Interview With Food Photographer Anna Pustynnikova

Food photographer and stylist Anna Pustynnikova, who has joined Karl for two live photography workshops, joins us in studio for this live photography talk show to discuss her career and all things related to food photography.

Anna shares how she started in the industry, where she finds her inspiration and why it’s important to never shy away from a challenge. The multi-skilled photographer also stressed the importance of practice, hard work and expanding your skill set.

She answers questions from members, revealing her success with stock photography, the latest market trends and how to grow your portfolio.

This show provides an insightful look into the food photography industry, stock photography and how you can continue to push yourself as a photographer. It’s a must watch for anyone interested in food photography, product photography or the business of photography.

In this talk show:

  • Food styling and photography
  • Food photography tips for beginners
  • Stock imagery: The market and demands
  • Equipment for food photography: lighting, lenses and props
  • Post-production for food photography

To see more of Anna’s work, visit our Product section to watch her complete range of food photography classes. You can also watch her live show, where she and Karl photographed an assortment of cheese. 

Questions? Please post them in the comments section below.


  1. Hello Karl,

    I love the special guests you have on, as much because they introduce me to the excellent work of photographers I wouldn’t know of otherwise, but also the useful tips they provide. Watching this one made me think of British food photographer Howard Shooter. I wonder if you’d ever consider having him on?

    Best regards,


  2. Hi Karl, it was great bringing us top photographers to share their views and experiences with us. it’s very nice of you..
    I learnt many things from you epecially the most important thing for a photographer, which is “light”
    Thanks a lot once again..

      1. Hi – working my way through all the food classes, you guys work really well together, hope there will be more classes in due course!

        I have a question with regards to stock images that sell to magazines; is it the case that the magazine has a specific recipe in mind they want to publish and then they hunt for a picture that matches the recipe or does the magazine tailor a recipe to a photo? For instance, they want to do a burger recipe and they happen upon a shot with sweet potato fries they like, they’d planned to do normal chips but they love the shot so they change the recipe to match? I suppose, is it a case when you’re planning a shot like that you have to take a bit of a risk with deciding on the elements, do you play safe to more likely get a sale (but maybe get lost amongst many similar shots?) or mix it up to try and stand out?

        I know that stock sites put out trends alerts across the board and I’ve heard in fashion circles they say ‘so and so will be big next season’, are there similar alerts in the food world? Like, “next year everyone is going to be talking about peas, get your shots with peas in!” Should an aspiring food photographer be looking at the professional catering press for these sorts of things?


        1. Hi Peter, I will ask Anna to reply to you here on this one as she is far better placed than I to answer this question.

        2. Hi Peter! Yes, food magazines have lists of recipes and they are looking for stock images that more or less similar to the recipes they have on their lists. Sometimes they are not very pedantic that an image should exactly meet a recipe. I’ve seen my lamb shot illustrating a pork recipe that is completely ridiculous to me as a person who likes cooking;-) So if you are planning a burger shooting for stock agencies: make a burger without a garnish, with some common garnish for ex. french fries and with smth you’d like it to have personally ( sweet potato wedges for ex.). In this case, you’d cover several demands.
          Stocks regularly publish shooting lists, what will be in demand in the next month ( Mother’s day, Christmas and so on) + they publish lists of shooting ideas for areas they have lack of images. There are always some trendy food and beverages and it’s worth shooting it and if you have time you can study professional cooking magazines or any other resources to find out what is trendy and some future trends. For ex. BBC GoodFood regularly publishes articles on food trends. Hope it helps! Anna

  3. I am a viewer from China, the videos are not subtitled, there are obstacles to watch, I hope the video will be subtitled.

    1. She said it’s either way, but she likes it pronounced Anna and she uses that herself for her website although I think in Russian they might use the other one? 🙂

  4. Great show Karl. I had asked one of the last questions of the day but it was not delivered correctly. It was actually two questions that were interpreted into one. The juices part of the question was answered.
    So what I would like to know is… With using a thermometer at what temperature are you pulling your beef out of the oven. The meat is very rare looking so I would imagine you would be pulling it sooner than the recommended temperature for beef.

    1. Hi Geoff, I’ll check with Anna as I’ve no idea on the cooking side of things! I will come back to you here.

  5. Yes, I guess you can’t cut the video afterwards, but maybe just add in the description then, that “jump 22:57 to get to the start of the broadcast”.

    I would be greatly appreciated on all these recorded live shows.

    1. Hi Robert, Ben our video editor has forgotten to trim that bit off, I’ll ask him to sort it, thanks for pointing it out.

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