“We love being creative in the kitchen”

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An interview with food bloggers and photography enthusiasts Jörg and Nadine from “eat this!”

“We love being creative in the kitchen”

Jörg Mayer and Nadine Horn run the blog “eat this!” together – combining vegan cookery with creative photography. Before enjoying their culinary creations, the pair first take pictures of them using a Tamron lens. Just a short time later, their fans can then read online how the recipe was put together. As graphic designers, Jörg and Nadine both know what makes a great food photo. In our interview they reveal the secrets of how they carry out their work and give some tips on how best to take photographs of food you have prepared yourself – while still being able to enjoy it straight afterwards while its still hot.

How did you get involved in photography?

We have both always been interested in photography. Since we went online with our vegan blog in 2011, we have become more and more intensely involved with it and are always trying to improve. Aside from photographing food for the blog, we find photography the best medium for capturing memories and special moments in everyday life.

What preparations do you make for a food photo shoot?

We always have our equipment and photography apparatus close at hand. Therefore, there is not much to prepare. We already decide while we are cooking what kind of plate or other crockery would best suit this dish, as well as what sort of decoration to use. One of us prepares the set for the photo shoot while the other is cooking. This means we are ready to start immediately as soon as the dish is finished and we still have a small chance of eating the food while its hot ;-)

So what happens during the actual process of taking the photos?

As everything should ideally already be prepared, we can get started right away. We put the camera on the stand, turn the notebook on and off we go. After taking the photos using the stand, we usually follow this up with several free-hand shots so that we have a few different perspectives to select from later. We have the great advantage of having lots of natural light available, which on the other hand can sometimes lead to problems depending on the position of the sun. If this is the case, we have to juggle several diffusers until the light is just right. Also, not all of the dishes could be considered supermodels. With these kinds of recipes, such as stews for example, a lot of creativity can be required.

Where do you get the inspiration for your new recipe ideas?

We love being creative in the kitchen. The inspiration comes from many sources: it could be a newly discovered spice, seasonal vegetables at the market or a classic dish that we want to “veganise”.

What equipment do you use?

We currently work with a Canon EOS 60D, the Tamron SP AF 17-50 mm 2.8 Di II VC and a Manfrotto 055XPRO3 stand. In addition, we also use a lot of decorative material and of course different diffusers and reflectors. And, even while we are still shooting, we already start processing the pictures using Adobe Photoshop Lightroom on the Mac. 

What is it that makes the Tamron lens special for you?

The Tamron 17-50 mm is unbeatable in terms of its value for money. It is hard to find another lens that is so well equipped – especially in this price category. There were also the totally positive reviews which we read while researching before we made our purchase. And now that we have even used this zoom lens to take some photos for our cookery book “Vegan Kann Jeder!” (“Everyone can do vegan!”), we can only agree whole-heartedly with these reviews. It is not only the workmanship and handling but also the quality of the pictures that has absolutely convinced us about this lens.

Which Tamron features stand you in good stead for your work?

We really like taking pictures with a low ISO sensitivity and so for these kinds of photos, which we take free-hand, it is the integrated image stabiliser that is a real advantage for us. It makes it possible to shoot sharply focussed pictures even at longer exposure times.

What projects do you have lined up next?

We are already planning a couple of new things and surprises for eat-this.org. So stay tuned! :-)

What tips do you have for taking successful food photos?

Use natural light and a stand. Make sure you have good apparatus, beautiful decoration and lots of fun and patience.

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