A Bite-Sized Journey: An Interview with Naomi B. Smith
Join us as we delve into the journey and inspiration of Naomi B. Smith, a dedicated food stylist and recipe developer. With over a decade of experience in film, TV, and commercials, her expertise has evolved through mentorship from industry luminaries like Charlene Perry, Nate Dorn, and the creative minds at Fratelli Studios. Her commitment to growth and learning is unwavering. Beyond her professional work in crafting visually appealing dishes, Naomi enjoys experimenting with new recipes and expanding her culinary knowledge.
Crafting Culinary Art: A Chat with Naomi B. Smith
What is your Specialty/Craft?
Naomi B. Smith: Food and beverage styling, cooking, and props.
Please share three facts about your personal life:
Naomi B. Smith:
I was born and raised in Atlanta, GA.
I am biracial Asian American, raised by my mother.
I do Google reviews of restaurants I have visited, and it has over 35 million views on Google Maps.
What made you decide to get into your craft?
Naomi B. Smith: My inspiration began at home, being raised in an Asian American household, where I was introduced to the world of flavors, textures, and sauces.
Where were you educated/trained, and how have you learned your skills?
Naomi B. Smith: I received my BFA in photograpy at the Art Institute and started learning about styling in college. I was reading articles and learning techniques from chefs online and from magazines. I studied under five food stylists around the Greater Atlanta area while doing my food and event photography. I also now take various cooking classes locally and when I travel to other countries.
Please describe your aesthetic and creative perspective.
Naomi B. Smith: My inspiration comes from my Asian heritage and utilizing techniques from my mom and grandmother. My creative food styling stems from my love of cooking at home and experimenting. My understanding of ingredients in their raw form, spices, and flavors is knowing how they all work together by taste but also by how they look—using colors, textures, and shapes to highlight the best parts of the foods I make.
Could you share what your favorite aspects of being a food stylist are?
Naomi B. Smith: What I love most about my job is being hands-on and working in creative environments where I can learn and apply my craft. Every project is unique, and I enjoy the challenge of making each dish visually appealing. The satisfaction of seeing the final product in a photograph or on-screen, knowing that I had a significant role in creating that image, is incredibly rewarding.
You've had a remarkable journey, Naomi. Could you share some of your career milestones or highlights?
Earning a bachelor's degree in photography
Leading styling for a major global brand
Joining Union 479 and working on feature films
Styling family recipes of the King Family
Naomi B. Smith: These experiences have not only shaped my skills but also enriched my journey as a food stylist.
Who inspires your creativity in the culinary world?
Naomi B. Smith: My creative inspiration comes from a variety of sources, including creative personalities like Ree Drummond (the Pioneer Woman), the family recipe blog 'The Wok of Life,' Bon Appétit magazine, and Bonnie Tsang, a talented photographer and food stylist. These creators provide a continuous wellspring of ideas and approaches that keep my creativity flowing.
Within the realm of food styling, Naomi B. Smith's journey is a stirring testament to her passion and dedication. Her career milestones and creative inspirations have all played a part in molding her into an authentic expert. She personifies the artistry that defines her field, making her an inspiring figure for aspirants and connoisseurs alike.
Join us for more insights from the world of innovative styling at The Spin Style Agency as we continue to uncover the art behind the scenes that makes every image come to life.
Stay creative, stay inspired!