I met Eva from Food Vegetarisch for the first time during a workshop Meeta gave in Germany a few years back. Her enthusiasm and will to learn was something that I noticed right away and because I didn’t know her blog before that, I started following her straight away when I came home. Eva particpates in our foodphoto challenge quite often too (and she wins quite often also!) and if you haven’t visited her blog yet than it is certainly worth the time to have a peak. Evan not only has gorgeous photos but she also shares regular tips on foodphotography or software on her blog.
How long have you been blogging and did you start out with taking food photos straight away?
In 2012 I started my blog Food Vegetarisch . But already since 2009 I have been taken photo shoots of food to sell these images via stock photography agencies.
What gear did you use in the beginning and has that changed?
When I started to sell my photos I had a ‘super zoom’ digital camera (Sony DSC-H50). But as soon as I found out more about the photography basics like aperture and shutterspeed I knew it was time for my first DSLR (= digital single-lens reflex) camera. I bought a Canon EOS 450D which was at that time the Canon entry model and my first lenses which I still use were the Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM and the Canon EF 100mm/f2.8 USM Makro. With this equipment I was very happy for a long time and continued my learning process.
Over time, I realized then that there were aspects, which may be not that important to food photography but were important to me, like the noise behaviour, the possibilities to have more wide-angle shoots and to photograph with even more effect of a shallow depth of field. The result was that I decided to change from a crop-sensor to a full-frame camera by buying the Canon EOS 5D Mark II. On my blog you can also find a post in German in which I wrote about my experiences with both cameras. When it comes to lenses, I still use regularly the 50mm and the 100mm Macro for food, but today most of the time I use with the EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM. And recently I bought the TS-E 90mm f/2.8 so that I am starting to make my first experiences by using a tilt-shift lens.
Did you teach yourself or did you follow workshops and such?
I am a type of person who loves and needs the mix of both for learning and improving. A lot of photography basics and post processing techniques I have learned and still learn by reading books, magazines, articles and posts in the internet, following tutorials and (very important!) by trying out these things I have read about. I have also a Pinterest board “Tips + Links | Food Photography” where I collect tutorials and posts about food photography.
On the other side, what I love about workshops is that you meet many inspiring people with similiar interests and often it has happened that I got answers to questions I did not even know I had, by attending a workshop. Especially when it comes to food styling I have learned quite a lot this way.
Can you describe your current setup for taking photos? *
Most of the time I shoot indoors with natural light. As reflectors I use simple foam (polystyrene) boards and in order to reduce light I have some black foam boards. In addition on sunny days I usually work with a diffuser when I want to have less harsh shadows in my images.
Do you have a process you go through when preparing for a shoot for your blog? Is it spur of the moment or do you plan meticulously? (or both)
I like to show on my blog as well the finished dish as some making of and ingredients shots. Therefore I already take the first photos during preparation. In order to give all photos a similiar look I start by choosing some props, fabrics or other suitable underground from my props-collection which helps to emphasize the mood I want to achieve with my photos. By this, and also by having the same lighting set-up for all shots, the photos for a blog posts match quite well. Sometimes I also have a certain photo from another photographer which I use as inspiration for my styling. Often those photos show a totally different dish but there are some certain details which just inspire me.
What is the type of light you work with? (daylight, artificial light. If daylight what kind of light?)
I think more then 95% of my food shots are with daylight. As I have some limited space, where I can photograph, I just use the available light and try to adjust this by using some devices like reflectors, deflectors and diffusers. In addition, when it comes to post processing, I adjust the images a little bit further by playing around with the white balance and other settings.
What was your aha moment when shooting food?Aassuming you did notstart being as awesome as you are today.. 😉
My aha moment was when I noticed for the first time the effect of different light sources on a food photo and how easily you can play around with the available light by using simple reflectors, deflectors and diffusers.
What is the one thing you would like to improve on?
For me life is learning. So there is always something I want to improve further or to go much more into detail. Right now it is for example to learn how to control my new tilt-shift lens.
Do you have a few tips for beginning foodbloggers who want to improve their photos?
Be curious and do not be afraid to leave your comfort zone. This advice I once got on a workshop from the food photographer and stylist Meeta K. Wolff and it is such a helpful advice.
What I often do in order to leave my comfort zone is for example that I have a more detailled look on photos I like and which are different from my typical photos. I try to analyze why I like them and what details made them so special to me. And then I try out these points I noted by myself: e.g. I use for my next shots a different lens than usual, I do the styling in another way than most of the time or I try out different light situations for the same shot by playing around with my reflectors and comparing afterwards the results.
Who are your role models (foodbloggers and/or foodphotographers you admire)
On the one hand there are some all time favourits I already admire for a long time like Meeta K.Wolff from “What’s For Lunch Honey?“, Aran Goyoaga from “Cannelle et Vanille” and Katie Quinn Davis from “What Katie Ate” . And recently I discovered these inspiring food blogs when it comes to food photography: “Dagmar’s Kitchen“, “Food Club” and “Eat, Love And Be Happy”
Anything else you want to share?
Whenever you shoot try to give your best but do not be too critical to yourself! Instead of this it is better to make sure that you keep enjoying what you are doing.