Kathryn Vincent’s Beautiful Food Photo Compositions

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All images by Kathryn Vincent. Used with permission.

Photographer Katherine Vincent is a law graduate that lives in Sydney, Australia. Her love of food, tea, travel and cookbooks is reflected in her blog, the Kulimary Adventures of Kath. There she shares recipes but also does an incredible job sharing her food photography. Katherine puts a lot of work into her images with careful compositions, styling and wants to earn a living one day taking photos.

We talked to Katherine about her inspiration, compositions, and building a blog.

Phoblographer: Talk to us about how you got into photography.

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Katherine: I got in to photography relatively recently. I started my blog in January last year, and originally just focused on recipes. After a few months I realised photography would be a great way to improve my blog, and better document the recipes I was making. I enrolled in a few food photography and styling workshops during the latter half of last year, and got myself a better camera. Whilst I felt quite daunted by learning how to use a camera with manual settings, I immediately felt like I had found something I really enjoyed and couldn’t believe I hadn’t gotten into photography sooner!

Phoblographer: What attracts you to food and the lifestyle approach that you shoot?

Katherine: Food is where everything starts and ends for me. My blog has always been about food, even before I got into photography. Before I started my blog, food and cooking was always a dominant factor in my life and something I loved doing. For me, food is the only logical thing to shoot, as thinking about recipes and new things to try almost totally consumes my thoughts!

Phoblographer: What gear do you use?

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Katherine: I have an Olympus EM-10 with a 40-150mm lens, and a 14-42mm lens. I use the 40-150mm lens all the time, and very rarely use the 14-42mm lens. I use Lightroom to edit all my photos. And that’s pretty much all I use! Everything else I use are either props, the food itself or backgrounds.

Phoblographer: Your compositions are very interesting based on both placement of objects and colors. Where do you draw inspiration from for the scenes that you create?

Katherine: Usually I choose what recipe I want to make, then bring the photography and styling together based on that. So the way I style the shot will be based on how the food would be eaten, or what setting you might see it served in. Sometimes I’m inspired by a new prop or background, that I want to use just because it’s new! I gain general photography and styling inspiration from other blogs and photographers such as Luisa Brimble, Beth Kirby (Local Milk), Sophie Hansen (Local Is Lovely), Sneh Roy (Cook Republic) and Linda Lomelino (Call Me Cupcake), as well as magazines such as Australian Gourmet Traveller and ABC Delicious Magazine. I use Pinterest to organise and source images that inspire me as well, though I usually end up pinning images from the same people all the time!

Phoblographer: What do you feel makes for a great food image and what methods do you use to draw someone in to feel hunger when looking at your images?

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Katherine: I think a great food image is one which not only makes you want to eat that dish or make that recipe, but that invites you into the whole scene in which the food is set in. I’ve never really thought of making people feel hunger by looking at my images! Though I guess making them want to eat the food or make the recipe are the same thing! I think about how the scene should be set when photographing food, and use props and backgrounds to complement the food and build the scene I want to create.

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Phoblographer: Talk to us about your lighting. It looks very natural.

Katherine: It is 100% natural lighting! I try to make the most of the sun at varying times during the day, and adjust where I set up my shoot, and what settings I use accordingly. Living in Australia means I am never short of sunlight so I make the most of it!

Phoblographer: You have this interesting method of combining bits and pieces of subjects and objects into an image to make a whole. How do you feel this works to create a more effective story in your blog posts?

Katherine: I think I’m trying to put the food in some kind of context, by photographing it alongside other bits and pieces. It also gives me a bit of a chance to get creative, test out new things and see what works and what doesn’t. Most of the time I have an idea of what I want a shoot to look like, and what props I want to use. After that I don’t analyse it too much. I just go with it and see how it turns out behind the lens! Once I’m ready to choose which images will go in my blog post, I’ll try choose ones that flow when viewed consecutively, or that mirror the work flow or method of the recipe. I think it’s more aesthetically appealing for the reader to see a set of images that link together and create some kind of story, rather than just a few images of the food on it’s own.

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