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Clare Barboza
Documentary Food Photographer
April 30, 2013

We have a pretty boring confession to make: we are obsessed with food photography. We're pretty sure there are others like us out there. So are you ready to give up a solid half hour or so of your life to losing yourself in Clare's delectable web portfolio? Go ahead. You deserve it?

When did you know that you wanted to work in food?

I was hired to document a small farm through all four seasons. I was there for everything from vegetable harvesting to slaughtering of the animals for meat. I fell in love with every part of the process and loved being able to visually tell the story of how our food is grown and raised. There was no turning back after that.

How did you get your current good food job?

I've been a freelance photographer for over 20 years, but my business used to be focused on weddings and portraits.  While I enjoyed what I did for a number of years, I knew that my passion laid elsewhere-I just wasn't sure where. Eventually, I was asked to shoot a few restaurants, and then the farm I mentioned above. The images from those jobs built a new portfolio which led to more freelance work. I also used my blog to re-brand myself and introduce my readers to my new portfolio.

How did your previous work or life experience prepare you for a good food job?

I've always been drawn to story-telling through imagery. I have an art degree with an emphasis in photography and video, and I was shooting professionally through college. Initially, after leaving weddings and entering the food photography world, I felt insecure that my background wasn't in studio work or something similar. However, I now feel like my past experiences working with people, dealing with all types of lighting, shooting fast and on the fly, and working under stressful conditions are strengths that have made me a better and more versatile photographer.

What was the greatest obstacle you had to overcome in pursuing your Good Food Job dream?

My income as a wedding photographer was the primary income in our household for years. About 6 years ago, I reached a point in my career where I was miserable and I knew I couldn't do it anymore. When I discovered my love for shooting farms and food, it was clear I needed to pursue that. But initially I had no idea how to do that, or if there would be enough work to sustain our lifestyle. I knew that the most practical thing would be to wait and see if the work was there before I stopped shooting weddings, but I was so unhappy I ended up quitting sooner than planned. It was a huge leap of faith that eventually panned out, but there was definitely a huge amount of fear there at first. I never considered not pursuing this life ? even when I was afraid. If money were no object, I would still be doing this job. I love it that much.

What can you identify as the greatest opportunities in food right now?

I love WWOOF.

If you could be compensated for your work with something other than money, what would it be?

Interesting experiences of all kinds.

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