Christy Strever aka Food Selfie Queen

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My name is Megan, and I had a total fan-girl moment when THE Christy Strever responded to my message asking her if I could feature her on this little blog of mine.

There, I said it.

When I reached out to this uber-talented photographer, I wasn’t really expecting a response. I mean, she is known as the “Food Selfie Queen” and produces images that simply take your breath away such as this one below…

Photo Cred: Christy Strever Photography.

Christy has very kindly taken the time to answer a few questions for me, and I am sure that you will see just why I am so obsessed with what she creates, her skill and passion, and of course Christy as an individual.

Getting to know Christy Strever

Your name: Christy Strever

Business name: Christy Strever Photography

Social media handles:
Christy StreverInstagram and Facebook
Christy Strever PhotographyInstagram and Facebook

Photo Cred: Christy Strever Photography.

Please can you tell me a little more about how this idea of foodie photography came about: I was going through a hard time and was scrolling through Pinterest when I saw a picture of a woman with a pineapple on her head. It was such a happy picture and she seemed so carefree. I had a tripod and a camera cable that I use for my Astro photography which was all I needed really. I went to the shops, put a white sheet up behind me and posed for the pic. Before I knew it, I was rummaging through my fridge inspired by Cristina Otero’s ‘Tutti Frutti’ series.

Where do you get your creativity from: Haha I can’t answer that because I don’t know…I just get constant ideas that come to me…however not all the time…depends on my mood and how I’m feeling emotionally.

Ok, give us the scoop…

What has been your favourite look that you have created:
My hair has changed a few times and my selfies have evolved so I have a few. In the beginning I was using watercolour paints because I couldn’t afford proper make-up. The watercolour is very light on the skin so I would spend ages in photoshop trying to enhance the paint. That’s why the whiskey picture to me is in my top 5, it was painted using watercolours.

Photo Cred: Christy Strever Photography.

My other favourite is the chocolate croissant. That shoot was a bit of a disaster behind-the-scenes but luckily, I got one picture that worked and came out beautifully.

Photo Cred: Christy Strever Photography.

Then my “Wakanda” tomato selfie where my head is shaved. I cut my fingers up with those props, the chicken wire was fighting with me so kept getting stuck in my skin. That photo got a bronze award with Admired in Africa for creative photography. Very proud moment.

Photo Cred: Christy Strever Photography.

I also love the first sunflower selfie I did, that was the first time I used nontoxic craft glue around my eyes to make the petals stick.
The Peanut butter shoot reminds me of Gulliver’s Travels.

Photo Cred: Christy Strever Photography.

Recently I’ve moved away from foods and started to do other selfies using what I find when I go walking. Guineafowl feathers, pinecones, pine needles, flowers, butterflies (I find them dead I do not kill them! Haha)

After taking so many selfies with food you do get a bit bored of it and your face so I took a long break from doing any self portraits.

What are the different types of photography you do:
Creative portraits is my jam! I love it. I paint my models and stick foils on them or 3d scorpions and pour things over them. It’s such fun! I have been dabbling in sensual photography as well.

You also give back to an amazing cause – please explain treesforsa:
My trees are my babies! I love them. So this project started 4 years ago. Seeing what was happening to the Amazon and then hearing about our baobab trees dying because of climate change, I was devastated. Baobabs are the most magnificent trees as are any other trees, but the baobab holds a special place in my heart. So, I bought seeds online and planted my first baobab seeds. Two germinated and I was ECSTATIC, like ridiculous excitement. A few days later I had over one hundred seeds over different indigenous trees delivered to my door and the project began. I wanted to plant the trees out in public spaces in South Africa, the thing is the trees must be big enough to plant which takes 3 years minimum. At one stage I was sitting with over 300 trees, none of them big enough to donate. Covid hit and I had to relocate to Mpumalanga. Managed to pack all my trees and mobile garden into a 4-ton truck and hit the road. Not everything fit by the way and the only other thing I could fit into that truck was my bed and chest of drawers. The trees were packed in boxes and stacked which was quite stressful as a tree mother. Winter in Mpumalanga hit, and a black frost killed most of my bigger trees. I finally managed to donate over 30 trees to the Tembisa project, and it was incredibly rewarding! I had to shut the project down for a bit but have just planted my first seeds of 2022 two weeks ago! I’m a gypsy at the moment so the project is a bit tricky to run without a setup.

What do you think of your name “Food Selfie Queen”?
Hahahahaha well I mean I gave myself that name so people could find me on Instagram easily. Food selfie queen is easier to remember than christystrever but the name stuck that’s for sure!

You have done some great campaigns for charity! This is amazing. Please tell me more:
Ah I love doing projects for charity, giving back is food for the soul. The first time I did a big fundraiser was for CANSA and I shaved my head. We raised over R25k and donated my hair for wigs.
Then the Igerbook was another huge undertaking. How I did that project on my own I just don’t even know, I wouldn’t do it again without a team. I gathered pictures of Joburg by asking people to use a hashtag for their best Joburg pictures on Instagram. Chosen photos were put together in a coffee table book sponsored by Liberty. All proceeds went to Birdlife South Africa. The books are sold out now but if you want to read more about it you can visit our website.

I’ll be doing another fundraising drive for Cupcakes of Hope. I’ve been growing my hair for 3 years to donate it again in 2024. I want to get it as long as possible so they can make more wigs from it. I’m hoping to raise R100k this time around, so we’ll see! Hold thumbs and be on the lookout closer to the time.

How can people get hold of you to book a shoot:
By email is best!

Quote you live by:
Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened. ~ Dr. Seuss

Anything else you want to add:
Always be authentic and true to yourself! The only reason I began to shine was because I stopped caring what people would think of the type of images I’m taking. You must keep in mind that not everyone loves the food selfies. I have had people try boycott my page and accuse me of wastage, I waste less than a 2 year old, we’ve all seen kids eat {ha-ha} and the food I use in the pictures is generally eaten anyway! I love food, I’ll respect food. I’m a Qua qualified chef so food has always been important to me.

I absolutely LOVED getting to know the wonderful Christy Strever, and being able to get pulled into an alternative universe with her personality and creative ideas.. This has been the greatest honour, and I just can’t wait to hear what you think of the South African Food Selfie Queen, and to see more stunning designs.

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