have with their own or their client's brand. Being close with those you are in touch with will boost confidence and results in general, in my experience.
Is your working style chaotic or organised?
In my opinion, organisation is one of the pillars of creativity and excellence. It is so useful to have an organised, manageable space that can act as a source of inspiration for many projects.
Organising and searching my Visualist library by colour is very useful. I also love being able to sort and search my Visualist library by tags.
What role does colour play in your process?
I teach colour theory as part of my food photography course. Colour theory can seem like an obstacle in creative lines of work as its title implies that there might be only one right answer, but I think that there lies the most surprising lesson of the course. Working colour into food photography is a matter of storytelling, you can complement the feeling of a warm desert with the same colour you'd use to play and contrast with the vibrancy of a fresh meal.
Colours can communicate so much more than we think, it takes time and dedication to get the messaging just right.