This month I'd like to introduce you to a great photographer and educator Lucia Marecak.
Can you introduce yourself? How and when did you start your food photography journey?
I am a full-time food photographer since 2020. I started my food blog in 2018, and after that, I started to learn how to take photos. I took some courses from people I admired, and then, I spent a lot of time to self-educate myself. I am very fortunate to have the possibility to have worked on amazing projects in the past, thanks to those I learned a lot. My journey inspired me to open my Members' Club, where I give others the opportunity to others to learn about food photography and business. At the same time, I also work with clients on food photography and other projects.
Where do you get your inspiration from? Do you adore any specific photographers?
There are many that inspire me, but to name some, the first, was Christina Greve. I love her style and she inspired me a lot at the beginning of my journey. I became a full-time food photographer thanks to her. Then, there is Kimberly Espinel, Bea Lubas, and Rachel Korinek that inspire me a lot nowadays. I also use Pinterest to source some images before my photoshoots.
What do you think should be in a good portfolio?
A variety shouldn't be missed in a good portfolio. It's important to demonstrate the ability to capture various styles, lighting, compositions or even subjects. Of course, it's necessary to include those types of images that we would love to create for our clients.
Every photographer has their own photography style, however, we need to build a portfolio that shows all our skills, Bright and airy, dark and moody, minimalistic or complex.
How do you prepare a food styling set?
First, I prepare a table and backdrop and the light. Then, I find the best camera angle that fits what I have in mind. After that, I bring all my props and ingredients I will use, so I can see the colours and textures altogether. This helps me to define the idea for the composition or direction of light. After that, I connect my camera to the computer and shoot with Capture One. Then, I would clean the set, move the props and ingredients away and start composing from the beginning. Normally, I would bring the main hero at the end, but if I work with a subject that doesn't need to be shot right away (because it can get dry or bad looking very fast), I bring the subject first and then I compose the scene around it.
Do you work with natural or artificial light?
I worked exclusively with natural light in the past, nowadays I work mostly with artificial light. When it comes to clients, I prefer artificial lighting, so I can have better control of the white balance and colours. I believe it's important to know how to use natural light in images. Natural light is beautiful but very challenging.
What is a must have in food photography?
From a technical point of view, I would say tethering. It helps a lot, no matter if you are a beginner or an advanced photographer. It saves a lot of time, and it helps to develop composition skills a lot.
What’s your favourite subject to shoot and why?
I don't really have a favourite subject, in the past I used to shoot cakes a lot. Nowadays, I don't have much time for personal projects, and I shoot a variety of subjects for my clients. I also tend to shoot multiple subjects for our masterclasses in the Members' Club, so our members can learn how to shoot different subjects. But, if I have to choose, it would be cakes and fresh produce, especially tomatoes, or fruits.
Do you have your favourite colour palette? And do you have colours you don’t feel comfortable with?
I love calm colour schemes, such as analogous or monochromatic colours. I don't like the complementary scheme much. I can't say I don't feel uncomfortable with some colour combinations, it's more of a personal preference for working with calmer colour schemes. I love earth tones, and neutral colours, where the food can stand out and have the full attention. Recently, I used to add many more colours to my images, which I enjoy a lot.
Do you prefer creating busy scenes or minimalistic and why?
Generally, I prefer busy scenes, with many props, plates, and glasses. However, I feel comfortable with both and it really depends on how I feel that day.
My October challenge is about Minimalistic scenes. Do you have some tips for beginners about minimal scenes?
When it comes to minimalist scenes, the entire attention moves to the main subject. It's very important to focus on layering and make it look perfect, but at the same time natural. You can achieve this by choosing neutral backdrops or props that don't distract the viewer but instead help to move the focus to the main hero.
Sometimes, less is more. It's also important to focus on textures and this can be achieved by a good quality lens. I love to work with a higher focal length lens when creating minimalistic images.