Based in Chicago, AVVAY Pro, director, and photographer Neil Burger specializes in culinary arts. Mainly photographing tabletop food for national brands, recipe development, and restaurants, Neil works both on location and in studio. Read on to find out more about his unique profession, personal inspirations, and ideas of success.
“Creating art that moves a viewer to feel something, to see a story unfold, or to want what is presented to them, is what drives my desire to create images.”
In your field, how do you define success and failure?
I define success and failure on my originality. If I feel like I’m creating something that hasn’t already been done, or work that feels true to who I am and my aesthetic, then its a success.
What about your craft makes you feel fulfilled/purposeful?
Photography is an art. Creating art that moves a viewer to feel something, to see a story unfold, or to want what is presented to them, is what drives my desire to create images.
How do you stay inspired and/or creatively “fresh”?
To stay inspired, I am constantly looking at imagery. From local blogs to international publications, absorbing an immense amount of visual imagery is what keeps the medium new and exciting.
How do you stay organized?
Organization is key with the amount of work I create. Although I am a product of this digital age, I still find it I like to create lists on paper with pen, and physically crossing things off those lists is extremely satisfying knowing I set out to do a task and completed it.
What advice would you give someone new to their career in your field?
There will be times when you feel you’re not good enough, or you’re work isn’t as good as others, or you’re not financially secure enough to continue. Don’t give up. Spend every second you can making art your way. Every day you’re not working, hustle to find work. Put every inch of your being into what you love, and it will pay off.