Zooppa Featured Member: Anne Watson

Meet Anne Watson, our newest Featured Member!AnneWatson

This Zoopper just snagged a win in the Knorr: Live for the Flavor Recipe Photo Shoot Part 2 project. Warning: do not check out her amazing photos if you are hungry! Check out her work and read on to learn more about her.

1. Tell us about yourself, personally and creatively.

I’m a 37-year-old Southern California-based professional food, chef & restaurant photographer with a passion for all things culinary. I live with my husband and our two-year-old son on our ranch in North San Diego County where we raise chickens, goats and pigs, and run a 1,300-vine Cabernet Sauvignon vineyard. I began my career many years ago as a cook working in professional kitchens, but had always done photography as a hobby. After many years, I finally decided to combine my two passions of cuisine & photography to start my own food photography business, Anne Watson Photography, and have never looked back. I love what I do, and never feel like I ‘work’ a day in my life.

2. What brought you to the Zooppa community?

I received an email from a Zooppa team member last year who shared the Lindsay Olive contest with me because he’d seen my website and thought I might be interested in entering. I checked it out and thought it sounded amazing. I’ve been an active Zooppa creative member ever since.

3. What do you like most about crowdsourced film contests?

I like that Zooppa connects large international corporations with creatives around the globe that have such a diverse variety of backgrounds – both amateur and professional. It also I think gives many of us a ‘voice’ allowing our work to be seen by an interested and informed audience.

4. Name Photographers that have influenced your work.

Two of my favorite photographers have always been Helene Dujardin http://www.helenedujardinphoto.com and Todd Coleman http://www.toddcolemanphotography.com, both of whom do an incredible job of using natural light when shooting food (which is my personal preference and approach) and telling the story of a dish.  I also find the work of Shimon and Tammar Rothstein to be inspiring – I particularly loved the photographs they did for Chefs Eric Ripert & Michael Ruhlman’s cookbook, ‘A Return to Cooking’.


5. Where do/did you go to school? How has your education influenced your photography?

I am completely self-taught when it comes to food photography. My understanding of photography basics came to me from my dad when I was young (I inherited his old film SLR with a broken light meter that I got to play around with when I was a kid and he taught me about aperture and shutter speed), and I also took photography as my elective in high school. But, photographing food is something that I continue to learn more about every day. I think you must have a passion for what you photograph. If you love what you shoot, then I think that is reflected in your work.

6. What is your favorite type of photography to create?

I absolutely love editorial food photography – when my job is to simply capture a dish in its natural, organic state just as the chef plated it. Or when I get to be behind-the-scenes in the kitchen with the chef and their team, photographing them in action and documenting a dish’s creation as it all comes together. I love it because these situations are usually high-energy, and it challenges me as a photographer because there is very little I can control. I’m a bystander and my job is to tell the story as I see it through my lens.

7. Where can we find you on a Saturday afternoon?

No two Saturdays are the same, which is how I like it. If I’m not on-site photographing an event on a Saturday, though, then you’ll find me in my farm boots walking with my husband around our vineyard and chasing chickens, petting goats, and feeding pigs with our 2-year-old son here on our ranch.

8. What projects are you currently working on?

I’m currently in the midst of shooting my second cookbook — “Veggie Mamma” by Chef Jenny Ross, the queen of raw vegan cuisine. I also have my ongoing shoots with restaurant clients, many of whom are updating their winter menus at the moment to reflect the seasonal changes.

9.Choose 5 words to describe your work.

Delicious. Vibrant. Fresh. Genuine. Passionate.

10. What drew you to participate in this campaign? i.e. – did the brief catch your attention, the prize money, the love for the brand?

This project caught my attention because it combined one of my favorite culinary brands (we always have Knorr bouillon cubes on-hand in our home pantry!) with two of my favorite things: cooking, and food photography using natural light. I knew it would be a lot of fun.

11. What is one piece of winning advice you would give to your fellow Zooppa community members?

This may sound simple, but I’d say, “Follow the directions.” Read the instructions carefully so you can give the client exactly what they’re looking for.

12. 10 years from now where will we see you and your films?

10 years from now I hope to be harvesting grapes in our vineyard with my husband and son, and continuing to work with phenomenal chefs and artisans to capture their food in photographs. I’d love to get a few more cookbooks under my belt. And, one day have a dream of seeing my photographs grace the pages of a magazine such as Food & Wine, Bon Appetit, or SAVEUR (three of my favorite publications that I look forward to every month).

Check out Anne Watson Photography, and follow her on instragram @annewatsonphoto to see more of her work!

Jasmine Moore

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