Entrepreneurial Business Lessons From A Food Photographer in Quebec City by CulturallyOurs

Entrepreneurial Lessons From The Field Quebec City Canada

Entrepreneurial Business Lessons From A Food Photographer in Quebec City by CulturallyOurs

As part of our Season 02 of CulturallyOurs we have guest contributors from around the world who have generously shared their entrepreneurial journey. It is so interesting to read different perspectives and experiences even beyond the guests featured on our CulturallyOurs podcast.

This week we showcase Nadia Belanger from Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. Nadia is a photographer who specializes in food, lifestyle and culinary arts.

Thank you so much for contributing a few words on Global Entrepreneurship for CulturallyOurs.

From Nadia,

Becoming a food photographer was never in my life plan. In fact, I was working quietly as a graphic designer and realizing photography assignments of all kinds on weekends when my life was a little rocked. I was far from suspecting that I would become what I am today. But in December 2015, life gave me an incredible opportunity to start my business. I spare you the details because the story is very emotional and brings painful memories to my memory but the important thing is that I dared. Dared because I already knew that life is short and we must not live with regrets! Dared because I felt that I had to go elsewhere, go beyond me, prove something to myself.

So I found myself at the helm of my company, master of my destiny but also very stressed in this professional whirlwind. But what was I afraid of? Afraid that it does not work, afraid that I will not succeed, that I have to give up everything and go back to find a job? Yes of course. But I did not let this fear guide my path.

The culinary photos were beginning to take more and more space in my life. I discovered a passion that stimulated me to the highest point and I decided to develop this niche thoroughly. Firstly because I really liked this type of imagery that combined both my passion for photography and cooking but also because I saw an incredible niche. There are many photographers but few specialize in food photography. And I also saw the opportunity to give training (which is rare too) to share my knowledge and expertise.

It is a beautiful adventure that began more than three years ago and I can say that to date, it has been one of the best decisions I’ve made in my life. I had a goal of becoming a reference in culinary photography and all my actions were directed towards the achievement of this goal.

If I could give other entrepreneurs a piece of advice it would be the following

  • Work hard (tirelessly)
  • Do not be discouraged
  • Sow seeds (yes, one day you will harvest)
  • Never lose sight of your goal

Beyond my work as a culinary photographer, I was far from suspecting that I was going to make beautiful encounters and that my life would change. Beyond the restaurants I did not know and the dishes I had never eaten, I also discovered a range of foods that I did not cook. Because yes, I love to cook. Before practicing this job, I had a culinary curiosity. I like discovering new flavors, tasting foods I do not know, and exploring new ways to prepare a food.

Here are a few of the foods I have discovered in my journey as a food photographer

Edamame beans

Among the new foods I eat now are edamame beans. These little soy beans are still unknown in the West. In addition to the fresh and crispy side they provide by adding them to a soup or salad, they contain a very high value in protein. My favorite way to eat them is to add them to a poke bowl. Let your creativity go to create a fresh and healthy dish. I always start with basmati rice. I add cucumbers, grated carrots, avocados, salmon tartare and edamame beans. I enhance it  with a drizzle of sesame oil vinaigrette. You can even give it a little exotic touch by adding pineapples or mangos.Entrepreneurial Lessons From A Food Photographer in Quebec City Edamame Beans Salad by CulturallyOurs

Sweet Potatoes

My kids loved mashed sweet potatoes when they were babies. And then they grew up and I forgot that vegetable. For some time now, it’s the secret of my tasty soups. Indeed, the sweet touch of sweet potato gives a small taste very interesting to soups. Another popular way to cook them is to make fries in the oven. The potatoes are cut into sticks, coated with olive oil and Italian spices and baked. I love serving them with honey and rosemary mayonnaise. Place two large branches of rosemary in half a cup of mayonnaise. Let stand a whole day. Remove the rosemary and chill the mayonnaise with honey. Add pepper generously. The touch of honey harmonizes perfectly with the sweet taste of sweet potato.

Balsamic Vinegar

I discovered this food just recently. Of course, I had already dipped bread in a blend of olive oil and balsamic vinegar (finding that succulent obviously) but I must humbly admit that I really did not know how to cook this product. My curiosity led me to find recipes to introduce balsamic vinegar in my daily life. To my surprise, there is an impressive variety, many flavored with fruits or herbs. Imagine all the possibilities of flavors available to us.

And it is even possible to use them in desserts! Make a reduction of balsamic vinegar (flavor of your choice) and pour it on a vanilla ice cream. It will suddenly become an absolutely tasty and surprising dessert. You can also do the same with a simple white cake, a white chocolate mousse or a vanilla panna cotta. Cut fresh strawberries and coat them with balsamic vinegar: place in verrines alternating with Greek lemon yogurt. Dare the flavors!Entrepreneurial Lessons From A Food Photographer in Quebec City Balasamic Vinegar Glaze On Vanila Icecream by CulturallyOursThank you so much Nadia! Wow, what a wonderful life journey that has lead to many amazing opportunity – not just in career but also in life. Food is so powerful in all the lessons we learn from it.

{Photos and Words by Nadia, Website: Nadia Belanger Photographe, Instagram: @nadiabelangerphoto}

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