Welcome to Shutter Stories where some of the most inspiring, talented, and successful food photographers and food stylists answer 10 questions about their work, insider tips, future ambitions and a peak into their studios. They take us behind the camera (and sometimes into their prop cupboards) to get a more intimate look into how they work, how to gain experience, and the best ways to break into this fascinating industry.
Shutter Stories dishes the dirt on a range of topics including careers in food photography, money, equipment and social media. This is a chance to see what professionals don’t show you behind the camera and and insider look at how they work day-to-day.
Who: Linda Lomelino of Call Me Cupcake
What: Photographer, stylist, baker, washer of aaaall the dishes, cleaner of aaaall the things used during a food shoot, cook book author, blogger… and probably more.
Where: Halmstad, Sweden
When: My first workshop in Croatia was so special. I think it was in September 2015!
Why: Because I love being able to do what I love for a living, and also have lots of freedom!
How did you get started in food photography?
I sort of fell into it, and fell in love with it. I started shooting 20 years ago but never really found my ‘thing’ until I took up baking (in 2009) for some reason. I just had an idea that I would enjoy baking, and I had a camera at home so I tried taking some photos of what I baked… and instantly LOVED it! The combination is what made me obsessed with it. Soon I had a blog and I have kept going since then.
Toughest food shoot to date?
There have been quite a few… haha. Once when I was shooting for a magazine, the recipes were sort of healthy and many ingredients I had never used before. I didn’t find them at the supermarket so I had to improvise but didn’t know if it looked right since the recipes weren’t mine. I shot all five or six recipes before the client told me they needed horizontal photos. They forgot to mention that, and I had shot them all vertically. It worked out in the end and they were ok with the vertical ones… phew!
Describe your lighting set up: Super simple!! A window with good light (that is, no sun coming into the room), a table and a dark curtain to control how much light I get on the subject – and also to control the shadows on the wall behind what I’m shooting.
Your best Lightroom editing tip!
I use Camera raw to edit, but they basically have the same features! I think the noise reduction & color noise reduction is super helpful since I sometimes shoot with a higher ISO. I use Color mixer and calibration a lot too and tend to change the reds more towards pink, the greens towards a blue tone and I often desaturate the blues a bit. And ooooh, I almost forgot vignetting! I use that on most of my photos to really frame the subject (but mostly on my dark shots).
Your go to food photography lens.
So hard to choose but I use my Canon 24-70mm 2.8 a lot. The Canon 50mm 1.4 was my first lens though that wasn’t a kit lens and I highly recommend it!
How did you transition from light to dark food photography? Any tips for someone who wants to shoot dark food photography?
It somehow just sort of happened- maybe it was the Swedish winter?! In reality, I saw some shots of it online and experimented with it.
It’s perhaps a bit hard to explain but I shoot very close to a smallish window so the light is very focused on the subject and the surroundings are dark. You often have to underexpose quite a bit (but not TOO dark). I also have my camera display set to the brightest setting when I shoot – I feel like I have more control over how it looks. Same goes for when I’m editing. I always edit with the computer screen at the brightest setting. The best way is to experiment really. It’s easier to shoot dark on a dark background. Start with a dark fabric (that’s how I started!).
What’s on the horizon for you? Something you want to achieve or are working towards?
I feel like I’m at somewhat of a crossroads with my work. I want to work more towards making film (as in video) since that is what I love the most. I also want to take up hosting workshops as soon as possible again. I miss interacting with people so much!
How do you keep your work from looking the same?
Since I shoot most of my photos in the same space – either a corner of my studio or a corner of my kitchen this is a challenge. I think working seasonally is a great way to make sure my photos don’t look the same. That way, I’m constantly using different ingredients. Also rotating what backgrounds and colors I use. And as always, trusting my gut on what direction my work should take. I think my work has gone from solely food photography to many other things too and I absolutely love that mix!
Who should we interview next and why?
Stella Andronikou (@stellaand), she is hilarious, kind and a very talented stylist and photographer
This or that:
Photography- sweet or savory? Sweet!!!!
Top shot or side on? Side on
Artificial or natural light? Natural light
Favorite food magazine? Honestly, I don’t read food magazines right now. I used to read Donna Hay but that was many years ago.
Currently reading? I’m reading a Swedish book, the English translation is ‘The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared’
Last job? I’m shooting a book! But it’s a secret. It’s not my own book though
And that’s it for this time! Who should PHOOD interview next? If you want to see someone featured in this space (or would like us to interview YOU!), email us on firstname.lastname@example.org.