I met Regula from the unimitable Miss Foodwise, for the first time during the first Foodblogger Connect I attended all the way back in 2011. It was my first time among such a large crowd of foodbloggers and I sort of naturally leaned towards the few people who came from ‘my area’. Technically Belgium is not Holland but hey, it’s close enough right?
Regula is a person that stands out in a crowd. Not only for her cheerful and fun character but also because she has a unique style as a person and as a photographer. I’ve seen her photography grown in leaps and bounds and I think she belongs to some of the best out there. If someone like David Loftus is her fan, it says something about your skills right?
Other than that I love her as a person. Did you know she and her talented other half made my beautiful logo on my blog? Pretty sure I told you at some point but just as a small reminder… 🙂 Enjoy her photography story!
How long have you been blogging and did you start out with taking food photos straight away?
I’ve been blogging since 2011, but started Miss Foodwise june 2012.
Initially I didn’t intend to become a photography heavy blog. I was a Graphic designer and although I’ve always done analogue photography because I went to art school, I kind off deviated from that path while I was building a career in Graphic design and Advertising.
What gear did you use in the beginning and has that changed?
In the beginning I used a Sony Nex 5 which is a very good point and shoot camera, you could play with dept of field and adjust settings just like on a DSLR camera. My other camera was still an analogue SLR which I have been using most of my life and through art school. It was my dads and it is still often my companion.
Did you teach yourself or did you follow workshops and such?
I’ve always done photography, as I mentioned before, I studied arts and photography was part of that. When I got into food I followed a couple of workshops with Beatrice Peltre, Ellen Silverman and you and Alex but I feel the most you learn by doing it and doing it a lot. Practice makes perfect.
Can you describe your current setup for taking photos?
It varies really, usually I’ll shoot in my home studio which we extended to go next to my kitchen. It is on the north side, because of this I hardly ever diffuse the light as I find my picture will become too lifeless.
Sometimes I’ll shoot in the garden, sometimes in the hallway, whenever I see light that might be of interest, I’ll use it. So not exclusively by a window.
Other than in my home studio, I will shoot in location studio’s which are mostly in London. There I usually have a walk around to check out how the light drops into the building and use that.
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 have to plan it as I have to shop for the food and don’t live very near to a store. I will then choose props set up the scene, test shoot it and see if I’m happy with the composition. Then I cook the food and place it in the scene and shoot that a couple of times, sometimes deciding to change props again, if I can and the food isn’t looking wilted by then. Sometimes it will be a spur of the moment thing too, especially these days as I’m often abroad for assignments, I get home and just take a shot of our breakfast. If you’ve been staging shots for two weeks is a row, you kinda sometimes like to just pick up your camera and take a shot.
What is the type of light you work with? (daylight, artificial light. If daylight what kind of light?)
Daylight always for my own work, I just love to play with light to create a mood and although it can be hard if you’re working with a setting sun or something, I still enjoy the result better than with artificial lighting. For clients I sometimes use studio lights, pack shots often need it. But I will try and keep this to a minimum. I absolutely hate artificial light and haven’t seen an image where I can’t spot the artificial light.
What was your aha moment when shooting food? assuming non of you started being as awesome as you are today.. 😉
My ‘aha’ moment came when I realised I just should do whatever I wanted, not listen to too many rules and tricks. Just do my thing. I like to shoot dark, which might not always be what a technical photographer would approve, but I really don’t care about that. I’m creating imagery, stories, not perfect shots.
What is the one thing you would like to improve on?
Gosh, maybe try to hate artificial light less and give it a chance.
Do you have a few tips for beginning foodbloggers who want to improve their photos?
Practice, a lot. Experiment with colour, props, angles and compare your images to those of others to see where you can improve yourself. Often I find beginning food photographers shoot on awkward angles making the plate of food look awkward. I think you have to learn to see your mistakes in order to correct them. Also be aware of cropping your dishes too much.
Who are your role models (foodbloggers and/or foodphotographers you admire)
My role models are my friend David Loftus, he shoots just after my own heart, purely on feeling. For my personal work I try to put my emotions into an image.
Another photographer I greatly admire is Andrew Montgomery, his pictures always strike a cord with me. I buy books if he is the photographer for them. Other than these two men, my greatest roll models are not photographers but renaissance painters. The Dutch and Flemish masters. Maybe that’s my background in art, or my heritage being Flemish. Photography often just doesn’t excite me.