Getting foodie again...

Our youngest fellow, Vin, has finally started school. It's been a bit of a busy time in the last months, although I can testify to the fact that I can't really recall the last occasion that I've felt things are slow. I now find myself with pockets of time that I can sometimes use to take pictures for my own enjoyment.

I've also been learning. One of the things about being a photographer is that you are often very alone in your work.  I've been disconnected from the photographic community for a really long time now, as there really wasn't much I could contribute when I was knee deep in kids. I remember a couple of years ago, going to a succession of exhibition openings for people I knew from my time as a photographic tutor, and as a fully fledged card-carrying member of the professional photog scene. Going to those things as a stay at home mum was really surprisingly intense and weird, and I felt like not only did I not have a whole lot to say about the work (being somewhat out of practise), but the people I knew from that old life really didn't know what to say to me. I was out of context. Having children gradually became what defined me, and I felt like a has-been, and a might-never-be-again. It was depressing.

As the kids have moved off to kindy, and now to school, I've had more opportunity to use my art brain again. I've been to galleries, read things about creativity, and started to really contemplate what will make me into a better photographer. I know I need to keep edging towards stronger portfolio work - technically cleaner, with a more absolute control over the light. I've been learning too - following food photography workshops by people like Andrew Scrivani and Penny de los Santos. I'm starting to work on using light sources other than window light. I'm also considering the purpose of the images I'm making. Are these for hanging on a wall? illustrating a cookbook? selling a product? I am planning and shooting now with purpose. Hopefully that'll start to become apparent in the pictures over the coming months.

Here are a small handful of images from the last little while. Again, these are 5-10 minute shoots, so I'm not dragging out the studio lights quite yet, although that's going to start happening soon. But, I think my vision is getting clearer.

The Food Project : Part 2

About a week ago I decided to take a little break from shooting the daily food pictures. I don't want to get into a rut with it, and felt like I needed to spend a bit of time on the real jobs I have and also to invest a bit more of my energy in our family life. So, a small hiatus. I will get back to it soon, and I'll start mixing it up shooting other things too - I have a zillion ideas to play with. Here's a recap from instagram of some of the images made in February for this project.

One interesting thing first - sort of indicative of how this project will evolve - is that I've started 'theming' the image making. Most recently I shot a series of 7 images of things with banana as a key ingredient (or indeed as the only item in the shot). This was a response to a comment from a friend who wanted me to photograph something healthy and boring like a banana or a piece of bread, so that she didn't have to rush out and get cake as soon as she saw my daily shots. But, it got me thinking, even sparked some inspiration, that I could play with a single ingredient over a succession of days, or indeed, with a prop, or a process. So, Banana Week was begun. You'll see the final 7 images in this group are from that week. I have already thought I should really do lemon (or maybe citrus) week, tomato week, chocolate week etc etc. I also think I'll play with shooting the stages of creating a food - such as making tomato sauce, or bread, or casserole or similar, so that I'm not just jacking up the final product in an artificial layup. Anyway, plenty to think about. And that's without my burning desire to go down the food as art route. There's a whole other world to explore when I think about food and memory. Not so much intended for commercial use, but perhaps a worthy side project to begin.

I do want to say thank you to all of the fine folk who have made such lovely comments to me about the food images. Without feedback, I wouldn't have any idea of whether I was on the right path. I still have high days and low ones, photographically, but your enthusiasm for my images warms me and urges me to work harder. So, thank you.