Jolie Greenstone

Published on Oct 21, 2013
Photo by Alex PhillipsPhoto by Alex Phillips

Senior Jolie Greenstone grew up in a household of food-loving Italians, and is spinning a childhood of delicious dishes into a career in food photography. She hooked up a gig this summer with HGTV magazine as a photo intern and tells us all about how she got it and where she hopes to go with her education.

Tell us about your work.

I’ve been freelancing for several years doing family portraits, engagement photos, weddings, bat mitzvahs, etc. I originally thought that freelance was going to be the direction my career would go in. It wasn’t until I took “Intro to Lighting” with Bill First that I experimented with food photography. Bill was actually the one that encouraged me to create a Talent Pool profile for my work. My passion is also inspired by the food culture that growing up surrounded me. I’m Italian, so I had tons of exposure to beautiful and delicious food all the time.

What has been your favorite or most valuable class you’ve taken at Columbia so far and why do you feel that class has had such an impact on you or your work?

“Digital Photography 2” with Matt Siber. I definitely learned the most in that class and I got some really honest constructive criticism that allowed me to strengthen my craft.

Why did you choose Columbia?

I chose Columbia College for their extensive photo department and because of the school’s reputation. I can happily say that I would still choose this school over any other art school in the country.

Describe your work in three words.

Meticulous. Striking. Delicious.

Tell us about your internship at HGTV magazine.

Getting the internship was not easy… I utilized LinkedIn to find contact information, and Ed2010 (a website specializing in magazine jobs) was a massive help. Working there has advanced my skills immensely. I really learned how the publication side of things works. I got really good at photo researching for things we were featuring for certain articles; that’s what I spent a good portion of my internship doing. I know this internship will aid me in the future because, essentially, I got my foot in the door. I also learned a lot about just being a professional while working at HGTV.

 In what ways has Columbia helped your work and/or your career?

The facilities have been so accessible. Having things like CS6, brand new Epson printers, Imacon scanners, etc, have all been so, so, so helpful. It’s also helped that you can check things out and go on location with them. Columbia also does a really nice job bringing in speakers and professionals to help inspire myself and other students trying to break into their industry.

What is your favorite place to eat on campus?

Cafecito on Congress! It’s affordable and their food is always good. I’m there all the time with friends or my laptop. I recommend the Pollo Arugula sandwich.

 Be sure to check out all of Jolie’s fantastic work at her website,