This month I'd like to introduce you to a talented Food Photographer, Stylist & Videographer Suze Morrison.
Can you introduce yourself? How and when did you start your food photography journey?
Hi, I’m Suze, a qualified Chef, Food Photographer, Stylist & Videographer. I kind of fell into photography through frustration. My degree is in biological sciences, but having studied sculpture, I have always had a yearning for some kind of creative output. My family are the antithesis of a ‘foodie’ no one enjoyed cooking and the food was very much traditional Scottish fare. So, I undertook the cooking for my parents and siblings aged 8. I just loved that feeling of pouring my love into dishes and seeing people’s eyes light up when they felt that tingle inside. So, after years of procrastination and countless soulless jobs, I trained as a chef. But I so wanted to share the flavours of my dishes through my photographs. But iPhone snaps only made my soups and stews look, quite frankly, disgusting…. So, 18 months ago, I bit the bullet and picked up my first ever DSLR…. And I guess it ignited the fire inside me.
Where do you get your inspiration from? Do you adore any specific photographers?
For me, inspiration is in my world around me. From fellow photographers to nature, art & architecture, there are always colours and shapes to intrigue & inspire. I am never without a pen and notepad or taking pictures on my phone to merge into so piece of my own. There are a few photographers whose style I can only aspire to and, rather than directly copying, I find it so fulfilling to take elements of their work that I so love and incorporate them into my own. One thing I truly believe in is crediting those who you admire, there is nothing better than knowing your work is appreciated.
What do you think should be in a good portfolio?
For me, a portfolio should be striking, but also show that you have the ability to produce a variety of styles. So rather than staying to one specific style, retain your own ‘stamp’ on your work through colour, tones, deep shadows etc, but show that you can do dark & moody, light & airy, drinks, sweets, lifestyle, and storytelling. That way you can appeal to the widest scope of brands.
How do you prepare a food-styling set?
When preparing my set, I always have a clear vision in mind. But it is not always tacet, I am well aware that when I begin laying down backdrops, props and linens, my ideas will change, from composition to colours, so I go with what feels right at the time. Food is always the last thing to enter my set to ensure that it looks as fresh as possible.
What is your favourite subject to capture?
Capturing my favourite subject, gosh that’s a tough question and one that can change daily. I enjoy so much about my work, but I must say that nothing beats an outdoor lifestyle shoot for vibe and atmosphere.
Do you work with natural or artificial light?
I work with both natural and artificial light, but working from my garden shed, my default is artificial light purely because the natural light is so weak. It also has a very strange green hue and the grass outside the window taints it
Can you tell us what’s your favourite colour theory and composition? And do you have colours you don’t feel comfortable with?
For me, I don’t allow myself to be governed by colour theories and composition. Being a chef, food comes first, so I must work with the natural colours of my dishes, although I must say when a dish contains purple & green my heart swells! Orange is my nemesis, it’s such a hard colour for me to edit. The same applies to composition, I tend to go with the flow, but if something just won’t work, I love to pop on a dynamic symmetry grid just to verify some angles etc.
Do you have some photography tips and hints?
As somewhat of a beginner myself, my biggest piece of advice would have to be don’t be afraid to try. There is nothing you can lose, and our biggest learning comes from mistakes. So never berate yourself when you can’t achieve what you envision, practice will always make you better!
Thank you, Suze it was a pleasure to meet you closer and the way you work with food.
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.