From falling in love with photography on Instagram to running her business solo, Ananya Pandit spills it all.
We love entrepreneurs and small business owners at Honeycombers, which is why we’ve created Launchpad, a comprehensive digital networking platform (with IRL benefits, too) that encourages connection, business support and community. It’s a privilege and pleasure to learn from so many talented and inspiring folks, so we’ve decided to share the love by interviewing some of the lovely Launchpad members. Looking for inspiration? We chat with Ananya Pandit, the founder of Eat Crave Grub, about how she gets things done like a boss.
How did you get started in photography?
It all began with Instagram! Though it may seem trivial, I was one of those deeply visual individuals who found themselves immersed in a sea of tantalising food photos on social media and various websites. It ignited a genuine passion that often left me with a mouthwatering response. What initially started as a simple fascination soon evolved into an all-consuming obsession, driving me to the belief that anything has the potential to exude beauty when presented in the right way. And so, my enchanting journey with photography commenced.
I made a life-altering decision to trade my mundane office cubicle for a camera, dedicating countless hours to self-training and devouring the knowledge tucked within the pages of Singapore’s libraries to master the intricacies of photography. Alongside this, I began sharing some of my “hobby” shots on Instagram.
One day, fate took a turn when a prominent local photographer extended an invitation to work alongside them. It was undeniably my “big break,” with the opportunity to delve into paid assignments and learn from seasoned professionals in the field. This pivotal moment marked the true beginning of my professional photography journey.
Tell us about your business and your approach to photography.
Eat Crave Grub specialises in offering innovative and top-tier food and product photography services, as well as short-format video content and stop motion videos, tailored for brands seeking to define their unique visual identity. Situated as a boutique firm within Singapore’s thriving 99SME landscape, our mission is to cater to the needs of small business owners in Singapore who may not have access to elaborate studios or hefty budgets for professional visual content creation.
I understand the struggles faced by small business owners in Singapore who kickstart their businesses as a side hustle or a passion project. They often don’t have access to a brick and mortar space. That’s why I’ve tailored my services to be highly adaptable and budget-friendly, ensuring that even the smallest of businesses can access professional-grade visual content.
At the core of my approach is a deeply personalised touch. I believe in forging close relationships with my clients to understand their vision and objectives, ensuring that every project reflects their individual style and brand personality.
What does a day in your life look like?
My days are consistently packed with a diverse range of tasks and responsibilities. A significant portion of my time is dedicated to meetings and consultation calls, during which I engage with small business owners to understand their challenges and help them define the objectives of their photoshoots. Some days are exclusively allocated for client shoots, while others are set aside for the crucial post-production work and editing.
As a solo-preneur, I also shoulder the responsibility of managing various other aspects of my business, including administrative tasks, marketing, and financial matters. Balancing multiple businesses and the role of a mother adds an extra layer of complexity to my daily routine. But I’m continuously working on improving my time management skills to ensure that everything runs smoothly and efficiently.
Amongst the other photography services in Singapore, what makes you stand out?
What sets me apart as a photographer is the high degree of customisation I offer in my services. Having engaged with numerous business owners, I’ve developed tailored solutions to address their most common photography-related challenges.
I wear multiple hats as a photographer and stylist, overseeing every aspect of the production process, including conceptualisation, production, and editing. While traditionally, different professionals handle these roles separately, I believe that these skills complement each other to create visually stunning results. During the initial stages of our collaboration, I leverage these skill sets to engage my clients in their branding journey. This collaborative approach allows us to craft the most effective visual solutions for their brand.
I also introduced remote shoots in response to the challenges posed by the pandemic. It has since become a hallmark of my service. Recognising that many small business owners juggle multiple responsibilities, I’ve streamlined the process for product-based businesses. Clients can simply send their products to me, and I take care of the entire photography process, making it convenient and hassle-free.
What’s your favourite aspect of photography? And what’s the most challenging?
For me, the most exhilarating aspect of photography is the power to create. I’m constantly exploring trends and refining my unique photographic style. There’s an incredible sense of fulfilment in crafting creative assets that authentically capture the essence of a brand.
On the flip side, the most demanding part of photography is dealing with the weighty equipment. While it works wonders for capturing remarkable images, it can be a real burden on my back. Being the sole multitasker can be incredibly physically taxing at times!
Is there a common myth about your line of work that you’d like to debunk?
The notion that photography is simply a matter of pressing a button. It’s a highly collaborative process that involves understanding a brand, conceptualising ideas, crafting a unique style, executing the shoot, and painstakingly refining the final visual. People often underestimate the time and effort required for this creative journey.
Any simple photography tips for novices?
Natural light is your best friend when taking smartphone photos. Try to position your subject so that it’s well-lit but not in direct, harsh sunlight. Good, even lighting can make a significant difference in the quality of your photos!
What’s the most memorable shoot you’ve done?
One that holds a special place in my heart is my collaboration with Yellow Ribbon Industries for the government. This project revolved around capturing, styling, and designing a catalogue showcasing baked goods crafted by prisoners. Being aware of the social significance and noble cause behind it made this project exceptionally meaningful to me.
With all the buzz about artificial intelligence in the realm of creative work, how do you think photographers and AI can co-exist?
AI and photography co-existing is an absolute game-changer in the world of visual arts! The advancements in AI have revolutionised the way we capture and edit photographs.
For example, AI-powered image recognition and enhancement algorithms can help photographers quickly sort through large volumes of images, identify the best shots, and apply automatic adjustments to improve the overall quality. AI can also assist in automating repetitive tasks such as retouching or background removal, freeing up photographers’ time to focus on the more creative aspects.
But does this mean that traditional photography will become redundant? Absolutely not! While AI can assist photographers, it can’t replace the unique perspective, creativity, and artistic vision that a human brings to the table. Instead, it empowers them to push the boundaries of their craft and create even more awe-inspiring visuals.
Get in touch with Ananya Pandit online.
Launchpad is a comprehensive digital networking platform (with IRL benefits, too) that encourages connection, business support and community. It is designed to make the entrepreneurial journey not only easier, and more successful, but also a whole lot more fun. We offer almost daily activities for members to connect, along with weekly masterclasses, member networking roulette, small-business mentoring and media profiles on Honeycombers. Check it out and join us!