This week, I got my first food styling gig for a tv commercial and it was the most fun I have had in the last few months even though it involved a lot of running around, meetings, hours of food prep, a few meltdowns and being on set for almost 24 hours but it was worth it. I couldn’t sleep the night before because I felt a bit nervous. I had never styled for such a big shoot with multiple cuisines and dishes to tackle in a very short time frame. I reminded myself that the butterflies in my stomach weren’t because of nerves but excitement. Its a neat little trick I had heard on one of the many podcasts I listen to on my endlessly long commute and am happy to report it works like a charm!
I woke up at 4 am on the day of the shoot, downed about a litre of coffee to actually wake up and then breezed through the day because one, the entire team was incredibly kind and helpful and secondly, I was super organised. I suck at multitasking but there I was whisking buttercream, styling the table for a pie, rolling out dough, adding finishing touches to a coconut chutney and showing the actress how to drizzle ganache on a bundt cake like a pro. Just because I had spend over two weeks preparing for every little detail. It paid off and everything went off smoothly except the part where I burned my hand but that happens almost on a daily basis. It has been three years since I was back on a set (I worked as an assistant director on tv commercials before starting my food brand)and it felt like I had never left. I remembered the chaos, the camaraderie, 15 minute lunch breaks and overcrowded vanities. It was good to be back, especially because it doing something that I truly enjoy and it was only for a day :)
I am not one to usually step out of my comfort zone to ask for what I want. But that’s how I got this gig. I spoke to a bunch of lovely people I worked with and showed them some stuff I was working on and asked them to give me a shot as a food stylist. I did all of this with confidence even though in my head, I didn’t feel too qualified for it. But I reminded myself that I was 34 freaking years old and if not now, then when?
So next time you are nervous, just ask yourself- if not now, then when? It’ll do the trick.
Oh and this pumpkin bread is super easy and tastes great!. its hard to find canned pumpkin puree in India so I make my own by roasting the pumpkins and then grinding it in the food processor. Thats the only tedious part of this otherwise easy recipe.