Today we’d like to introduce you to Natasha Octon.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Natasha. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I first discovered my passion for food photography and blogging right after finishing my Bachelors of Science Degree in Media Arts from Platt College San Diego. While in college, I learned a variety of skills from Graphic Design to Visual Effects & Compositing. This allowed me to have hands-on training with computer software like Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom for photo editing. The food blog side came about because I had been sharing meals I was making at home on my personal Instagram and so many people were asking me for the recipes. I have a background in Social Media Marketing as well, so I knew to have a more niche account would allow me to build a following around my new found passion. I started my Instagram, Facebook, etc. for Natasha’s Food Adventures over three years ago and it’s grown a lot over the years. But it has allowed me to combine all of my passions into one which is why I love doing it!
Has it been a smooth road?
It has definitely not been a smooth road. In the beginning, I was just doing it for fun as a creative outlet. But then I started noticing all these other amazing food bloggers with beautiful photography and I realized my skills were lacking and I wanted to do more with this food blog. I have improved my photography skills so much thanks to online training. I paid for many of them and when I did I found them to be the most valuable. These were training specific to food photography.
If you are new to this industry and want to improve your photography skills, this is the #1 thing I would recommend you invest in before buying a fancy camera or lighting equipment. Photography can be improved with these things but if you don’t understand the composition and good lighting it won’t matter. But don’t get discouraged either! Just practice as much as you can!
It also helps if you have someone in your life who is supportive of your craft. My husband Jarod Octon has never discouraged me from chasing my dream of food blogging and photography. You need to find people in your life that will cheer for you even when no one else is paying attention yet.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into Natasha’s Food Adventures story. Tell us more about it.
I’m best known for my food photography and blog. Yes, Instagram is where I have my largest following but my website is something I have been working on for years and I have sections dedicated to recipes, restaurant reviews, travel, and even Disneyland! I recently had my photography work featured in San Diego Magazine’s May 2019 issue in their Dine Out section which was very exciting for me. I think one of the things that set me apart is the fact that I share more than just restaurants. I want to encompass my love for food on a broader scale. I love to write just as much as I love to photograph and I think many foodies rely on Instagram too heavily these days. When Instagram crashed a few weeks ago, my website was still up and running. I think it’s important to have a presence outside of the gram because what will we do if it just goes away one day? Everything you worked so hard to build would be gone! I want my work to be around forever.
Do you have any advice for finding a mentor or networking in general? What has worked well for you?
Honestly, most of my networking started while I was in college. But now that I work a full-time job during the day, I make most of my food industry connections through social media. I’ve honestly made some wonderful friendships with local foodies after being friends online and then being able to meet-up in person. Something about sharing a meal and discussing similar passions can really bring people together. I consider many of them my mentors and I think it’s ok to have more than one.
You have to step outside of your shell though. I’m the person that can be content staying in and not going out all weekend. I love to just turn everything off and focus on my craft, but networking is how I’m able to find photography gigs and restaurants to feature. So, it’s good to find that balance.
- Website: www.food.natashaenglehardt.com
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: @natashasfoodadventures
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/natashasfoodadventures/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/FoodieNatasha
- Other: https://www.pinterest.com/food_adventures/