Mentor – Trisha Hughes
Mentor – Trisha Hughes

As we get closer to releasing more information about the Ultimate Intro to Photography: The only beginner workshop you’ll ever need, I wanted to start introducing you to the mentors who will be helping with the workshop. These 5 fabulous ladies will be available to answer questions as well as give video critiques each week of your work. That means you get a personal video critique from me AND one of the mentors each week!

I’d love to introduce you to Trisha Hughes. Trisha and I first met in a hotel when we both moved to Okinawa, Japan 5 years ago. We became instant friends and have shared some amazing experiences together. If you remember my post on birth photography then you already know Trisha because that is her giving birth to her 4th child. She is the owner of Eat Your Beets which is a website to help you eat better and help you feel great on the inside and out. She is about to launch her first ebook on food photography which you will want to get your hands on as well. She is such a talented photographer!

Trisha Hughes of Eat Your Beets

  • No.
    Why did you start photography?

    Initially I started because I wanted to take better pictures of my kids. Courtney & I had just met in Japan & she convinced me shooting with a DSLR wasn’t as intimidating as I thought it was. Knowing I had a friend who could basically hold my hand & teach me everything I needed to know sealed the deal to buy my first DSLR camera.

  • No.
    What were your early goals for your photography?

    Honestly, I just wanted good pictures of my kids that I could hang in my home or give to our family. And I definitely wanted to be proficient at manual mode, custom white balance & my editing software.

    Ulitmate Intro to Photography 3

  • No.
    What surprised you the most about photography?

    That I was actually better at shooting food than I was my kids.

    Ultimate Intro to Photography 1

  • No.
    Your most embarrassing photography related moment.

    Probably when I started my blog, Eat Your Beets. I really had no idea what I was doing with food photography but I just started shooting & putting it out there. In my heart, I knew my images weren’t very good but I had to start somewhere. In hindsight it was the best thing because it totally pushed me to learn more & improve my skills.

  • No.
    Please show us a photo from the beginning of your journey and one now.

    Screen Shot 2015-02-25 at 10.36.41 AM

    Ultimate Intro to Photography 6

  • No.
    What is your favorite picture right now?

    First, because unfortunately, I rarely shoot my kids. Second, because don’t we all love pancakes like a 3 year old loves pancakes?
    Ultimate Intro to Photography 7

  • No.
    What is your favorite part about photography

    I really get excited when my image comes out in camera the way I envisioned it in my mind. When I’m shooting food I’m constantly getting to create something new because it’s a new dish every single time. I love surprising myself, letting the food guide & influence the way I shoot & I truly feel like it’s a way I can create art for other people. I remember when I started taking myself seriously as a food photographer I explained it to my kids by telling them just like they would make a drawing or painting & give it to us, I was creating art to give to other people.

  • No.
    What one piece of advice would you give yourself when you were just starting out?

    Keep learning. Keep shooting. Keep studying other people’s work. Don’t compare yourself to better photographers. Instead, embrace them. Find out what it is about their work that intrigues you & discover how that can inspire your own work.
    Ultimate Intro to Photography 5

  • No.
    What was your biggest light bulb moment?

    I’ve feel like I’ve had so many! I’m constantly seeing things finally click (no pun intended)! If I could pinpoint only one light bulb moment it would be when I finally realized how to manipulate natural light under any conditions. I don’t feel confined to using light in one singular way now. I know that I can use back lighting, dramatic lighting or full sun & still achieve a great shot.

    Ultimate Intro to Photography 2

  • No.
    What other photographers inspire you?

    I’m super inspired by Jenni Hulet of The Urban Poser.

    Her use of natural light & her consistently beautiful images were a big inspiration to me when I first started. I remember thinking, if my images could look anything like Jenni’s I will have succeeded. I also love how she incorporates her whole family & you often see her sons & husband in her shots. She definitely pushed me to further investigate dramatic lighting.

    Another huge inspiration for me is Sonali from Sugar et al.

    Sonali has her personal photography style on lock down. I can spot one of her images from a mile away & every time I see one I say, Yep, that’s Sonali. Her images are like looking at a dream world. Everything is consistently gorgeous & her use of light + color blow me away every time.

  • No.
    What do you consider your biggest success as a photographer? Failure?

    Biggest success? I think finally feeling confident enough in my own skills to be able to help other people learn more. I love the feeling of helping people get the shot they wanted or explain a concept they felt confused about. Writing my ebook, Eat Pretty Things, is honestly something I wanted to do for so long so I definitely consider that a success as well.

    Failure? That’s honestly not a word I use. I don’t even consider something poor that comes out of my camera as a failure. Everything is a learning process & every shot I take is getting me closer to some goal. To me, learning isn’t failure. Bad shots, poor lighting, those aren’t even failures. They are simply tools I use to make myself better. The only actual ‘failure’ I can think of would be when I neglected to back up my hard drive & desktop. I dropped my external hard drive & lost over a year’s worth of images I’ll never be able to recover. That was certainly a failure but not reflective of my photography. It was reflective of my poor managerial skills.

    Ultimate Intro to Photography 4

  • No.
    Favorite place you’ve ever lived or visited?

    Hard to choose. I would make a top 5 list of England, Morocco, Prague, Ireland & Omaha. The first & last places I lived in, the middle 3 I just visited. Each hold a special place in my heart.

  • No.
    If you could go on a photography vacation and photograph anywhere in the world, where would you go?

    Who’s paying for this vacation? Seriously, though, I’ve often regretted the fact I wasn’t into photography when I was younger & traveling the globe. I would pretty much go anywhere I could photograph people in their natural environment whether that be a market in Mauritius or a small homestead in Iowa. I love meeting the people who inhabit a place. They make up the best parts of the story.

    Ultimate Intro to Photography

  • No.
    3 words to describe you.

    Funny, empathetic, intense.

    beginner photography workshop

  • February 25, 2015 at 12:25 PM

    I really enjoy reading your pages. They get me thinking about taking better pictures. I can spend a lot of t9ime going through all of your different sections. Thank you for your work. Don

  • February 25, 2015 at 3:26 PM

    Gorgeous photos. What camera/lens/etc. are being used in these photos?

    • February 25, 2015 at 4:40 PM

      Hey Madonna!

      All of the current images were taken with a Nikon d800, using either a Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 or Nikon 50mm f/1.4. The older image from 2013 was taken with a Nikon d90, 35mm f/1.8. Hope this helps!


  • February 25, 2015 at 3:45 PM

    Yes I have a similar question as above, I also shoot food, and I have noticed that somehow I am not able to come out with the similar “ligh and airy” look of my photos, no matter what/when/how I shoot. I am able to create nice photos with a nice soft light but its never as soft as the picture from 2015 that is posted above. Could it that be that these pictures were taken with full frame camera perhaps and not the crop camera? I can always see the difference and somehow when I find out what camera was used to take the puctures I love the most, it is always full frame camera. Courtney, what do you think? Would that make souch a big difference?

    • February 25, 2015 at 4:47 PM

      Hey Dorota!

      I will let Courtney chime in as well but I think what helps create the ‘light & airy’ look would have more to do with the lens being used. This was shot with a 35mm f/1.8. Also, I used a backlighting technique to help create the brightness in the back of the photo. If you’d like to read more about backlighting, check out this post: & also keep an eye out for my ebook on food photography, Eat Pretty Things, releasing in a week or so!


  • February 25, 2015 at 3:55 PM

    Fabulous images! I long to be better at food photography. And I love these thoughts on ‘failure’. :)

    • February 25, 2015 at 4:48 PM

      Thanks so much, Lacey! Definitely keep an eye out for my ebook on food photography then! Eat Pretty Things will be out soon. :)

  • February 25, 2015 at 4:40 PM

    I very much enjoyed reading this. I love reading about the people behind the camera.
    Rubi | The Den |

  • February 26, 2015 at 12:47 AM

    Oh my! Thank you so much for the shout out lovely Trisha. I have been a BIG fan of your work ever since I found you on IG. Lovely to read more about you here:-) Incidentally, i picked up the camera to take better pictures of my kids too. Good luck with the workshop. You are already a star!

    • February 26, 2015 at 9:15 AM

      Thanks so much, Sonali! You are always such an inspiration to me. My daughter & I sometimes go thru your Instagram feed & she tells me to ‘put a heart’ on all your pictures. ;)

  • Brennan
    February 26, 2015 at 8:04 AM

    I LOVEEEEEEE that pancake shot. My favorite of yours! It is so adorable and the colors are so rich–it makes me smile each time I see it!

    • February 26, 2015 at 9:14 AM

      Hahaha. Thanks Brennan. It’s def one of my favorites too. My poor kids will only have pictures of meat & potatoes to remember their childhood by.

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