Food, travel and lifestyle photographer.
“To create. To capture. To share.’’
With a dazzling, dynamic and cheerful style, Sandy Noto – who remembers being an enthusiast towards photography since she was a little girl and saw her father traveling with a Nikon camera- takes us around the world and presents us different types of lifestyle through her photography.
How did this prolific career, which has allowed her to work with brands such as Master Card and Old Navy, begin?
“Several years ago, I decided that I wanted my profession and lifestyle to be more focused on creativity and I started looking for a position that met that criteria. Finally, I got a job with a group of restaurants, which led me to focus on food.”
When we take a look at Sandy’s work, which is currently followed by 47.6k people, creativity -one of her most outstanding skill- becomes evident.
‘’Incremental creativity is what the vast majority of projects and businesses need to continue to move forward. Creativity is something that machines haven’t mastered (yet). Creativity is how people bring value to the table, using it to turn the potential offered by technology into results.’’ -Ben Plomion, Forbes Communicational Council
Keeping in mind 304,496,512 current #food posts on Instagram, Sandy exposes her theory on why there are so many new food photographers on the market: ‘‘We all eat! Food is a component/habit/passion common to all and a lifestyle matter that can be experienced in very different ways. I’m sure that the food mania we’re in right now will morph and change, but I guess that it will remain in some way or another.’’
‘‘Some main factors when taking a good food photo are, having a well composed dish, good light, thoughtfully chosen and plateware and tableware elements.’’
What are the most compelling traits of a place that make you want to travel there and take photos?
‘‘Typically, I would see a photo of a place and feel an impulse to see it in person, which is how I ended up going to Iceland, Scotland and Bali. Sometimes food plays a role in my travel planning as well. My husband and I have visited Singapore and Hong Kong –just- to eat!’’
‘‘There is more to life than just your little corner of the globe.’’
The best place to photograph?
‘‘Home. Oftentimes, I get too immersed in the next trip, the next project or the next idea. My home’s lifestyle is incredibly important to me, and so is maintaining a balance between striving to create projects that involve diversification – a constant pursuit in each one of them – and being present for those I love… Those are the things I constantly work on. My love for photography began through my father and my appreciation towards the moments he captured in my life… I try to keep that in mind.’’
Which is your favorite restaurant?
‘‘Every year, I pick a new favorite restaurant. Last year, it was Liholiho Yacht Club because it was surprising but still very delicious, and Japan is, by far, the country with the best food.’’
In our current lifestyle, being able to move professionally between different, yet similar, work categories increases the possibilities of collaborating with more companies. Sandy, who began her career studying politics to later moved on to photography, defines her work as fun, creative and bright, and argues that having different expertise’s, instead of being specialized in a single subject has given her a broad perspective.
“About 5 years ago, I met a professional photographer and by watching closely his lifestyle I felt it was possible to take this direction. It took me about 4 years of working independently to make the leap to working completely as an independent photographer.”
‘‘In order to be successful in the future, you have to be some combination of lucky, creative or great at selling – and I think that will always be true.’’
Who do you look up as referents alluding food & lifestyle photography?
‘’I do a lot of photography for The Infatuation, ‘American New York-based restaurant recommendation website and messaging service, known for publishing restaurant reviews and guides, and as creators of the hashtag #EEEEEATS’, and always enjoy watching what other photographers are doing, such as photojournalist and culinary storyteller, Stan Lee and food + drink photographer, Jakob Layman. Likewise, I love looking through portfolios that are very different from mine such as New York-based photographer, Suzanne Saroff.
‘‘ Talking food matters, I would describe myself as a potato dumplings with mushrooms dish. It’s a simple and hearty meal that I’ve enjoyed all of my life. It’s not an everyday meal, but sometimes it’s perfect.’’