We caught up with Jade Sarkhel, lifestyle photographer and creative to hear about how she spends her days and what’s keeping her inspired.
Hey Jade, could you introduce yourself and tell us a bit about what you do?
I’m a food, interior and lifestyle photographer and own a digital marketing agency specialising in content creation and social media management.
What does an average day look like for you?
I have to say, there is never an average day! That’s what I love most about it. Last week I was shooting in Florence, this week I’m back in London shooting in 3 different locations around the city.
An example of a day in London? I usually wake up around 6:30am. I start my day with a big glass of water and a coffee, check the day’s schedule, respond to emails and set up my “out of office” before heading out to a, usually fun-filled shoot standing on restaurant tables, running around busy kitchens or photographing beautiful hotel rooms from about 8:30am – 1pm. I then head back home, cook some lunch before doing some editing until the late afternoon. Around 6:30pm I head out to my gymnastics or animal flow class at my gym called Local Motion (hooked on this!), a spot of dinner around 8:30pm, some reading for a bit and then a pre-bedtime ritual with my partner saying what we were grateful for today before getting an early night around 10:30pm!
What objects, food, books or materials can we find on your ‘desk’?
My desk is fully mobile in a small wheelie suitcase so apart from my equipment it’s pretty minimal! Currently you’d find the book Sapiens (it’s taking me a while to get through it but it’s fascinating), a beautiful Japanese hand-bound notepad for me to jot down ideas and thoughts in, my keepcup, hairbands, my UE boom speaker and duct tape because it always comes in handy!!
How did you come to hear about/work with Real Handful?
Another awesome creative buddy of mine put me in touch with Real Handful. I have a real passion for REAL food so when I was introduced to what Real Handful were bringing to the market I was immediately on board and excited to help them develop their photographic identity.
What are the challenges and rewards of being a freelancer?
The biggest thing for me is having the freedom to carve out my own lifestyle. The amount of flexibility that comes with being a freelancer is really amazing.
There are plenty of challenges which is partly what makes it so rewarding!
1. Keeping yourself motivated to continue to grow and learn as there’s no one watching over you
2. Giving yourself structure. It’s really important to keeping your days productive as Netflix can be pretty tempting.
3. Battling with loneliness is a pretty big one. I’ve found that taking time to build a community of freelancers around you and spending time doing communal activities at least once a day helps.
What keeps you inspired and creative? Feel free to add any strange working rituals you’d like to share with us.
I’d describe myself as having a child-like mindset! Always curious, being playful and experimenting with new things. Just as an example, this year I’ve been learning to play the piano, made a macramé wall hanging, had a calligraphy lesson and will be learning to tattoo next month!! It’s all part of keeping the creative juices flowing even if they are not related because in some way it ends up feeding back into your work.
Jade always takes duct tape to her shoots as it comes in handy.
In regards to strange rituals… I have one that I swear by. To prepare me to be in a relaxed and creative state before a shoot, I hold power poses in the bathroom in front of a mirror for five minutes listening to Vivaldi Four Seasons: Summer in headphones beforehand… have a google of the TED talk on power poses. It’s brilliant.
Can you share any advice with us that has really shaped your career path today?
I read this quote once – “Decide what kind of life you want and then say no to everything that isn’t that.” I really love this. We only have one life and we have the ability to make choices so there really is no excuse. I also would really recommend reading the book “How to find fulfilling work” by The School of Life. It helped me to challenge societal norms and break past my ideas of what “success” looks like and what I “should” be doing and instead follow my own path.
Describe the best meal you’ve ever eaten – what and where.
I’ve had too many to pick just one… but it would have definitely been one my mum or dad have cooked for me. #foodislove.
Any book, film, TV, podcast, restaurant or snack recommendations for the readers?
Top 3 books:
How to find fulfilling work by The School of Life
Salt, Fat, Acid Heat
Some Restaurants to try:
Bancone for amazing pasta
St John for nose to tail cooking
Palomar for date night
River Café for a special occasion
Chefs Table- all of them!
Current podcast I’m listening to is The Joe Rogan Experience– my partner introduced me to it last year and I’m hooked.
What snack can you absolutely not live without?
Does a bowl of muesli and full fat oat milk count as a snack?!