Narrating stories through food, playing with light and colour. Simi Jois is a food photographer and styler.
What’s your story?
I am trained as a marketing and branding professional, however, I found my calling in food photography and styling stemming from my love for cooking.
After working for a few years in advertising, I realized it was not who I was. Writing media plans for companies, immersing myself in target rating, it was not me. Marriage and motherhood changed my life. I did not want to miss a moment, translate that to being a stay-at -home mom. I loved to cook for my family, it brought me more pleasure than sitting in SWOT meetings all day. Cooking is more than mixing ingredients in the right proportion as per the recipe. It is celebrating the pleasure that food brings to our lives. When you share your food with someone, be it a family member or a stranger, you make a connection. That moment is priceless! It’s not just a meal you serve, to satiate your hunger, it’s more! It is something you can’t quantify or put into words it can only be felt. As I look back my most fond memories from childhood, have been around people and food. (Thanks to my mother, who is an amazing cook).
My journey started in my kitchen, then blogging, followed by photography and styling. I have always had a creative urge in me, however, I never thought it would take the form of photography. Something I love to do, every single day, from morning till dusk. Light enchants me and capturing light has become my creative obsession.
I call my art culinary-optics.
What excites you most about your industry?
Creativity. The possibilities of creative expression. The ability to express and emote without words. To engage creatively with color, texture, light, shadow and composition. To have the ability to use photographic images as my canvas and the lens as my brush. Painting with ingredients, pairing exotic spices for mutual enhancement and richness of flavour. To narrate my stories through the play of light and bold strokes of color.
What’s your connection to Asia?
I have spent my childhood and part of my adult life in India. The colors, vibrancy and food of my India has influenced me deeply. It is who I am.
Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Bangalore – There are so many opportunities and it’s an emerging market.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
Follow your heart, make honest images that read light.
Who inspires you?
Any form of artistic expression inspires me, especially chiaroscuro paintings, with dramatic light.
What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
I do not remember most recently, but often I am blown away with the creative ability of many photographers. Photography is all about a creative vision that you capture with your camera. It is not the documentation of the obvious. There are some amazing artists who visualize a story and narrate some very thought provoking images that leave an impact on you. They not only blow me away but make me stop and think.
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I would have bought my camera ten years sooner.
How do you unwind?
Long walks with my camera
Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Coorg. I love the natural landscape and the gorgeous green. It’s a place to truly unwind and immerse yourself in nature.
Everyone in business should read this book
The $100 Startup – Chris Guillebeau
This interview was part of the Callum Connect’s column found on The Asian Entrepreneur:
Callum Laing invests and buys small businesses in a range of industries around Asia. He has previously started, built and sold half a dozen businesses and is the founder & owner of Fitness-Buffet a company delivering employee wellness solutions in 12 countries. He is a Director of, amongst others, Key Person of Influence. A 40 week training program for business owners and executives.
Take the ‘Key Person of Influence’ scorecard <http://www.keypersonofinfluence.com/scorecard/>