Leading Ladies: Ingrid Ryan

Leading Ladies heads back to the fashion world this week, with an interview with our first model to be featured!

When you think of modeling, you probably think of the runways of New York and Paris.  But there are professional models in cities throughout the country, and I have the pleasure of working with many of them on TV shows.

Ingrid Ryan has worked with me on several segments – and I never book a fashion show in Tampa without first checking to make sure she is available.  My clients love her - and it is an absolute delight to work with her!

You may not know her by name, but if you watch HSN, you will definitely recognize her.

Let me introduce you to…

Ingrid Ryan

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Who are you, and what do you do?

I'm Ingrid Ryan, and I am a professional model.

Where do you live, where are you from, and where did you go to school?

I am a native of St. Petersburg, Florida.  I attended St. Petersburg High School, followed by college at Tuskegee University.  My major was English, which I taught for 12 years before beginning modeling.

What attracted you to modeling? 

I've always been attracted to the fashion industry, and knew that my dream job would involve being a part of it.  While I was always a little on the tall side, the business is extremely demanding and also very difficult to obtain success, so I never pursued it.  Having been told throughout my life that I should try it, I finally decided at age 36 to do so. 

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How did you get started as a model? 

My start is actually an amazing story that involves a wonderful agent who I've kept to this day. Using her iPhone, she took a picture and submitted me for my first booking, and that was the beginning of it all.

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What types of jobs do you typically work?

Typically, on a weekly basis, I'm fortunate enough to work with HSN in their fashion department, modeling fashions by world-renowned designers and fashion icons like Iman and Twiggy.  These bookings are delightful because you get to not only meet the designer and familiarize yourself with their line, but it's also wonderful exposure as a model.

There are also occasional bookings for things like tourism, resorts, department store and catalogs as well.  I was recently booked for a bridal show, which is so amazing because not only will I get to wear beautiful dresses, but it will give me great photos from the runway. These kinds of jobs are a lot of fun, and give models an opportunity to get great pictures for portfolio use and exposure for future bookings. The fact that modeling offers so much schedule diversity is one of the things that I most enjoy about it. 

What is your typical work day like?

With a husband, a child, and a doggy, I try to adhere to a schedule on most days. My day usually involves a workout at some point, whether I have a booking or not.  Bookings are usually done in full-day or half-day blocks, but when working with HSN, blocks of two to four hours at a time are more the norm, which is pretty SWEET!  Since HSN is a 24-hour-a-day operation, scheduling can get a little tricky sometimes.  When bookings overlap with other activities for the day like orthodontic appointments, school drop-off and the like, it can make for a busy day. 

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Many people think of modeling as a super-glamourous job.  What it is really like?

There are so many myths about the glamour side of modeling - where do I begin?  First, it's a lot more difficult to take a quality picture than most people think.  Factors like angles and lighting are huge components of making an amazing picture, and yet these things are never seen, or even usually known by the public.  Running (often literally) back-and-forth, with very quick wardrobe changes, in extreme conditions like being very hot at the beach or extremely cold in a pool of water and pretending that you're not, are things we don't often think about when we're flipping through our favorite fashion magazine or ad.  Also, I don't find working out to be particularly glamorous! 

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Furthermore, it is a myth that models arrive camera-ready and spend very little time in hair and makeup prep. The more creative, colorful and editorial the set is, the longer this process takes. Finally, it's your job to make whatever you've been given to wear or to present look amazing, and sometimes this is harder than others. It can be a challenge to exude confidence when a particular article of clothing is not necessarily something that you would personally wear.  At these times, you must keep in mind that your job is to do just that! After all, this is what you're being paid to do.

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What are some of the biggest challenges you face in this tough industry?

I think that some of the challenges that not just myself, but most models face, are just the subjectiveness of the industry.  People would argue that all of the “isms” are present in this industry – ageism, sexism, racism, you name it. Because I entered the industry much later than most professional models, I believe I am fortunate enough to have sidestepped many of the personal insecurities that come with being a young model.  I'm at a confident age and stage of my life where I accept myself for who I am just as I am, and this has made things much easier for me.  However, there is always an element of exception and rejection in this industry, and it's healthy to remind yourself that while it feels personal when you don't get a job or a booking, it really isn’t.

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How do you balance family life with a non-traditional work schedule?

I have lots of support!  I could not manage being a mother, wife, and professional without the support of my entire family. This includes of course my wonderful husband, as well as my parents and extended family, who all pitch in from time to time when necessary.  Also, if I may say, I credit God with my ability to get everything done. I don't know how I would do it without my strong spiritual foundation, and I believe that through God and with God all things are possible! I say this often throughout the day. 

How would you describe your own personal style?

My own personal style I would define as eclectic, but not trendy. I love classic lines and silhouettes.  I love lux fabrics and amazing details, like buttons, zippers and hardware. I cannot live without accessories like amazing scarves, shoes, and handbags!  Also, color is a huge component in my wardrobe and I often dress according to my mood. This means my fashion style runs the gamut, which I love that because it allows me to express myself in ways that reflect my daily moods and tastes.

What five items in your wardrobe could you not live without?

So, this could be a hard one because I definitely have key FAVES, but narrowing them down to five is a little difficult... absolutely my gold hoop earrings, my favorite crisp white blouse (of course with collar popped), my favorite pair of distressed denim jeans, my dark dinner denim skinny jeans, and my nude Vince Camuto pumps. Oh, and if allowed one more... my Blush pink trench coat!

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What inspires you?

Amazing and empowered women doing things they love to do, whether it be modeling, designing, writing. producing, acting, singing, dancing, teaching, parenting... GIRLS JUST ROCK!!! I'm so proud to be the gender that I am, living in the time that I am, with so many opportunities still opening up for women. I love that and I love knowing that!

What advice would you offer people who want to explore working as a model? 

I would give people who want to explore working as a model the same advice that I would give people who want to explore doing anything else that they think they would love:  be curious first, then be open to learning.  Contrary to popular belief, you do not need to spend exorbitant amounts of money to break into the industry. There are certainly those in this industry who recognize talent and beauty and will give opportunities to models of all ages ...and now, thank goodness, all sizes. It's really a wonderful time to be a model.


Thank you, Ingrid!  You can follow Ingrid on both Instagram and Twitter.

Have an awesome week!

 

* All photos courtesy of Ingrid Ryan.

Leading Ladies: Shayna Varner

As someone who started my career working for a United States Representative on Capitol Hill, I know first-hand how the fast pace of government can prepare you for a variety of careers. 

Shayna Varner has moved effortlessly between the public and private sectors, putting her skills to work for a variety of in-house and agency clients.  She has also enthusiastically seized the career opportunities that have come her way - a great lesson both for recent grads and those a little more advanced in their careers.  

Let me introduce you to...

Shayna Varner

What do you do?

I work as a Public Relations Account Supervisor at the Karma Agency - a strategic content and communications agency - located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Where do you live, where are you from and where did you go to school?

I live in a small loft apartment in Old City, Philadelphia - just a block from Benjamin Franklin's final resting place, Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell and the first United States Post Office. Pretty cool, no? :) I'm originally from Moundsville, a small town in West Virginia's Northern Panhandle. I graduated from Harding University in 2009 with a bachelor's degree in public relations and from West Virginia University in 2013 with a master's degree in integrated marketing communications.

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What was your career path to your current position?

A few weeks after I graduated from Harding in December 2009, I started working on my master's degree and working with the Community Connect Foundation as the Project Coordinator for the Foundation's Statewide E-Government Project. As project coordinator, I worked with high school teachers to connect social studies and government students with elected officials at the county and local levels to develop sustainable, informative and professional websites for every county and incorporated municipality in West Virginia. 

A few months later, I was contacted by Beyond Marketing, an integrated marketing and communications agency in Wheeling, West Virginia and the agency where I completed my college-required internship, to join the team as a communications specialist for a local two hospital health system. In this role, I oversaw all public relations, marketing and advertising functions for the organization, developing marketing plans for various community education events and hospital programs and services, and led all media relations and crisis communications efforts.

Two years into my role at the hospital, Beyond Marketing hired me as part of its full-time staff which allowed me to expand my communications experience in to a number of different industries including government agencies, sports and entertainment, community non- profit organizations with an emphasis in healthcare communications.

After a few months, I took an Account Executive position with Charles Ryan Associates, the largest (and only women owned) integrated communications agency in West Virginia located in Charleston - our state's capital city. At CRA, I balanced the integrated communications, branding and advertising needs for a variety of different accounts including those in the tourism, entertainment, workers' compensation and oil and natural gas industries. 

A little over a year into my time at CRA, I was recruited to join Governor Earl Ray Tomblin's communications team as Deputy Press Secretary. Eight months later, I was promoted to Press Secretary. During my time in the Governor's Office, I had the honor and privilege of crafting critical messaging to advance the governor’s initiatives through day-to-day media outreach and crisis communications. I also served as the primary speechwriter for the governor's annual State of the State address. 

In July 2016, just a few months before the end of Governor Tomblin's final term in office (he is limited after serving two consecutive terms), I moved to the City of Brotherly Love and joined the Karma Agency's public relations team as an Account Supervisor where work with B2B clients in the pharmaceutical, nutraceutical and chemical spaces.

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What inspired you to pursue a career in government?

My father. For 20 years, he served as a member of the West Virginia House of Delegates. For sixteen of those years, he served as Majority Whip. Growing up, I remember my mom loading my younger brother and I up in our family minivan and traveling to Charleston to spend a weekend or a few days with him while he was working. I was fascinated by all of the sights and sounds and the inner workings of state government. I didn't realize it then, but I look back at all of those moments now and I see something much bigger - all of those late nights spent crouched over his desk and weekends spent at the Capitol were to make West Virginia a better place for my brother and I and all West Virginians to live, work and raise a family. I have always been proud to be his daughter. After spending three years under the dome and to have the privilege of seeing how the work he accomplished made a real difference, I'm even more proud to call him my dad.

How did you get your job in Governor Tomblin's office?

I had worked with Charles Ryan Associates for a little over a year when I got a phone call from Governor Tomblin's communications director asking me to join his communications team as Deputy Press Secretary. I visited to the office, sat down with the team and a week or two later, I walked in to the State Capitol as part of the governor's staff. 

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What was a typical work day like in the Governor's Office? What about in your new agency position?

Every day in the Governor's Office was different, but our communications team always started the day with a strong cup of coffee and a morning briefing to talk through any hot topics that popped up overnight and develop a communications strategy for how the governor might respond when asked about those issues. With whatever time we had left, we'd talk about what briefings, talking points or formal speeches may be on the horizon and get a better handle on everyone's workload. To be honest? That's where the typical-ness of each day ended. By the time we wrapped up our briefing, the day had already started and so had the madness. The governor's Communications Director (now Chief of Staff) Chris Stadelman and I used to joke that no matter what craziness or nonsense the day might bring, we could always be sure of one thing - we come to work, we get interrupted, we go home. Although we used to laugh about it (and I still do), it's so true on so many levels.

I would say that agency life is very similar! I work with a super talented and great team that juggles the integrated communications needs for some major, internationally known players in the pharmaceutical, nutraceutical and chemical industries. Each day starts out with a plan and deadlines (which we always find a way to meet), but sometimes there are a few detours along the way!

What inspires you?

Traveling. For me, there's something incredibly inspiring about experiencing new cultures, falling in love with places you've never seen and people you've never met, and learning to see the world in ways you never expected.

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What are three books you've read this year?

"The Speechwriter" by Barton Swaim, "Me Before You" by Jojo Moyes, "The Help" by Kathryn Stockett.

What tips would you offer people who want to work in government or politics?

Be a good listener. It's okay to be the youngest person in the room, and it's okay to not have all of the answers. There is always room to compromise - in fact, I would argue better policy and better government comes from compromise. And learn as much as you can from everyone you can, even those who may have a different political affiliation than you. 

What advice do you have for people who want to transition between the public and private sectors?

Look for opportunities that will help you blend what you already know with the skills you want to learn. It will make you better in the long run!

Many people who read this are in the midst of or are looking for internships. What can they do during their internships to best position themselves for a later job hunt?

Take your internship seriously - my summer internship landed me my first 'big girl' job. That summer, I was one of three interns that worked alongside Beyond Marketing's account staff and I took every opportunity to ask questions, take on new responsibilities and I never turned down the opportunity to join the senior account team for client meetings. Getting that type of hands-on experience and being part of developing a strategy from brainstorming to execution helped me understand how the industry worked and my role in all of it.

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What advice would you offer to new grads starting out their careers?

Keep your head up! It's okay to feel a little overwhelmed the first few weeks of your first job. That overwhelming feeling is usually a good sign - it means you're learning. 


Thank you, Shayna!  You can connect with her via LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook.

Have a great week!

 

* All photos courtesy of Shayna Varner.

Leading Ladies: Michelle Pugh

Now that Labor Day is in the rear-view mirror, it's back-to-school and back-to-work!

That means it's also time to resume our Leading Ladies series, which took an unplanned hiatus in July and August as I traveled around the country doing back-to-school segments.

If you need bit of motivation to get back into the work mind-set this month, Michelle Pugh may be just the person you need!

Let me introduce you to...

Michelle Pugh

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What do you do?

I am a brand manager for Eric Rob & Isaac, a full-service marketing firm in Little Rock, Arkansas. I plan and execute comprehensive marketing-communication plans for clients, some of which are Mountain Valley Spring Water, First Security Bank, Saline Memorial Hospital, University of Central Arkansas and Arkansas Heart Hospital.

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Where are you from, and where did you go to school?

I am from a small town in Arkansas called Wynne and attended school at Harding University in Searcy, Arkansas.

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What attracted you to working in advertising?

When I was in high school, my mother encouraged me to join the yearbook staff. I did and quickly fell in love with the tasks required to put together a publication. I worked really hard on the staff, eventually becoming the editor my senior year, and went on to be named editor of the year by the Arkansas Scholastic Press Association. When I decided that I was going to attend Harding University, I immediately got in contact with the yearbook advisor to inquire about positions on the Petit Jean yearbook staff. The advisor at the time was quick to let me know that he did not allow freshmen on his staff. Being an overzealous 18-year-old, I scheduled an appointment with the advisor, took my portfolio and resume with me, and insisted that he hire me to the staff. The advisor told me that he was not sure what position he would have available but decided to go ahead and hire me for the staff.

Long story short, after a year working on staff, I sat down with one of my other advisors to discuss options for my major, and she shared with me that she too had always wanted ‘yearbook’ to be her career. She said that an advisor had encouraged her to go into public relations, as many of the skill sets needed to make a publication are also used in public relations jobs. I switched my major and never looked back.

How did you get your job?

An advisor at Harding told me about a position open at Eric Rob & Isaac, so I decided to apply. I was asked to an interview but did not hear anything for a couple of weeks after the interview. My husband and I were committed to moving to Little Rock for him to attend school, so I decided to start applying for every communication job available. That very day, I received a call from Rob Bell at Eric Rob & Isaac offering me a job as an account executive.

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What your typical work day like?

Every day is a little different when you’re working for an agency. Some days I wake up at 5 a.m. and get ready for an all-day TV shoot in a hospital, and other days I’m preparing to present a marketing plan to a bank or university. Still other days I spend all of my time responding to emails or helping clients solve marketing problems that arise. Every day is a little unpredictable but it’s fun that ways.

Advertising is an ever-changing industry, and when you’re working for an agency, you’re expected to be on the forefront of the trends. There are many times when I work a long day and then come home to take an online class or read articles in order to stay in front of my clients’ needs.

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Are there any myths about working in advertising that don’t match up to reality?

There are definitely a lot of extremes that aren’t quite true, but many of the ideas you see in shows like Mad Men or Scandal are actually a reality on some level. At the same time, there are many days when I describe myself as a professional emailer because I spend the whole day responding to client emails and just making sure everyone has what they need when they need it.

What are your five favorite movies?

To be honest, favorites stress me out. Ask anyone that knows me; I do not have favorites. And now with Netflix, I watch a lot more series than movies. Some shows that I like right now are Scandal, Grey's Anatomy and The Walking Dead.

What inspires you?

There are a lot of things that inspire me, but from a professional standpoint, I’m definitely inspired by success. And not just success in my professional life but success for my clients. I have the opportunity to truly help my clients grow their businesses and be the best companies they can be, and that inspires me. I get to work with a lot of different industries, and every day I get to help tell their stories of success, whether that be through a social post, digital ad, TV segment, employee newsletter or print ad (yes, we still do print ads).

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What advice would you offer to new grads starting their careers?

I’m kind of a long-winded tactical person, so it’s hard for me to give one piece of advice. However, I’ve found that it all boils down to working really hard and being passionate about everything you do. Passion is contagious, and if your employer or, in my case, clients can see passion in your work, then you’ll be successful in whatever you do. 


Thank you, Michelle!  You can connect with Michelle on LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook.

Have a great week!

 

* All photos courtesy of Michelle Pugh.

Leading Ladies: LaCanas Tucker

What are some of the cool things you can do with a communications degree?  This week’s Leading Ladies interview helps answer that question.

In her role as a communications manager at KPMG, LaCanas Tucker impacts multiple facets of the business.  Last fall, her achievements were recognized by her alma mater when she received the Gutenberg Award, which honors the professional achievements of Journalism and Mass Communication Department alumni at Abilene Christian University. 

LaCanas is always one of my first calls when I organize panels of business professionals to meet with college students and new grads.  Her advice is practical and straightforward, delivered with quick wit and elegant style.

And if all of those things weren’t enough – she has a beautiful singing voice.  If you ever come to our church, if LaCanas is not up on stage singing that morning, you want to sit next to her to listen to and harmonize with her.

Let me introduce you to…

LaCanas Tucker

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What do you do?

I am a communications manager for KPMG, one of the Big 4 accounting and consulting firms. I recently started working in their Risk Management group. I’m responsible for sharing the work Risk Management does to support the firm’s business, so my work is primarily internally focused.

You have been with the company for a long time, continually moving up and taking on larger roles.  Tell us about your career path.

I had a few different jobs out of school that were all over the place and didn’t fit any particular career path. Once I got to KPMG as an admin assistant, I built my resume by taking on additional assignments and learning new skills. My extra efforts were noticed and eventually rewarded. 

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Where are you from, and where did you go to school?

I grew up in Oakton, Virginia, which is a suburb of Washington, DC. I graduated from Abilene Christian University in Abilene, Texas where I studied communication and minored in political science.

What was your first job?

My first job out of college was working for a defense contractor outside of Washington, DC. I helped compile a taxonomy handbook for defense organizations. I stayed there for about six months before I moved to NYC.

How did you end up in NYC?

I quit my job and drove up here. My cousin was living in Brooklyn so I stayed with her for a few weeks before I found another job and an apartment. I haven’t driven a car in 15 years.

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What is your typical work day like?

My work is project-oriented and I’m usually focused on a few projects at a time. KPMG has its own television studio and video network, online magazine and other internal and external publications so there are a lot of opportunities to write. I’ve written and/or edited newsletters, scripts for news and animation, policy, websites and mass emails. I’ve worked with business and law specialists to share points of view, and tech specialists to share new tools with the firm, clients or the public. I’m also responsible for organizing live presentations, producing exhibits for an internal audience and building and managing content for our internal website.

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You have traveled extensively in your work.  What are most fascinating places you have visited?

I’ve traveled domestically somewhat, but I did get to go to India a couple of years ago. India was fascinating because it is a country of extremes – extreme poverty and extreme wealth, but even very poor women wear beautiful saris. India is also a service oriented culture and it was difficult adjusting to someone constantly serving you when you’re used to doing everything yourself. I felt like Matthew in the first season of Downton Abbey.

 

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What are your favorite things about living in NYC?

I love that everything I need is within four blocks of my apartment. I love walking home from the office at the end of the day. I love that a lot of very different people in a relatively small space have mostly agreed to just get along with each other. 

What are your favorite books you have read within the last year?

One of the most interesting books I read in the last year was a biography of Coco Chanel. She is still incredibly influential, but was a surprisingly terrible person who came out of retirement and had a comeback in her 70s because she was annoyed with the fashion of the 1950s. I like biographies because they’re kind of a two-for-one. You get a history lesson along with the knowledge of that person’s world and contributions to society.

Tell us about your interest in music and singing.  How did you get started with that?

I just grew up always singing. Singing at church, singing in the living room, in the car, the entire family singing at one of my aunts’ homes. I focused on piano and viola throughout school - one of my favorite memories from high school is playing weddings and events in a string quartet with orchestra friends for extra money. I got into singing again in my 20s. Because I sing at church, I see it as a way to use and appreciate my talent without pursuing it as a career.

What inspires you?

It is very energizing to hear others’ stories about what inspires them.

What advice would you offer to new grads starting their careers?

Be open minded. Take risks. Make decisions. Have faith that everything is going to work out. Volunteer to take on additional responsibilities so that you’re ready when an opportunity comes.


Thank you, LaCanas!

You can connect with LaCanas on LinkedIn.

Have a great week, everyone!

 

* All photos courtesy of LaCanas Tucker.

Leading Ladies: Hannah Canvasser

I do a lot of food segments on TV, showing everything from steaks to ice cream recipes to full menus for Thanksgiving dinners.

Each food segment requires a talented food stylist who can prepare and present the food in a gorgeous way -  while making sure everything is edible and delicious so that the hosts can sample it on-air.

Last fall, for a segment in L.A., I was referred to Hannah Canvasser by another food stylist I have worked with for many years.  Hannah grilled and styled cheeseburgers for my cheeseburger and wine pairing segment, paying meticulous attention to detail to make sure each burger was perfectly prepared and garnished.  In addition to food styling, Hannah has a side business that will make you want to click over and order the yummy frozen treats they offer - especially if you are among my many friends who love Southern banana pudding.

Let me introduce you to...

Hannah Canvasser

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What do you do?

I am a food stylist based in Los Angeles, California. I also have a full-time “side gig” running a frozen dessert business called little spoon frozen pudding, which I co-founded with my boyfriend. We like to call it ice cream's rich cousin, and the coolest thing about it is that it doesn't melt like ice cream does -  it just turns into pudding! Hurray, no ice cream soup after five minutes!

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Where do you live, where are you from, and where did you go to school?

I live in Los Angeles, California and grew up in San Luis Obispo, California. I graduated from UCI with a BA in Psychology and Social Behavior and went on to culinary school at Le Cordon Bleu-San Francisco.

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How did you get started in food styling?

I worked in some amazing restaurants during and after culinary school: Chez Panisse in Berkeley and Michael Tusk's Quince in San Francisco. I was fascinated with the art of plating and felt and still feel that it makes a huge difference in the enjoyment of food. Before the world became obsessed with documenting and posting every meal they ate on social media, I was obsessed with looking at photos of beautiful food. I started to become interested in the idea of a career as a food stylist, though I honestly did not know much about what the work entailed. After contacting a few food stylists to pick their brain I was told L.A. was the place to be, so I threw all of my belongings in my Volvo and drove down to L.A. with the intent to pursue food styling. I landed an internship with Anne Willan and simultaneously began networking as hard as I could to get my foot in the food styling door. One job led to another, and here I am!

What is your typical work day like?

As a freelancer and business owner I do not have a typical work day.  I would say this is the best and worst thing about freelancing. I can receive anywhere from one month to one day's notice before a job, that's the freelance and entrepreneur hustle! If I am booked for a shoot I'll typically have multiple emails and pre-production calls set up to discuss all details. Every shoot is different, so it's important to ask all the proper questions to make sure the client, agency, photographer, set designer, prop stylist and I are all on the same page and that I understand the look and feel that the client is going for. I'll usually receive a shot list so that I know exactly what we will be doing on the day of the shoot and depending on the size of the shoot I'll have a certain number of shop and prep days to prepare anything that can be done ahead of time. On the shoot day it's all about flexibility and communication because once something is in front of the camera, opinions on look and feel can always change!

Photo credits (clockwise from top left):  Caren Alpert, Renee Kalmar, Renee Kalmar, Renee Kalmar

What is the most challenging food you have ever had to style?

I'd say that one of the more particularly challenging foods to style is real ice cream (because sometimes fake ice cream made of shortening and powdered sugar, or freezing real scoops of ice cream on dry ice will do!). It's not as easy as you might think to get that perfect scoop and perfect drip without it totally melting under hot lights in front of the camera!

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As a food stylist, you work with so many different types of food.  But what are your favorite dishes to cook and eat at home?

At home I like to keep things simple. I have always been a true believer of using super fresh and local ingredients that already taste so good, not much needs to be done to them! Some of my favorite meals to make these days are grilled tri-tip with a Santa Maria rub, cumin roasted carrots with lime juice and avocado, anything with a chimichurri sauce, and Greek salad in a lemon oregano vinaigrette with toasted chickpeas. We are lucky enough to have a lemon tree and tomato plants in our backyard, so I try to include them in my meals as much as possible!

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Tell us about little spoon frozen pudding.

Little spoon frozen pudding began as a happy accident last summer. My boyfriend and I packed a picnic for an outdoor movie and made way too much southern banana pudding. We couldn't stand the idea of throwing away the leftovers so we tried to freeze it. The flavor was still on point, but the texture was all wrong. We spent all of last summer playing with the recipe until we got it to that perfect creamy ice cream consistency. The BEST thing about it is that it doesn't melt like ice cream does, it just turns into pudding! That means no ice cream soup and the perfect treat for trips to the beach, picnics, ice cream cakes, weddings, kids birthday parties and just about anything else. We are based in Los Angeles and are in a handful of small specialty retail stores in the area as well as in Michigan and Colorado. We also ship nationwide and cater!

 Photo by Matt Schuck

Photo by Matt Schuck

What inspires you?

What DOESN'T inspire me is the better question! I see inspiration in many things. Food culture is everywhere these days and any time I see anything on social media, at farmers' markets, or even just at home while I'm cooking can serve as major inspiration.

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What tips would you offer people who want to work in the food industry?

Get out there and do it! Culinary school was a lot of fun and definitely gave me a confidence and foundation, but most everything I learned came from actually working in the field.


Thank you, Hannah!  You can follow Hannah on Instagram or check out her web site.  You can also check out the yummy frozen pudding at little spoon frozen pudding.

Have a great week!

 

* All photos courtesy of Hannah Canvasser.