For the next installment of our Food Blogger Spotlight, we’ve got a very talented food photographer whose work has appeared in various books, magazines and websites, including Gourmet.com, Epicurious.com and Seattle Magazine. I’m talking about Lara Ferroni, and if you’re at all interested in food, you’ve seen her work.
Lara actually has several blogs (more than me, even!), though you’re probably most familiar with her site Still Life With…. She also has a gorgeous cooking blog at Cook and Eat as well as her photography portfolio at Plates and Packs. I highly recommend checking out her various homes on the web – it seems that everything she touches is visually gorgeous.
The reason I love Lara’s work is that she has a certain quality of light in her photos, and it gives them a certain quality of life. It’s certainly something I have a tough time doing in my own photography, so it’s especially impressive to learn that she’s completely self-taught as a photographer. See for yourself – the light in her work really speaks for itself:
Here’s Lara, answering a few short questions about her cooking, blogging and photographic life.
We all have staples that we couldn’t live without. What three ingredients do you *always* have in your kitchen and why? I’m not talking snacks like chips and hummus, but rather ingredients you use all the time in your cooking.
It’s hard to narrow it down to three… of course I have baking staples at all times, things like flour, baking powder, sugar. Those are pretty boring though. I also have a fairly large spice collection that I keep well stocked. I think my favorite of those is Piment d’Espelette which is a fine, dried chile powder. I also really like cooking with smoked salt… I usually have a couple of varieties of varying intensity. Also, a good, fruity olive oil… one that is great on salads, drizzled over grilled meat, or even usable in sweet dishes like tea cakes or ice cream.
Imagine you moved to the smallest apartment possible – a shoebox, really – and you only had room for a single cookbook. Of all your cookbooks, which one would you keep? Why do you love it so?
Oh, that would really kill me. I don’t suppose I can just say my computer can I? When it comes down to it, it gives me the greatest range of recipes and it’s searchable. But, I do love my printed cookbooks… so it would probably be the Marie Claire Seasonal Kitchen. It is packed with beautiful photos, recipes that I would want to cook, and it’s big enough that it could be used as a step stool or a weapon in dire need.
Humans are visual creatures, and great images are a huge part of a blog’s draw. What makes your personal photographic style uniquely yours? What elements do you think set your images apart from other pro food photographers?
I’d love someone to answer that for me! People say that my photos have a certain warmth to them. I know that my styling tends to be rather simple with the food as the focus. I don’t know if that really sets me apart from other photographers though… a lot of modern photographers do the same. I think it’s hard to describe with words how my photos are different. It may be my color or prop choices or lighting choices. Or a particular angle that I gravitate toward. It’s a fair question, but I’m afraid that I’m to close to my own work to quite be able to put my finger on it.
Blogs have the potential to be so many things, from personal journals to outrageous adventure reports. What is the most important thing you put into your blog, and what is the most important thing you get out of it?
My blog has always been a place for me to help me remember. I started it long ago as a place to talk about some of my favorite restaurants, but it soon became a place to talk about my favorite recipes. Or, recipes that I was just trying. I have a terrible memory when it comes to things like that. And, I don’t tend to cook the same thing more than once or twice. So the blog has become my backup memory so I always know what I’ve done. Over time though, it also became a great way for me to practice writing and photography and to develop those skills and get feedback (as well as work) from people. Although I haven’t had much time to blog lately, it still is a great way for people to find me for work.
Thanks for the insight, Lara. It’s been great having you!
Here are a few of my favorite posts from Still Life With…: