Meet Anna Janecka
This month I'd like to introduce myself.
Can you introduce yourself? How and when did you start your food photography journey?
Hi, my name is Anna Janecka, and I’m a London-based experienced freelance photographer, specialising in commercial food, beverage and product photography, and recipe development. I'm also a co-founder of the global community - Food Creatives Network.
I have been fond of taking photos ever since I remember. Before I started shooting food, I was photographing nature, landscapes, and portraits. However, it didn’t give me any excitement. I didn't feel fulfilled, so I decided that I need a break. In 2018 I moved to London, and I started to shoot images again! However, I still was looking for my thing.
In October 2019 I started my journey with food and drink photography. I was practising, learning new methods, and looking for my style. I think I found it. My style is simple, natural, and tasteful and recently I also enjoy creating colourful, yet still simple scenes.
Where do you get your inspiration from? Do you adore any specific photographers?
I look for inspiration everywhere. Food magazines, cookbooks, on Pinterest, sometimes ideas just come to my mind and I have to write them down intimidate, I also dream about ideas, is that creepy? I also combine some ideas from a few photos and put them together or inspired by some composition trying with totally different products. Inspirations are all over us, we just have to look around and see them.
My absolute top inspiration is Bea Lubas. I love everything about her style, colours, simple and elegant compositions and always a strong message. I had a chance to chat with Bea at the very beginning of my food photography journey and she helped me a lot, motivated me and showed me the right direction, and she still does!
However, the list of my favourite photographers is longer :) Rachel Korinek from @twolovestudio for her simple but catchy style, and beautiful and crisp photos. I love Kimberly's from @thelittleplantation compositions and beautiful colours in Alicja'a @twinsinmystudio photography. I admire Viola Virtamao, Linda Lomelino and Eva Kosmas for their organic and beautifully shown storytelling in every photo.
There is a huge possibility I missed someone :)
What do you think should be in a good portfolio?
I think that a portfolio should show who you are, but also present your work and what you're good at. If you want to work with different clients, you should have a variety of different content in your portfolio. But I'm sure while you learn and develop, your portfolio will change. At the beginning of my photography journey, you could find mostly dark and moody photographs mixed with macro and drink shoots. Now I capture brighter scenes, create more recipes and include more colours in my work. Portfolios develop the same way as you.
How do you prepare a food-styling set?
Most of the time I know what I will be shooting, but very often I don't know what composition or which colours I will use. I have a vision, but sometimes it simply doesn't work. It's different when I shoot for a client. I have a mood board, props and composition ready before each shoot. I think the way I work is totally opposite to my personality, which is very interesting. I'm a very organised person, but my shooting, very often, is pretty chaotic.
What is your favourite subject to capture?
It's a hard question, but I think soups, desserts, fresh produce and obviously drinks. Recently I found it really enjoyable to shoot salads and also learn how to nicely style and shoot savoury food.
Do you work with natural or artificial light?
I work with both natural and artificial light, but most of the time with artificial light. First of all, in my house, I don't have my perfect spot to work with natural light, and secondly, I have better control over artificial light and can shoot any time of the day.
what’s your favourite colour theory and composition? And do you have colours you don’t feel comfortable with?
I think I really love to create monochromatic and complementary colour scenes. However, I also adore creating a scene, where the backdrop and props are in the same colour and only food stands out from the scene.
My favourite composition? Hmm, I think minimalistic and simple composition would be my number one, and then The rule of thirds and Golden spiral.
Do you have some photography tips and hints?
Be patient, be stubborn and never give up! Experiment, read books or blogs, learn, and explore. We all were a beginner and we all still learning. No one was born with all the skills and knowledge.
My favourite trick is to use Vaseline to get a matt effect on the cutlery.
Thank you, it was a pleasure to tell you more about myself.
If you have any questions or struggle with any subject, send me a DM on my Instagram or email me. I will do my best to answer and help.