Alex and Sonja are a photographer and writer/recipe developer couple who live in Indianapolis, Indiana; they believe in the power of real good food and are passionate about sustainability. They create the recipes together, do the styling together and then Alex takes the photographs of the food and Sonja does all of the writing.
Boy meets Girl
On their first day of college, they shared their first meal together. Although it was at a cheap Chinese buffet restaurant, it set off a lifetime of meals together! As a teenager, Alex already fell in love with photography and it has been his passion ever since he had his own little darkroom setup in his college apartment. Who knew things would have turned out the way it would way back then?
A Story of Love, Food and Photography
After they got married they found cooking to be a great hobby which they shared. They read lots of food blogs and books as well as participating in a few workshops on food styling and after Alex bought his first DSLR it seemed that combining their love of food and photography to be the obvious route to go. In 2010 they created A Couple Cooks, a collection of recipes and inspiration for healthy and sustainable living. “It has certainly been a learning process, food photography is not easy.”
Alex says that he often tries to recreate the styles of photographers he likes but adds his own personal twist on things. “Through trial and error I learnt a lot.”
Since they do almost everything together it was really cute to know that after the cooking, styling and shooting, they always dig into the food together once they got the shot. “It’s usually cold (or warm) by the time we get to it, but it’s our lunch!”
Au Natural Lighting
When it comes to the lighting I was pleasantly surprised to hear that he uses ALL NATURAL lighting. He says that it is frustrating when it is cloudy or rainy but that they’ve learned to work with it and that the results given by the sun’s natural warmth is simply magical for food photography. So, totally worth it. He goes on to add that, “Also, the seasonality of the sun matches the seasonality of the food” which I find to be a really creative way of looking at things.
A Minimalistic Look at Retouching
They do as minimal post processing as possible, using Adobe Lightroom for colour balancing and cropping and then moving on to Alienskin Exposure for a light film emulation effect. They’ve been all over the place trying to find their style but I think they’re doing something right with this minimalistic look and feel they’ve got going right now.
Some Advice for the Foodies
His main advice for foodies, eager to get into photographing food “and food photography isn’t easy” is to practice, practice, practice! Since we eat every day, he suggests that you start taking pictures of your food in different light and different backgrounds to see what works best for you. And when using a Smartphone, he suggests an app like Snapseed to do a little post-processing.
His dream food photography destination has to be Spain. “It offers so many great flavours, wines and cheese throughout the country that would be wonderful to try!”
We wish Alex and Sonja well with their future endeavors and hope our readers have learnt a thing or two about how to take titillating photographs of food. Go check out A Couple Cooks for delicious recipes as well as inspiring food photos: