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What I've Learned as the Photo Director of a Spoon Chapter

Being photo director helped me land the food internship of my dreams.

Spoon has helped me gain so many great skills and opportunities over the years within my college career—from my time as a video contributor for Spoon University while at community college to my time as a photography director of the Spoon Rutgers chapter after transferring my sophomore year. What I've learned in college as photo director of a Spoon chapter ranges from photo skills, videography experience, and internships to connections from both my writing and photography work. I guess you can say I've been using some kind of secret sauce—ha.

I've even been running my own food Instagram blog since 2014 (before food Instagramming really exploded), so I guess you can call Foodie M (that's me) one of the OGs. So here's the breakdown of my experience to inspire you to get hustlin' with Spoon if you, too, have a passion for food and media.

Photo Skills 

So many things go into the perfect Instagram-worthy photo such as lighting, color scheme, food placement and angles. The simplest addition of a colorful napkin or plate can truly change the photo of a dish. If you're interested in being a photography director or photographer within Spoon, you'll learn all of these handy skills in Secret Sauce tutorials so you can master taking pics like a pro (and make sure you tell 'em to get your good side). We all have a good side. I mean, c'mon. Look at this beautiful spread.

Videography Experience

This skill is by far one of the most valuable I have gained with Spoon University. I sent in a video submission for a contest Spoon was having in 2015 (and lost) but ended up receiving an email about my video and the potential I had to succeed within Spoon. I then applied to their video contributor internship program, got the gig and boom—learned videography skills with software including iMovie and Adobe Premiere Pro.

This experience was challenging and tedious but taught me the importance of taking time to get the perfect shot and always focus on lighting and placement to create cool recipe videos that'll catch the eyes of millions (peep my Flaming Hot Cheetos Rice Krispies Treats). No frauds, just facts.

Internship Opportunities

I have a crazy unstoppable work ethic and will do almost anything to learn about the food industry. Having interned since my freshman year of college, I realized my passion for food. I picked up a camera, ran with it, and haven't stopped since. (Run Foodie M, run.) The following five internships I landed were all possible due to the skills, experience and confidence I gained within Spoon. Cue the ~resume promo~:

Hungry Twins

I was a video and photography intern for @hungrytwins (an Instagram food blog with over 600,000 followers) and created a YouTube channel with various videos of the most popular restaurants and food in New York City. My most successful video of Dylan's Candy Bar received over 12,000 views (and counting).

Spoon University

As a video contributor intern, I used Adobe Premiere Pro and WordPress to produce video contributor work that was published to both Buzzfeed and Food Network social media.

Italian Moms Cooking

I helped to advertise Elisa Constantini's published cookbook Italian Moms Cooking through various social media platforms as a social media administrator intern. Her book was featured on both Rachael Ray and The Today Show.

Wholly Wholesome

I worked with two amazing and delicious products (MetaBall and Blissfully Better) as a social media coordinator intern. My tasks included assisting with planning and creating key social media initiatives to enforce brand messaging, consumer engagement and media placement of natural food products (their caramel thins are to DIE for).

Dining With Skyler

The internship of my dreams. Food Network host and entrepreneur Skyler Bouchard (@diningwithskyler) is someone I have looked up to since freshman year. I have been applying for her internships since then (and basically laughed at myself while applying to her recent fall internship definitely not expecting to get the opportunity).

I could not believe it when I met with her for our coffee interview, where she pulled up videography work I had done within my Spoon internship. I was so nervous to meet such a successful woman within the food industry. This internship was unreal; the photo and video content we produced together while traveling to popular restaurants across New York City is an experience I will never forget.

When you least expect it, the impossible becomes possible and being able to share moments like these with someone so iconic to me boosted my confidence and potential within this industry. For my last day, we even went to a holiday market in Columbus Circle where she let me pick out a cute little gift for our last day together. We both decided we loved a pair of lightning bolt earrings, and they are so special to me as I remember how much I want to strike the food industry with my individuality (let's get it). Skyler was also featured on Fox5NY as a Food Influencer, and a photo from one of our experiences together was featured :').

All I'm saying is, if you find yourself like me on a train on the way to an interview and almost cry of happiness because you're so excited, you're definitely doing what you love. Thank you, Spoon, for helping me explore my food passion with all of these skills, opportunities and connections that I will carry with me for a lifetime. Spoons, never forks. Foodie M out. See ya in the food world.

Maria Serghiou