27 Jul My Day Job: Hannah Lewry | Assistant Food Editor
For this week’s My Day Job we speak to the talented Hannah Lewry, food stylist and Assistant Food Editor for Woolworths Taste Magazine, about what her day job entails:
Between 10and5: Please let us know your official (or unofficial) job title.
Hannah Lewry: Assistant Food Editor, Woolworths Taste Magazine
10and5: What does it take to do what you do?
Hannah: Passion, hard work, long hours, creativity, a love of all things food, lots of practice and of course it helps to know how to cook. Every shoot produced is a process, so the client will brief us on what they want for an advertorial or you know what is required or expected from your readers regarding specific editorial features so you have work hard to deliver that. Conceptualize and come up with recipes or serving suggestions, styling with props and colours, cooking the food and making it look delicious as well as making sure it tastes delicious and then everything that goes along with post-production. Oh and you have to like washing up A LOT.
10and5: If you studied, what and where did you study?
Hannah: I didn’t study but luckily both of my parents are chefs so I grew up around food and learnt to cook fairly quickly in their kitchen. I basically learnt from experience and Assisting one of the best Food Stylist in SA Abigail Donnelly. Being by her side for every shoot from pre-production, to cooking the food, to writing the copy as well as returning props. I’m still learning everyday.
10and5: Best day ever on the job?
Hannah: My first shoot for my first feature – Food Smarts. Its all about making food that is healthy and wholesome. Food that I love to eat and want to share with others. And of course when my first travel story from Thailand was published recently, that was a great day!
10and5: Worst day ever on the job?
Hannah: I don’t think there has ever been a worst day but a bad day would be when a shoot is rejected and you have to start all over again, relook and reshoot. Your heart goes into the shoots you create, so its a bit difficult not to take it to heart when your work isn’t approved, but saying that it’s the only way you grow and improve. I get bored easily so I love to challenge myself all the time.
10and5: Weirdest task you’ve had to perform while at work?
Hannah: Cleaning up puppy sick, we were shooting an advertorial for a pet food brand and having to make sure the dog stayed in position and didn’t eat all the food in one go proved to be a bit too much for him, shame.
10and5: What did you want to be when you were growing up?
Hannah: A vet, air hostess or travel and food writer, after school I soon discovered I could make food and be involved in magazines so this is definitely my idea of heaven.
10and5: Advice to those who want to follow in your footsteps?
Hannah: It’s a physically and mentally tiring job but if you love, love, love what you do you wont even notice it. If you are in it for the money, best to look elsewhere, this industry is for the love of it, incase I haven’t mentioned that enough. Be willing to work all and any hours if you want to get ahead, start from the bottom as it’s the best way to learn and you will get a lot more respect for it. Take any opportunity to practice styling your own shoots from start to finish, it’s the best feeling in the whole world.
10and5: Any industry secrets?
Hannah: Food Styling for magazines is not like styling for say example advertising when they might use other materials to enhance the look of the food. Food Styling for magazines is all about making sure it works when readers try it, it’s super yummy and looks just as good as it tastes.
10and5: Your dream job?
Hannah: I would have to say with out sounding clichéd, this is pretty much it. But I would love to do more food and travel articles to learn about other countries food and lifestyles and share them.
Photographs by Jan Ras, Donna Lewis and Lee Malan