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The Food Pornographers

Food is a way of life for them and over the last few years, photographers Sanjay Ramachandran and his cousin Saina Jayapal have been clicking the city’s best and the finest food. Svetlana Lasrado talks to them about this shared passion they have for ‘food photography’

Published: 26th May 2014 08:07 AM  |   Last Updated: 26th May 2014 08:11 AM   |  A+A-

food

BANGALORE:

Food is a way of life for them and over the last few years, photographers Sanjay Ramachandran and his cousinSaina Jayapal have been clicking the city’s best and the finest food. Svetlana Lasrado talks to them about this shared passion they have for ‘food photography’

 

What drew you to food photography?

I switched to food photography after spending eight years as a photographer in the fashion industry.

The turning point was when I started getting a lot of food assignments during my stint as a fashion photographer. I have always loved food and seeing that my work with food was appreciated well, I decided to explore this field.

Now, apart from being a photographer, I work as a food consultant and take care of visual branding for restaurants along with my business partner, Deep Biswas. I have also published over five cookbooks and five others are in  production.

How would you describe your style?

If it is a commercial shoot, I adapt my style according to what the client is looking for.

For my personal projects, I like to give my photographs a very candid feel. If you see, most of the pictures have a window-lighting effect.

 I take a lot of inspiration from my favourite painters  such as Rembrandt, Constable and Turner.

Are there any tricks to make the food look great?

Food shots need to be visually stimulating and appealing. While the way it is styled and presented matters, it should also be cooked in the right manner.

For instance, it is advisable to under-cook food slightly. Also, salads should not be seasoned. Otherwise they look wilted.

While  shooting ice-creams, always scoop them and keep them frozen before the shoot. You can also pass liquid Nitrogen through it or expose the ice-cream to dry ice.

What type of equipment do you shoot with?

I use a Canon 1DX and Canon 50D. For my lenses, I prefer Sigma 70-300 OS and Sigma 10-20 f 3.5 to Canon. I use as minimal lighting as possible.

What’s the most challenging part about food photography?

Making the food look appetising is very tricky. Most of the times, you need to get the texture and consistency of the food right. The best way is to keep it simple.

Your favourite places in Bangalore

I love going to Caperberry for shoots. The in-house chef, Abhijeet Saha is amazing with the food presentation. It is any food photographer’s dream.

A piece of advice you would offer an aspiring food photographer?

Practice often and start small. You do not need a high-end camera and lighting equipment. Just get your Single-Lens Reflex (SLR) camera and start practicing your shots.

Work on different angles and experiment with the lighting.

The pictures may not come out great the first few times but it’s ok. Also, read up and be creative. 

What drew you to food photography?

Food photography happened by accident two years ago. I used to work as a full-time Public Relations professional. But I was more interested in photography. So I teamed up with my cousin Sanjay and decided to quit my day job. I dabble in Public Relations as a freelancer and I handle some of the food and hospitality clients.

How would you describe your style?

I would say my photographs are simple and clean where I am able to show the texture of the food presented.

Are there any tricks to make the food look great?

If the food is styled well, that’s half the battle won. Look at the dish and ask yourself if it appeals to you visually? That usually works.

What type of equipment do you shoot with?

I shoot with a Canon 60D and Canon EF-S 18-135mm lens. As for the lights, I use standard photo pro RT 23. I have also amassed a large enough collection of bowls, plates and other crockery that I can use as props in my photographs.

What’s the most challenging part about food photography?

Though I love photography, it can be very challenging because it all depends on the food, the texture, the way it is styled, lighting and angle. Finding the right balance is the thing you have to master.

Your favourite places in Bangalore

I like visiting Fava. The food there is cooked and presented in a very artistic way and it is quite delectable too.

A piece of advice you would offer an aspiring food photographer?

If you love photography, don’t wait. Just get started. Find a teacher, a food stylist or an established photographer, assist them and learn the ropes.



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