There’s a reason we love food photography. Delicious, home cooked meals sizzling in their perfected table set ups. The odors being almost prominent in the pictures themselves. One food photographer, Natalia Lisovskaya, takes us on one of these journeys to the kingdom of the delicious and irresistible.
We had a little chat with Natalia about her work, her approach to food photography and some tips on how to perfect your own works to make them stand out.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your experience as a photographer.
My name is Natalia Lisovskaya. I’m from Moscow, Russia. I worked for many years in the office. I accidentally became involved with photography. Having studied in photography school, I began to sell my work on microstocks. I quickly felt the difference to office work. There’s a big difference between working and doing your favourite thing instead.
I learned to be a photographer from some of the masters in Moscow. And now I’ve been working as a photographer for 11 years. I find inspiration in flea markets, in old textures, in fresh and beautiful ingredients. It’s very important to me that my pictures are real: real food, real dish, real ingredients, real cooking.
What is your creative process like?
I’m a creator, a buyer of products, a chef, a stylist and a photographer at the same time 🙂 I think over in advance the composition, the background, picking out the props. I buy products that are suitable for a particular idea. I cook, then I build the scene. There should be nothing superfluous in the scene, each piece must bear their information load. I work with light and reflectors. Of course, in any thought out shooting scene, there has to be some place for creative improvisation.
Who or what inspires you and where do you get your ideas for photoshoots?
The largest and most powerful source of inspiration is Pinterest. There are a lot of authors whose works I admire: What Katie Ate, Eva Toneva, Kevin Clark…
Next comes the whole rounded process. For example, I hadn’t photographed in two months, as I was really not in the mood. Then one day I went with my husband to a new coffee shop and saw there was this really beautiful sandwich bread, I immediately bought it and started on a photo shoot that included the whole process. I used new props, a new selection of textures, change of fresh greens, cooking coffee … 🙂
Everything that I photograph is my way of communicating with the world. It is my inner voice, it’s me.
How do you choose which themes and trends work in?
Sometimes it seems to me that they choose me instead 🙂
What is vital for a successful stock photograph?
1) Quality, quantity and direction of light plays a major role in the creation of “delicious” pictures. You need learn how to see the light. Adjust the white balance settings of the camera as a start.
2) Think carefully about the idea, composition, background, and the objects in the scene.
3) The mood.
What is your favourite photograph that you have taken and why?
This is a photo with a a cup of coffee on a blue background, shot from the top. I did not plan it, just wanted to see how the blue cup looks on the blue board. Took a few shots and forgot about them. Then by chance I found in the archives and gasped, it’s a masterpiece! In general, the whole “blue” series was created in the wake of a sudden inspiration!
How should one go about creating more original content for stock photography?
It should come from you personally. Your content itself will then be unique.
How is the approach to food photography different from other genres?
Food remains pretty for a very short time. You have to be mentally prepared to shoot your dish very quickly or remake it several times.
Are you a foodie yourself?
Of course! How would I be able to work otherwise? 🙂
Do you prepare the meals in your photographs yourself?
For creative photo shoot – I cook myself. sometimes I buy prepared meals in a restaurant. In any case, I have to work with them to make them look delicious in the picture.
Your #1 photography tip or words of wisdom:
Success in photography determines the ability to express yourself and give the audience the thoughts, ideas and emotions you were trying to communicate. Author must love the subject, feel it and enjoy the process. Then everything will turn out the way you wanted it to.
See another one of our interviews with a food photographer – Healthy Laura.
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