Mark Twain said it. “There is no such thing as a new idea. It is impossible. We simply take a lot of old ideas and put them into a sort of mental kaleidoscope.”

With the rapid evolution of AI it is certainly fair to say that many of the ideas, insights and even the conversations we are having are nothing more than regurgitated information. (No this blog is all my words before you say anything) Unless you are an inventor or tasked to do an academic, and I mean Phd level research and analysis, we are forming our opinions, ideas, and work outputs based on preconceived notions (founded or unfounded)and collective information design.

Where am I going with this? Well, as you know I am a creative – one that has both qualifications in design, business acumen and teaching as well as extensive experience in retail and corporate life. Therefore in my current role as a pro photographer, I bring to the table all my personal prior experience, knowledge and using today’s inspirations to craft compelling unique images for my clients. No one else can see what I see. No one else can understand the way I perceive information. No one else can make my client feel the way I make them feel. I love nothing more than to shine the light on my business clients especially my foodies in a way that only I can.

Now that sounds egotistical and for those who know me that is not my way. What I am trying to relay is that there is only one version of ourselves. In a previous blog I mentioned how even my wonderful photographer husband who takes amazing photos of women to empower and celebrate the human form, struggles to take food photos. Even with the same camera, same plate of food, same position, he can’t interpret the real world and create a food image that makes people salivate and wanting like I can.

So how do we stand out from others in our industry? The answer is simple. BE YOU. And I mean really you. Understand your core values and the pillars you base your business on and you can hold your head high knowing you are unique and providing a service or product that is meeting the needs of your ideal client.

That is an important aspect as well. YOUR. IDEAL. CLIENT. Do you know how to work out who your ideal client is? Ask me sometime as it is a whole other topic I absolutely love to help businesses understand.

The fact is, not everyone is going to like you. Not everyone will understand the value you bring. Not everyone is ready to receive your genius. The quicker you realise this and are comfortable with it the better. When you stop comparing yourself to others you will flourish. Quieten the noise around you, be selfish and ensure you are coming from a place of service that serves you first. Similar to the notion “if you don’t love yourself, you can’t love others” or “you can’t help others from an empty cup.”

In my corporate role as Human Centred Designer we focused on building understanding around what really matters to people. This involves extensive research and sense making to challenge our preconceived assumptions and validating our hypothesises. When we delve into listening and really understanding our customers we can serve them in a way that no other person or business can. Therefore you are providing a unique service or product. Just look at the insurance industry. They are all promising security of a way of life, however they all speak a different language and all have a different view on values and therefore we make a decision on who to insure with.

So what makes Foodie Shots Foodie Shots?

Visual Storytelling Excellence:

Foodie Shots excels in capturing the essence of businesses through visually compelling stories. My photography and design expertise bring out the unique narratives behind your brand, creating a lasting emotional impression on your audience.

Empathetic and Holistic Approach:

My approach to each project is with empathy and a human-centered mindset ( a whole lot of curiosity). I listen, interpret, and collaborate closely with you, ensuring I address your specific needs and challenges. My holistic consulting approach helps you uncover opportunities and bridge gaps within your business so you can flourish.

Inspiration and Education:

Foodie Shots not only provides exceptional photography services but also inspires and educates. I hope to inspire businesses to realise their full potential, guiding them on a journey of growth and success. My photography workshops and openly sharing knowledge empowers businesses to create their own professional images without fear of competition.

Award-Winning Expertise:

With multiple awards received each year since 2020, I bring a track record of excellence to every project. Foodie Shots accolades and strong social proof serve as a testament to my integrity, creativity, and commitment to delivering outstanding results for you.

So I ask you…what makes you different from the others? One exercise is to do, a dare I say, a comparison of Who you are and Who you are not. This helps you to work out who you will work with and what activities to engage in. You will often have that gut feeling when something is not sitting right and it is usually because it is not aligning with one of your core values. As a sole trader my personal and business values are closely aligned. These maybe different for an organisation and this needs to be workshopped as a group with a cross section of employees. It can not come from the top nor solely a consultancy. The company values are the heartbeat of a business.

I am / I willI’m not / I will not
I encourage and empower othersI will not suppress anyones ideas or thoughts
I work with ethically produced businessesI will not work with Uber / menu log
I will openly share my knowledge with those who want to learnI will not prevent others from building their own business
I will collaborate to ensure all are in a win win situationI will not benefit from the loss of others
I am responsible for the quality of my outputsI will not replace me
I am about community and inclusivityI avoid exclusive activities
I will be the voice for those without voiceI will not stand for bullying
I will seek clarity with curiosityI will try to challenge my absolutes
I will be diplomaticI am not an agitator
I will strive for continuous improvementI do not sit in complacency

How did you go? Isn’t clarity amazing! It makes it so much easier when it’s right there in-front of you.

The value of copying to become different

For those in the creative space like myself we learn initially from others through copying. This is how everything in nature evolves. I watched a baby magpie and its mum this morning learning how to find grubs for itself by mimicking mum. When you want to learn a new skill you go online or an in-person class and find someone who has done it before you and you learn the skill, adapt and if you like it do it again and again. You never know you may actually become better than the teacher dare I say. Musicians, dancers, artists all learn from the masters and then adapt and put their own nuance on it. A perfect example is the amazing Director Quentin Tarantino who is revered as one of the all time greats, openly acknowledges he copies the greats with his own spin. Now I don’t believe blatantly stealing an idea and claiming it as your own however, I remind you…there is no such thing as an original idea anymore.

I dabble in water colour painting as a relaxation exercise (oxymoron there lol) and often find inspiration online and try to copy to see how they have done a certain technique to improve my own skills and in future build my own library of techniques. Regardless of mimicking I can never produce the same artwork and nor would I want to. I use this technique in learning different lighting styles in photography. When I get an opportunity to play it is interesting to see how to replicate a particular photo. Consider the lighting the tone, the composition. You learn so much through others. It’s how you use the skills in your own repertoire that then takes that skill and elevates it to your own.

When I teach in my workshops I am asking my students to replicate what I do so they can see, hear and feel how I am creating the images. Similar to the mother magpie, I want all my students to go and now take their own images with the confidence to serve their business in a way that will see them flourish and be successful. I have taught employees of businesses how to set up their own studio so they can build that capability into their business. Why? Why would I risk that loss of business? Because it is my core value to elevate my clients and therefore if they believe they need to do their images in-house then I can teach them. I know for a fact I have had clients come back and say it’s all too hard and ask me to do it for them.

This leads me to another question…I told you I am a curious soul. We have identified what values we align to and therefore helps us to differentiate ourselves from others…but the above table just makes me seem to be a nice person. If all photographers for instance take photos and the value proposition is the same…I honestly don’t believe people work with me because Im just nice. I wonder if it does come down to the way we make people feel? This I am sure could go real deep into the power of energies and laws of attraction which then delves into human behaviour and psychology (which I threaten my husband I want to study). But I do find it fascinating and believe there is something about needing to align to the same values to be able to work effectively together. I guess that comes back to… who is your ideal client.

If you got this far cheers…again I could have put this through good old Chat GPT but I think there’s something about allowing the ramblings of thought to simply appear on the page and leave it to you to provide your thoughts as well. Cheers Kat

blonde lady in jeans leaning on a heritage house post smiling