Do you think the smartphone has helped make the overhead food shots become more popular? Are you a fan of these styles?
The smart phones help all the styles of food photography to become more popular! The best camera for food photography is that which you know how to use! Every dish tells a story and I can say I am a fan of this style because that style emphasize the chefs creativity, shows very well the art on the plate.
The edible section on your site has a great use of light. Do you use natural light or studio light? Which do you prefer?
I do use mostly natural light for food and I think that is the light that helping the photographers to emphasise the beauty, the structure and colours of the food. Definitely nowadaysfood must be photographed with natural light if possible.
When you go on shoots, how do you source locations, props and do you style the food yourself?
When I am going to a photo shoot on location, sometimes I look like I am moving my home bowls, plates, boxes of forks and spoons, napkins even tables. Yes, mostly I do the styling, but I am also happy when I have a professional stylist or chef to work together.
What are or were some of the challenges of moving from news photography to food/commercial?
As a young photographer, I did a lot of news photography. I even covered the war in Kosovo but to be honest from my youth period I prefer my ballet dancer portraits and stage reportages. My first London exhibition was reportage from Mount Athos, which I was so lucky to do. It was then that I met the remarkable commercial photographer, Jimmy Wormser. He was my best inspiration to start commercial and later food photography. Another reason to start working with food was that I like cooking and eating! I am greedy and I enjoy the food, it is not just something you need when you are hungry, it is a feeling.
Where do you get inspiration for your work? Are there other artists or photographers that inspire you?
I spend a lot time in front of my computer working on my pictures and when I rest I am again in front of my computer surfing the Internet. It is amazing, the whole world is in front of you. For me, it is the best source of inspiration. I am traveling every day and visiting different countries, meeting different people and cultures. Of course, there are some colleagues I can say they inspire me with their work, like Jean Cazals, Tim Clinch and Jon Edwards.
What do you like to cook at home? Any comfort foods that you turn to in particular?
My family is always my honest critiques of my cooking. We like more vegetables, fish and chicken, less butter and sugar and just a pinch of salt. “Oven baked penne with pesto and cheese” is one of our favourite recipes and for dessert some strained yogurt with nuts with a pinch of cinnamon over. I think now is the time to say that my first cookbook will be published in the middle of this year. My book will have all the recipes I’ve collected from friends and family memories and all the cooking, styling and photography I did by my self. All the food in the book have passed the home critiques!
Find more of Ilian’s work on his web site