Persistence is crucial, not just for getting a shot right, but for pursuing a career as a food videographer. “The only way to get better at something is to continually make it,” Ma says. Study the work that inspires you and try to replicate it. Try to reverse-engineer commercials you like to figure out for yourself how they were made. Do some internet research to see how they did it. (Ma’s TikTok page is full of behind-the-scenes footage.)
Also try to learn as much as you can from others. “PA on as many food shoots as you can,” Ma says. “Even if you’re not getting paid for it, be there for eight hours and listen to the food stylists. Watch how the director directs talent. Take notes on how they do the lighting, so you can understand how to create cool silhouettes or cinematic effects.”
Develop your video and audio editing skills with Premiere Pro. Explore tutorials on everything from adjusting the timing of your edits to doing color correction. Through courses for beginners and experienced editors, you can even learn how to add animated title sequences and mix multiple audio tracks.
Finally, don’t wait to get hired. Whether you want to show people how to whip up your favorite chicken recipe or you want to create a commercial for your favorite fast food restaurant, just make the videos you want to make — in your own style. If you keep trying, learning, and improving, eventually your videos will gain traction, or people will hire you to apply your style to their commercial.