Name: Christina Branco
Business/Location: Starving Artist Food Photography/Kearny, NJ
Specialty: I specialize in helping small businesses capture and create beautiful food-related images.
What problem does your business solve?: I help businesses build a catalog of images they can use in a variety of ways. In the age of social media, it's more important than ever to have photos that show off your product. For restaurants and food products, those images need to be really appetizing to take someone from just hitting the like button, to wanting to step foot into your establishment, or go and buy your product. Beyond that, if someone were to write an article about your business, you can give them a portfolio of options, and not cringe if they randomly pick one off social media.
What makes your business unique?: I keep my pricing at a point that is accessible to small businesses so they can easily and cost-effectively invest in high quality images that showcase all they have to offer.
What’s your story?: I've always wanted to be in a creative field. I grew up in a family of artists, so it was just part of life. I did everything from baking, sewing, designing, and dancing, and eventually I found photography while studying graphic design in college. I wound up spending some years working in photo editing and printing, and then on the marketing side of the business for a photo gallery. I also did freelance photography, shooting headshots and portraits. Throughout all of this, my baking hobby started to become a relaxing and creative outlet for me, since I could do it with toddlers following me around the kitchen. As a result, I was always shooting my food. In the back of my mind, I kept going back to a freelance job I took years ago for a restaurant in Jersey City. I knew that was what I wanted to be doing. So I started to focus solely on shooting food, and eventually it went from a side business to my full-time job.
What’s your greatest challenge in your business and how are you overcoming it?: Everyone has a camera in their pocket, so I have to do a little more educating on the value of professional quality images and how they can elevate a brand. It's more than just a photo, it's your story, your product, your labor of love, and the right pictures will highlight that.
What are you most proud of about your business?: I'm proud to be following my dream, working in a creative field that I love, helping small businesses along the way.
What do you love most about being a food entrepreneur?: I find shooting food so satisfying! I love the creative storytelling aspect, that I get to be more hands on, and how the styling possibilities are endless. I love meeting the people behind the local businesses and learning about their passion, and then putting both of ours together to create art!