FOR PHOTOGRAPHERS, Mission Winners

Molly Tavoletti wins the Andaz “Hands Holding Street Food” Mission

She’s a passionate foodie and a big fan of the Big Apple. Her photos will make you feel happy, cheerful and….hungry. The Andaz team fall in love and selected Molly’s photo above as the winning photo of the “Hands Holding Street Food” Mission. Congratulations to Molly Tavoletti (@mollytav) for winning their heart and bellies!

We’ve reached out to Molly to get to know her better. Ladies and gentlemen, meet Molly and find out about how she decided to combine two passions: food & photography.

Molly, first of all congratulations on winning the mission! There were lots of beautiful pictures submitted to the Mission, but it’s your that has been chosen. How did you come up with this shot? Please share the story behind it.

My junior year of college I took a semester off and moved to New York, instantly falling in love with the food scene. During my senior year, I traveled back and forth to the city a lot, and on this particular day I was between interviews and wanted to squeeze in a good meal with a good photo. I follow tons of NYC Instagramers who frequent Blackseed and knew that’s where I wanted to go and exactly what I was ordering. My signature Instagram post is me holding sandwiches much larger than my tiny hand, so the photo worked out perfectly—not to mention it was the best bagel sandwich I’ve ever had.

Who is Foaper @mollytav? Could you share your story with us?

I am a 22 year old who grew up in Pittsburgh, PA. I just graduated from The Ohio State University with a degree in journalism and political science. I’m now living in New York working for CNN. In my free time I love to take long runs and photograph my food for my own food/fit blog. I’m obsessed with red wine, avocado toast and soul cycle.

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Your photos of food are really amazing. Could you share some tips with other Foapers on how to photograph food?

Light! With the right lighting any photo can be amazing, regardless of DSLR or iPhone. I love to get up and capture the early morning light or late evening. I’m also all about a clean background. I’ve spent many hours wandering the streets holding my food searching the perfect brick wall background.

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Your Foap portfolio consists of photos of New York and food mainly. Which one is your favourite photo and why?

Each of my photos tells a story. So I’d say the ones that carry the best memories are my favorites. Last year when I was getting ready to leave the city to head back to school, I spent an entire day eating and photographing at my favorite New York eateries—including a necessary stop at Emack and Bolio’s. I ordered black raspberry chip and s’moreo in a waffle cone covered with fruity pebbles with gummy bears on top. All and all this was an $11 cone. I sat outside the shop and ate the entire thing. It was one my the best days ever.

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How is it like to be a New Yorker and what’s the challenge in photographing the Big Apple?

There is nothing more amazing than being a New Yorker. I walk outside everyday with limitless opportunity and experience waiting, not to mention the most incredible food in the world to eat along the way. The greatest challenge with photographing in the city is that I don’t have enough money or time to eat everything! I read once that you could eat out breakfast, lunch and dinner in New York for 55 years and never visit the same place twice, so challenge accepted.

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When did you become a photographer and how did this passion start?

I’ve always been into food and health, and writing has always been a big part of my life. But it wasn’t until I bought my first DSLR camera last year that I made the decision to combine the two passions and start my blog. I started watching Youtube videos and reading a lot to learn how to photograph food and do it well. A year later I went from about 200 followers on Instagram to almost 8000. It’s been a whirlwind and I’m thrilled this is only the beginning.

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Thank you Molly for sharing your super inspiring story! We wish you lots and lots of wonderful foodie adventures in New York. Keep up with the great work and once again, congrats on winning the Mission!

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