Thursday, April 4, 2024

Capturing the Essence of Your Cuisine: The Benefits of Professional Food Photography

In the visually-driven market of the digital age, the allure of a well-plated dish can be the

deciding factor between a customer walking into your restaurant or scrolling past your website.

Professional food photography transcends mere images; it captures the essence of your brand,

telling a story that evokes emotion and appetite. Below, this article hosted by Simi Jois

Photography explores the myriad benefits of professional food photography that can transform

your food-based business from merely surviving to thriving. 

A First Impression That Lasts
First impressions are critical in the food industry. With countless options available, your potential
customers make quick decisions based on what they see. Professional food photography
ensures that the first impression is not just good, but memorable. High-quality images that
showcase the vibrant colors, textures, and details of your dishes can make your menu
irresistible, compelling viewers to book a table or place an order.

Brand Identity and Storytelling
Your food is more than just ingredients on a plate; it's an experience, a story, and an expression
of your brand's identity. Professional photographers excel in translating your culinary art into
visual narratives that resonate with your target audience. Through carefully crafted images, they
can convey your restaurant's ambiance, your brand's ethos, and the passion that goes into
every dish. This storytelling aspect creates a deeper connection with your audience, fostering
brand loyalty and repeat business.

Enhanced Social Media Engagement
Social media platforms are battlegrounds for attention, with visuals reigning supreme.
Professional food photography can significantly boost your social media presence, increasing
engagement, followers, and ultimately, customers. High-quality, visually appealing images are
more likely to be shared, liked, and commented on, extending your brand's reach organically. In
an era where a single viral post can catapult a restaurant to fame, the importance of top-tier
food photography cannot be overstated.

Improved Menu Performance
The influence of professional food photography extends to your menu's performance. A well-
designed menu with appetizing images can significantly impact customer ordering behavior,
encouraging them to try new dishes or spend more per visit. Studies have shown that menus
featuring professional photographs see an increase in sales for those items. It's a
straightforward yet effective way to boost your bottom line.

Competitive Advantage
In a saturated market, differentiation is key. Professional food photography offers a competitive
advantage, setting your brand apart from others. While competitors may rely on subpar images
or generic stock photos, your bespoke, high-quality images will highlight the uniqueness of your
offerings. This distinction not only attracts more customers but also positions your brand as a
premium choice in the market.

Leveraging Adobe Express to Elevate Your Finished Food Photos 

Once you have your professional food photos, the journey does'nt end there. Adobe Express
offers a suite of powerful, user-friendly tools that can further enhance your images and prepare
them for various uses. Here are four effective ways to utilize Adobe Express with your finished
food photos to maximize their impact: Enhancing Social Media Presence: Use Adobe Express to effortlessly turn your
professional food photos into engaging social media content. The platform offers
templates and design elements that make your dishes look irresistible online.
Menu Design and Update: Adobe Express helps you design or refresh your menus by
incorporating your stunning food photos. Create visually appealing menus that make it
easy for customers to choose their next meal.
Boosting Promotional Materials: With Adobe Express, elevate your promotional
materials by blending professional food photos with eye-catching templates. Flyers,
posters, and online ads can all benefit from a professional touch that draws attention.
Creating an Engaging Website: Adobe Express allows you to build an enticing website,
showcasing your culinary masterpieces. This tool makes it simple to arrange photos in a
visually appealing layout, attracting more visitors and potential customers.
In the competitive landscape of the food industry, professional food photography is not just
about taking pictures of your dishes. It's about crafting a visual feast that captures the
imagination, tells a story, and entices customers to experience your culinary creations firsthand.
Investing in professional food photography is, ultimately, an investment in the growth and
longevity of your brand.


Capture the essence of your brand through Simi Jois Photography's lens, where every picture
tells a story. Elevate your visual narrative today.

Courtesy of Ellie Jenson with Adobe Express


Print Friendly and PDF

Tuesday, August 29, 2023

Mysore Rasam: A Taste of Home and Heritage. Bonus cheat sheet on how to capture steam.

This post is longer than a giraffe's neck, so grab your favorite beverage, settle into your comfiest chair, and prepare for an odyssey of words that rival even the most epic of sagas! Scroll down for a cheat sheet -  - how to capture steam.

Growing up as a South Indian girl in North India and eventually moving to the USA has been a journey filled with rich experiences that have shaped my understanding of tradition, heritage, and culture.

My story begins in a small town in North India. Our culture was deeply embedded in our daily lives, from the language we spoke to the food we ate. Every year we took a long two-month vacation to my grandparents in Mumbai and in Bengaluru. Even though my maternal grandmother was no more, the home had the vibe of the traditional family home. At my father’s home, I vividly remember the aromas of my grandmother's kitchen, where she would prepare traditional South Indian dishes with a loving touch. Our family gatherings were a cacophony of laughter, music, and the clinking of steel plates. Some special meals were relished on banana leaves.

Even though it was all India, there were significant cultural differences. The language changed, the food transformed, and even the way people dressed was different. I felt like an outsider as a young child, not knowing who I really was.  But as time passed, I began to appreciate the beauty of diversity in India. I embraced the North Indian culture, learned the language, and developed a taste for both South & North Indian cuisine.

The amalgamation of these two distinct regional cultures within my family made our traditions and heritage even more meaningful. We celebrated festivals like Diwali with the grandeur of North India and Ganesh Chaturthi with the authenticity of South India. It was a harmonious blend that showcased the unity in diversity that India is known for.

Fast forward to my move to the USA, and I found myself in an entirely new cultural landscape. The diversity here was on a whole new level. People from all corners of the world lived side by side. My South Indian heritage and my experiences in North India had prepared me well to embrace this new world. I discovered a vibrant Indian community, where traditions and cultural celebrations thrived. It was heartwarming to see people from various parts of India coming together to celebrate festivals and share their unique traditions.

Living in the USA also gave me a fresh perspective on my Indian heritage. I realized that my culture was not confined to geographical boundaries but was a part of my identity, something I could carry with me wherever I went. I became an ambassador of sorts, sharing my culture with friends and colleagues. Indian festivals became an opportunity to showcase our rich traditions through dance, music, and cuisine.

As I reflect on my journey, I see how the interplay of tradition, heritage, and culture has enriched my life. It's not just about preserving the customs of the past but about adapting and evolving while staying rooted in one's identity. I've learned that culture is not static; it's a living, breathing entity that can thrive and flourish even in the most unexpected places. My upbringing as a South Indian in North India and my subsequent life in the USA have made me appreciate the beauty of diversity and the strength that comes from embracing one's heritage while being open to new experiences and cultures.

This tapestry of cultural diversity that I've been fortunate to weave through my life has become an integral part of who I am. From the vibrant hues of South Indian traditions to the lively rhythms of North India and now the kaleidoscope of cultures in the USA, each thread has contributed to the fabric of my identity. These experiences have not only opened my heart and mind to the world's rich tapestry but have also taught me that our differences are a source of strength and beauty. I'm immensely thankful for the journey that has shaped me, and I carry the colors of these diverse cultures with pride in my own unique design.

Today I am excited to share my maternal grandma's Mysore Rasam. There are a million variations of Rasam recipes's to one more.

Mysore Rasam is more than just a dish; it's a culinary journey through the heart of South Indian flavors and traditions. Hailing from the royal city of Mysore in Karnataka, this aromatic and tangy soup-like preparation is a beloved staple on dining tables across the region.

What makes Mysore Rasam truly special is its distinctive blend of spices and the expert balance of flavors. To create this delectable concoction, one begins with a fragrant mixture of roasted spices like cumin, pepper, and coriander, ground to perfection. This spice blend is then gently simmered with cooked lentils and tomatoes, resulting in a flavorful and aromatic base. The magic happens when a tadka (tempering) of ghee, mustard seeds, curry leaves, and dried red chilies are poured over the rasam, releasing a tantalizing aroma that awakens the senses.

Mysore Rasam embodies the essence of South Indian cuisine - it's warm, comforting, and invigorating. Traditionally, it's served as a soothing soup, a side dish to rice, or even sipped on its own as a digestive after a hearty meal. It's a delightful embodiment of the region's culinary prowess and its dedication to preserving age-old recipes that are a testament to the rich cultural heritage of South India. It's a reminder that in every spoonful of food, there lies a story of a culture, a history, and a deep appreciation for the art of cooking.

Steam Photography 

Steam, a transient ballet of water and heat, weaves its ethereal story in the heart of every kitchen. A silent poet in the culinary world.

Invisible yet ever-present, steam rises from a simmering pot or a bubbling kettle. It carries with it the promise of warmth, flavor, and comfort. It's a reminder that the simplest of ingredients, under the alchemy of heat, can become extraordinary.

As a photographer, I've been drawn to this enchanting phenomenon. With each click of my camera, I capture the fleeting elegance of steam. The dance of the swirls & shapes. Here is a quick cheat sheet for those of you who want to try steam photography. 

Print Friendly and PDF

Tuesday, August 22, 2023

Unveiling My True Calling: A Journey of Self-Discovery through my lens


Simi Jois photography
Life often presents us with opportunities for self-discovery and empowerment in the most unexpected ways. For me, that journey began with a camera in hand and evolved into a powerful fusion of discipline, meditation, and the art of photography.
Growing up, I was like a leaf blowing in the wind, carried along by the currents of life without a clear sense of purpose. I was not interested in anything and interested in everything. Seems like an oxymoron but it was true. Everyone around me seemed to know what they wanted from life took me a very long time.
I felt like a puzzle missing a crucial piece, a ship without a North Star to guide me. This prolonged quest for purpose often left me feeling adrift, as if I were wandering through a vast wilderness with no clear path ahead.

Simi Jois photography

I faced countless moments of self-doubt, insecurity, and frustration. It seemed as if my true calling was an elusive mirage, always just out of reach. At times, I even questioned whether I had any unique talents or passions to discover. As my personal life was unfolding beautifully, I found it hard to articulate the creative hunger within me. A part of me thrived and the other part was waiting to express.

Then, one fateful day, as I turned the corner of middle age, I found myself gravitating towards something new – a hobby, a passion, a whisper of purpose. It was photography, an art form that spoke to my soul like nothing else before. The lens became my companion, and through it, I began to see the world in vibrant detail.

With each click of the camera, I felt a profound sense of connection and purpose. The images I captured weren't just pictures; they were moments of my life's narrative, expressions of my innermost self. It was as if I had finally found the missing piece of my puzzle, the North Star guiding me home.

With the passage of time came wisdom. I realized that the journey itself was teaching me invaluable lessons. It was in the detours, setbacks, and unfulfilling ventures that I learned resilience, adaptability, and the importance of introspection. These years of searching were not wasted; they were the chisel that carved away the excess to reveal the true sculpture beneath.

As I delved deeper into the world of photography, I began to realize that it was more than just capturing images; it was a form of self-expression. Through the lens, I found a voice that allowed me to communicate my thoughts, emotions, and perspectives without uttering a single word. It was liberating.

But empowerment through photography was not just about pointing and shooting. I soon discovered that the key to unlocking its true potential lay in the discipline. I committed myself to mastering the technical aspects of photography – from understanding the intricacies of lighting to perfecting composition. Discipline became my guiding star, shaping my photographic journey.

Yet, discipline alone was not enough. It was in the stillness of meditation that I found the missing piece of the puzzle. Photography became a form of meditation in itself. Behind the lens, I learned to be fully present, to immerse myself in the moment, and to see the world with a heightened sense of awareness.

Meditation taught me patience, an essential virtue in photography. Waiting for the perfect light, the right moment, or the ideal composition required a calm and composed mind. It was in these moments of waiting that I found solace and a deeper connection with the world around me.

The fusion of discipline and meditation transformed my photography into a form of art that not only captured external beauty but also reflected my inner journey.

Through photography, I learned to embrace imperfections, find beauty in the mundane, and appreciate the fleeting nature of life. It became a mirror through which I could explore my own vulnerabilities and strengths, ultimately leading to a profound sense of self-empowerment.

My journey of self-empowerment through photography, discipline, and meditation continues to unfold. It's a path filled with endless possibilities, where each click of the shutter is a reminder that true empowerment begins from within, and the world is our canvas to express our unique vision and voice.

Simi Jois photography

Often, it's not about actively searching for your true calling, it but about embracing life with an open heart and a curious spirit. Trying new things, stepping out of your comfort zone, and following your interests can lead you to unexpected discoveries about yourself and your purpose. When you allow yourself to be open to the experiences that come your way, your true calling has a way of revealing itself naturally. It's a reminder that the path to self-discovery is a dynamic and evolving process, and sometimes, what you seek finds you when you least expect it. I am excited to see the next chapter in my journey.

Life has a way of pulling us in different directions, filling our days with obligations, routines, and distractions. But beneath the surface of our busy lives, there's a persistent voice, a yearning to connect, to express, and to create. And it's this inner voice that I've decided to heed.

So, why return to regular blogging? It's because I've come to understand that sharing my thoughts, experiences, and insights on this platform isn't just a pastime; it's a vital part of my journey. It's a way for me to connect with all of you, to share the lessons I've learned, the stories that have shaped me, and the ideas that fuel my passion.

In this digital age, where information flows like a river, there's something profoundly human about carving out a space for authentic expression. It's about more than just words on a screen; it's a channel through which we can explore our creativity, our aspirations, and our shared human experience.

Stay tuned for ramblings, recipes, experiences, and more. If you want to write me a personal note you can email me - at

Simi Jois photography

Print Friendly and PDF

Friday, August 4, 2023

Photography & digital art - how to be true to your voice

Simi Jois Photography
What does photography mean to me? For me, photography is a digital medium to express my work. I start out with a concept/idea in my head....chew on it for a few days. Then allow it to take form, it almost always starts with a seed of thought. It is not always that I find success, some concepts need to curate a bit longer than others. This image for example is a work in progress I am not done with it yet, it will take a few trials before I can call it done. 

I often get asked if a good photographer needs to use an editing tool. I look at myself as a digital creator, where some of my images barely need any retouching, others might have a lot of digital manipulation to create an image.

That brings me to the subject of authenticity, authenticity is a loaded word and it depends on the context. When I created a body of work for Adobe - Taste of Heritage it was very important for me to build the story around cultural authenticity. However, all my projects are not woven around culture or heritage. Some of my projects are just a play of light, texture, and a painterly feel. Still, others are concepts that I want to bring to life. Then authenticity would mean being true to that creative voice. It is a very fluid process and you really cannot quantify it. You know when an image is done that is it done. In such projects authenticity is personal. 

Coming back to retouching, it is not a magic wand.  It requires vision, knowledge, and skill, just like photography. It is also a tool like your camera. I often tell my students, to learn your tools. Be it your camera, lens, lights, or retouching tools. It does not make us better artists if we used only natural light or did not re-touch.. whatever your pet peeve.  It makes you a better artist when you know how to execute your idea ( or a client's idea). 

There are some days when the light from the window is just so beautiful that I walk towards it and just click - nothing else is required in that image. There are times when I want to create an image that is abstract like a visual representation of a black hole - so I go read up all about black holes. What intrigues me about black hole is its capacity to swallow light and create a singularity. For me, the singularity is represented by a void - the black. Light is the sun - the flames of fire (Agni). For weeks I have been thinking about it. In this image, I used t-lights, the one that changes colors ( battery ones). I used long exposure (30 seconds) in a pitch-dark room, rotating the t-lights.  Then I bought light overlays and brushes - combined all of it in Photoshop and this is the image. It is still a work in progress, I have not really nailed it yet. 

Simi Jois Photography

The original image before it was edited. 
Simi Jois Photography

There are a few more light painting images I want to share - it is still life, long exposure, and painting with a flashlight. Sharing both edited (below) & unedited. 
Simi Jois Photography

Simi Jois Photography

As you can tell the first set of images required quite a bit of post-processing and the second set did not. It is all very relative, it is what you want to create and how you want to use your tools. Authenticity is not really about - unedited images, it is more about representation of accuracy when required. If you are creating your abstract version of the black hole or beauty of a Lilly - the sky is the limit. Just be authentic to your voice. 

Some of the other concept images that I have created. 

Simi Jois Photography

Simi Jois Photography

Simi Jois Photography

Print Friendly and PDF

Wednesday, November 9, 2022

What really is a creative block ?

We are so used to always doing, and achieving,  that anytime there is a pause in our lives we do not know how to react. As a child, I was always driven by action because that is what I was told, "do not waste your time."  If you are not 'doing' something it was assumed you are wasting time, daydreaming was never really encouraged.  A full schedule is equated to being productive... it reminds me of a hamster wheel. Fast forward to my present-day life, I am not guilty of sitting in my studio doing nothing and waiting for the world to go by. This is special because when we sit doing nothing ( we think it is nothing)....the seeds of a creative idea are planted.  If one can sit still for long enough,  the idea will sprout. But we never give ourselves that chance.  

In social media or real life, everyone is in a rush, we hurry ...what if we take a moment to pause. The buds take time to bloom, and so does the seed, it takes time to sprout. For me, creative block is a needed pause to clear my mind from the clutter of doing, and from there, something exceptional will emerge. If you have a creative seed in you, it will sprout. You have to give the right environment for it. 

What do I mean by the right environment? In my workshop, I usually see a lot of students start out with disappointments, the burden of expectation is so heavy that they drown their creativity in it. " I am not getting it", "my images are terrible", "no one is going to like my images" ...and so on. I always have one question to ask...did you enjoy taking the pictures. Rome was not built in a day, it takes time to hone your skills. The only true yardstick for success and growth is - are you enjoying what you are doing without judging the outcome? If yes you are on the right path. We burden ourselves with ownership and outcome. If you release that, maybe you will release your creative block. The very word block blocks us ...what if we called it a creative pause instead.

So if you are having a creative lull, maybe a walk outdoors may help. Nature has never failed to inspire. But before you start assuming you are in a block, give yourself a few days or even weeks. 

The right environment is recognition, appreciation, and enjoyment...Start asking yourself - am I  having fun. So, if you are shooting spices and you are not enjoying them, drop them. Go for a walk, and take your camera. Or take some paints and play with them. Find something that gives you pleasure. Go from there. Be, gentle with yourself, self-encouragement is really important, it is a mindset and it really helps one grow. 

The pause should not be confused with laziness and procrastination. I even question laziness I just lazy or am I exhausted at some level and need that break. Only we can sit with what comes from us and we just have to be brutally honest with ourselves. 

This is what works for me, I try not to judge myself ( it is always a work in progress), we are always learning. What really matters is how much fun I am having, I want to be like a child...

So in conclusion I would just say that I do not think there is anything called a block. A pause may be, and for all, you know it may be filled with creative juiciness... just wait and see what unfolds. Remember gentleness and do not forget to have fun. 

A lot of times my students tell me that my prescription is so difficult, it is so hard as adults to have fun and to be light without getting weighed down by the outcome. My dream is to have a workshop in a beautiful natural sanctuary where one whole day is devoted to just using paints and creating fun. When we say creating art, we instantly have an expectation of something spectacular. The mornings are spent watching the sun-rise...where we pick our camera without judgment and we paint with our lens. When we create from that relaxed energy, it shows, appreciation happens as a by-product. When that shift happens, you will no longer be bothered about recognition because you would have had so much fun that you will not care about the outcome. Like photography, this mindset is a work in progress. It is a beautiful place to be. I cannot say I am there yet, but I am surely on that path and it is liberating. 

I would love to know your views on creativity, block, muse, and what is your journey like?

Print Friendly and PDF
Related Posts with Thumbnails