We had the good fortune of connecting with Cassandra Stiltner and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Cassandra, we’d love for you to start things off by telling us something about your industry that we and others not in the industry might be unaware of?
I always get the response when I say I’m a food photographer that I must just eat great food all day. I am absolutely passionate about food. When I’m working usually we’re photographing the food for a longer period of time, and I don’t get to eat it. So, sadly I am not just taking photos and eating the food I photograph. But, I do love learning about all of the dishes and products that I photograph that revolve around food.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I’m passionate about real ingredients, food and products. So, it’s no surprise I ended up working in the commercial food and product photography real. I get to be part of this evolving world of creative assets for online and print. It’s a world that is always evolving, and I’m always looking to find ways to bring new ideas to my clients. I’m quite involved in the idea process, and spend almost as much time being part of the brainstorming process for the shoot as actually photographing. One of the challenges being a creative business person is you need to learn to do the business part of your business. At first my choice of careers was driven by my desire to find a career that would allow me the flexibility to be around for my son after school and in the summer. I just hated the idea of putting him in daycare all the time when he was little. Grown out of that choice was my business working for myself. In art school no one really talks about the “business of art” so as I’ve grown I’ve taken a number of classes to learn to run the business part of my business.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I love Telluride. It has all of the fun funk of a Colorado town with some amazing restaurants and beautiful bike paths and scenery. I’d probably take some provisions from places like the Mercantile to eat. And, I also like to take a trip through Rino. I love the eclectic mix of shops and restaurants there.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Well, my first digital camera was the result of a whopping 20 rolls of film I took on a family vacation, so my parents definitely have always been supporters of my work. Besides them, I’ve been luck to have a series of absolutely wonderful bosses and mentors who’ve shown me what it’s like to lead a team of people. And, I have really enjoyed speaking with other photographers like Rick Souders and Penny De La Santos, who are just lovely people and creative geniuses. I definitely have been lucky along the way!
Cassandra Stiltner, Prop Styling: Tina Gill