Workshop: The Pineapple Chef
A yummi job
Nice to meet you Elise. Who are you?
My name is Elise and I have been a stylist and food photographer for 6 years now. I’m also a visual merchandiser so I am passionate about images and visual details.
I started my blog because of food intolerances as I wanted to share my knowledge and since then, never stopped photographing my dishes, the ingredients and everything linked to a culinary experience.
I am a huge fan of our national savoir-faire, authentic, seasonal and high-quality products.
So you have 2 jobs?
Yes, you can say that. I’m still a visual merchandiser for luxury maisons and I keep on running after time to fulfill those two lives. I’m in charge of product scenography in boutiques and windows, of window concepts as well as in-store scent, plants and flowers, music…
The link with food styling and photography is quite obvious: I use the same rules of display and color presentation on a large scale (for ready to wear and leather goods) and adapt those to a smaller scale.
What is the most photogenic food?
Aka the Pineapplechef
“Right now, I am focusing all my energy on culinary art.”
Red berries are incredibly easy to shoot. Because of their textures, colors and small sizes.
Macarons are also great thanks to their colors and geometrical shapes.
A PICTURE LIKE A PAINTING ``CLAIR-OBSCUR``
Can you tell us how you go about a photoshoot?
Preparation is key. I always start from a brief whether I work with a client or on a project with other photographers.
I search for inspiration around that brief then I draw (ugly) sketches on a notebook to have my guideline.
As I have been this visual merchandising job for more than 15 years now, I quickly have the image of the final rendering in my head. I can of course change my mind during the shooting and come up with a better idea (sometimes, so great pictures happen by accident!), but the idea of the shoot is already clear in my head.
Then, I look for great props like the proper background, plates etc…which suit my idea and off I go !
You make food look like art: how do you see it?
The more I shoot, the more I am in awe with the ingredients beauty. Colors and textures. More than a nice picture or a good recipe, I want to tell a story and the palette of emotions that food can bring.
I want to talk about traditions, forgotten ingredients and traditions, food stories from far away like stories from my country where we have such a precious and unrivaled savoir faire.
And for a while now, I have been quite obsessed with flowers and greenery which goes so well with food.
Where does inspiration come from?
Everything can serve as an inspiration. Instagram, Pinterest but also a great exhibition or a book or even a market visit. One magnificent ingredient can be the starting point of everything.
A good picture to me is the one which ‘tells a story’, whether it was a completely staged or ‘in the moment’.
For a portrait (like the ones I shoot with the pastry chefs for example), a successful pic is when you can see his/ her goodness, his/her craziness… his/her soul!
How different is it to shoot paper and ribbons from food?
To shoot wrapping paper is no different: the subject changes but the mix of textures, sizes, objet set up and focus, the light, the attention to details are the same.
The challenge was to make it even more beautiful than it was and not have the decor be too overwhelming.
The product needs to be the ‘hero’, the decor is here to emphasize it.
THE PROJECT: THE 4 SEASONS
Elise has agreed to a collaboration with us, at Impression Originale, to shoot her own interpretation of the 4 seasons with our gift wraps.
A balance diet is at the center of your work. So, surprise us, what is on the menu tonight?
A simple, healthy, authentic and seasonal cuisine. Less processed food.
Use our good common sense by buying simple products to make a good soup instead of buying one (cheaper too). I work non-stop and I am a mummy too with dinners to prepare and yet I manage to do ok: all you need is some organization.
Your favorite indulgence?
‘Leccese’ coffee that I’ve discovered this summer in Puglia in Italy : coffee served with an almond syrup, ice cubes and some lemon zest.
Your favorite food - ever?
The question is too hard, I love so many things like risotto, pasta, parmigiano, crackers, cantaloupe, apricots, cherries, granola…
Make a wish
Save the bees ! Whithout them, we won’t be here for long.