Diana Boneva is a food photographer based in Bulgaria and an award-winning chocolatier in England. She creates very attractive still-life photographs of food and master piece works of art in product photography. It is such an honor to us and we are proud to share her journey as an awesome food/product photographer with us – her humble beginnings, her personal growth, and her very useful tips for any aspiring photographer.
How long have you been a photographer?
I started my photography learning about 2 years ago with some food photography courses. Last year ( 2020) I thought I needed to expand my knowledge not just in the food photography area. March 2021 I found Photigy and I started my course The Complete Guide to Product Photography and I’m still learning, but I am almost finished.
Is it your profession (part-time or full-time) or are you still learning?
Still learning on the Photigy platform.
What are your goals (or plans) as a photographer? What would you like to do after reaching a level that would enable you to do commercial quality work?
My goals are very simple, to not stop learning so I can provide the best possible quality images to my clients in the future.
What made you decide to pursue product photography?
Before my journey into product photography, I was a small crafted, award-winning chocolatier in England. I needed some decent photos of my chocolate on a regular basis mainly for social media and websites. After having a couple of sessions with a professional photographer I thought that this is very creative and interesting and I would love to learn it so I’m able to do it by myself, this is how I started with my first and very basic food photography course. Since we moved back to my home country Bulgaria and since the pandemic my husband suggested to me that product photography could be a very good job for me and suit my personality because it’s very creative (which I LOVE THE MOST), independent, flexible with the time( its suitable for me, because I’ve got a small child) and online businesses need more and more good quality photos.
How did you first learn about Photigy?
When did you take your first course (what year)?
My very first course was in 2019. I started Photigy The Complete Guide Product Photography course in March 2021.
How many product photography courses or workshops have you taken through Photigy? Do you have a favorite course or workshop? If so, what made it your favorite?
From Photigy I purchased few Proclub Workshops and the Certification Program course. Which no doubt the complete course is absolutely beneficial for me. Before that, I didn’t have a clue how to use artificial light for my shots, a specialty flash, or strobe lights. By the way, I remember on my first assignments when Andrei ( my personalized instructor) was shocked at what kind of lights I was using. They were my husband’s portable LED builder’s lights. I didn’t have the proper equipment at that stage, but still, I was completing my tasks, even though it was super difficult for me with no proper equipment.
When you first got started, what did you find to be the most challenging aspect of photographing products?
Oh, everything is a challenge even now, because I would love to provide the best images, but yes as I said already the lack of proper equipment (especially proper lights) was my biggest challenge. Without good light, it’s impossible to get a good result, even if you are knowledgeable. I didn’t have any of those in the beginning.
What is your favorite product image you created since taking courses/workshops through Photigy?
Honestly, they are so many! Each module gives me a chance to experience different areas in product photography. I love my photos with splashes. They are the most difficult ones and therefore they are special and some of my favorites.
What specialty in product photography interests you the most (beverage, food, jewelry, cosmetics, etc.)?
Hmm, at this stage I love food, beverage, and cosmetics photography. But when I build my experience I’ve got a feeling that those areas will expand. Jewelry is one of them.
How has your learning experience with Photigy affected your success as a photographer or pursuit of photography?
Oh, I improved my skills drastically since Photigy The Complete Guide to Product Photography course. I explained that I didn’t know anything about artificial light, which is fundamental for product photography. A lot of stuff I learned from their Photoshop lessons. Basically, before Photigy I was able to do only food photography in daylight. I didn’t start a photography business yet, because I’m still studying. But I have to say that since I started the course and I put absolute maximum effort to create good images and listening to all suggestions from my instructor I have 3 customers already. Some local companies, 2 for cosmetics and one of them is a new startup independent restaurant. I’m loving it, I create their photos with so much passion. I’m absolutely happy. My dream job, creative and peaceful.
For example: Are you able to create images you couldn’t previously? Did it enable you to earn money photographing products? Did you start a product photography business? Did it increase your overall photography skills, etc.?
What advice do you have for people interested in pursuing product photography?
For all of those people who would love to be product photographers I would say, the journey is not easy, it’s not quick, sometimes you might be down…but if you are truly dedicated and passionate you can do it for sure. I’ve got a little kid and very often I’m studying when everybody is in bed. It’s not easy, but it’s my dream, by choice and I don’t complain or have any regrets. Also, I didn’t believe in my skills, but having support from professionals is absolutely priceless. I’ve been lucky enough to have great support from my families, but when you have a nice word from your instructor you think ‘It’s WORTH THE EFFORT”
What other areas of photography interest you?
At the moment I’m finding product photography as the most creative and interesting, so this is my favorite area in photography.
PS. The only suggestion I’ve got for the people who create the course is to announce that photoshop tutorials are not for absolute beginners, people with no photoshop basic knowledge will struggle, apart from that, I learned a lot from Jenia’s tutorials. Thank you!