Meet Julia Choi, a talented food stylist and creator of (Give Me) Baby One More Bite .
I was scrolling through Instagram one day, looking through different hashtags related to food as most of us do when no one is looking. I wish I could remember which one I was looking through on this day specifically, but I guess that’s not important right now…
Anyway, I was scrolling through the ‘gram when I saw a STRIKING image. I stopped and thought “wow, WHAT IS THAT” because of how it stood out amongst the other images. I clicked on the Instagram name (@babyonemorebite) and continued to scroll through the account amazed at how striking all of the images were. They were all captivating, creative, and even immersive in a way. I couldn’t get enough.
I clicked the link in her bio’ to visit her website, I had to.
After landing on the website, I noticed even more beautiful images and an overall website layout that was warm and enticing, I was hooked. I went to Julia’s about page and began to read about her, after reading her short biography, I was interested in hearing so much more. I thought she was so talented that I couldn’t help but to reach out and at least have a conversation.
I made it clear how much I loved her work, how she provided me with inspiration and asked if we could meet to talk about a possible interview. I wanted to make sure the chemistry was right before actually attempting to capture her story.
I can’t remember what month it was, but it was so fucking humid outside that I could barely take it. I walked through Union Square and arrived at the cafe that Julia and I agreed to meet at. After waiting about five minutes, Julia popped up with a very warm “Hi! Nice to meet you”.
We sat down, had some caffeine, and talked about how she ended up where she is today. She talked about how she was working in advertising years ago, but felt unfulfilled. She decided to enroll in culinary school in hopes of pursuing a new career in something that she was more passionate about and was so happy that she did. Another thing she said that I remember vividly, is that the photos up on her website weren’t even her best stuff (SAY WHAT?!).
After meeting Julia on that first day, I knew her vibes and story were both on point which are major keys for anyone that has anything to do with Beyond The Eats. I don’t care if it’s the most known person on the planet, I won’t work with anyone in any capacity who I’m not really feelin’, but that was FAR from the case with Julia. We set up a time to do the interview and went our separate ways.
Fast forward to the day of the interview, and honestly, I was wild hungover from having one (or two or three) too many bourbon drinks from the night before. I let Julia know that I was definitely on the first seat of the struggle bus, then she just laughed it off and assured me that it was no big deal. The only thing motivating me to move or do anything that day was knowing that I was going to capture Julia’s amazing story. I wanted people to hear it.
Julia quickly thought on her feet and decided to make pancakes for a shoot on the spot.
Important to note – I’ve made pancakes many times before, but Julia added a few ingredients and had some equipment that made the whole process seem like magic to me… don’t ask.
Anyway, she whipped up the pancakes wit’ the crazy wrist game and basically freestyled a food styling setup. It was kind of like watching a producer make a beat. She started off slowly, setting up her backdrop, getting all of the props she would like to use in place and things like that, but she quickly started getting into motion. Moving cloth from left to right, drizzling some chocolate here, placing some sprinkles there, I really respected the artistry of it all being put together.
(below is a photo from the day of the shoot. You can see Julia setting up in the video)
Julia got a few good shots and was ready for me to ask her questions. I tried to tailor the questions towards helping anyone who is new to food styling and wants some beginner tips on props, things to remember, and how to develop your eye as an artist. I think I did a good job of this, but if I didn’t, you can scream at me in the comments.
I loved capturing this story because it was drastically different from any other story I’ve captured up to this point. Although I love to interview restaurant owners, this was the first of what will hopefully be many times that I was able to get the story of people who work with food in other ways. It was a lot of fun seeing it all come together.
What did you think of the interview? Was it helpful? Did you gain any new perspectives? Let me know in the comments!