Diana Popescu: Photographer of the week
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by Editor Yvette Depaepe
Diana Popescu is not only a skilful food photographer but also has a tremendous sense of aesthetics. Her photos are real masterpieces. She loves clear lines, geometric forms, colours and subjects that are clearly defined. Diana goes through the whole processing on her own – from choosing the right ingredients, cooking delicious recipes, photographing the final result and of course enjoying to share and eat the delicacies she prepares.
How has your history and life experiences affected your photography?
Why are you so drawn by Food Still Life Photography?
One day I gave my colleagues a self cooked sweet cake. One of my colleagues insisted to publish the recipe in a culinary magazine. To do that, I had to take a picture of it. It was an awful one: I used a chair as background and had to deal with the yellow light from my kitchen. But at least the styling was decent. The truth is that, before sending the recipe, I checked the magazine and saw the section dedicated to travels that I found really interesting. Later I discussed with the editor to let me write about some places I visited. Being a culinary magazine, I had to write about my travels related to food and every story had to be accompanied by two traditional recipes from that specific place (with photos of course). I began to study extensively the food culture of places I wanted to write about. I cooked and took pictures of what I prepared. This really thrilled me because because I realized that food not only can tell amazing stories, but it also made it possible to travel via “food” while being home ;-)
What generally is your relationship to your subject matter beyond being an observer?
What gear do you use (camera, lenses, bag)?
What software do you use to process your images?
Can you tell us something more about your work flow?
What is your most important advice to a beginner in Food Still Life Photography and how do you get started?
There are two significantly different situations. If the photographer shoots for commercial purposes and works with a team that manages parts of the process, such as the food preparation and styling, she/he will only have to manage the part related to photography.
But if the photographer does everything on her/his own, it definitely needs endurance and patience, in addition to be an inspiring cook, a creative food stylist and an enthusiastic photographer.
Moreover, it helps a lot to know everything about the ingredients and how to keep them fresh throughout the entire shooting process.
The most important however is to find your own way and to bring your own perspective into the images.
Who are your favourite photographers and more importantly, how has your appreciation of their work affected how you approach your own photography?
Is there any specific photo taken by another photographer that has inspired you a lot and why?
I'm also impressed by Greg Stroube's "Black, White, and Blue Foods" series. He managed to capture images that are quite particular for food photography by only using a limited colour palette. My favourite image from this series is .
Are there any specific directions that you would like to take your photography in the future or any specific goals that you wish to achieve?
Describe your favourite photograph taken by you and why it is special to you?
Last but not least, I am particularly thankful to the person who shaped part of this road with all his 'NO's. I hope he gets to know this from where he is now.
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