It helps me a lot that I understand what characteristics the food I photograph should have in order for it to be both tasty and photogenic at the same time. Attention to detail is very important both in photography and in the kitchen.
We are very happy to announce a new subject that our Culinary and Pastry students will take during the program – Food Styling and Smartphone Photography. And what better way to introduce the new subject then with an interview with the lecturer.
Who is the lecturer?
That's the best part! The lecturer, Vedrana Barišić Burazin, is an alumna of Kul IN's Professional Pastry and Confections program. After the program, she worked in several five-star hotels, pastry shops and ran her own small business. Due to the contemporary requirements of the pastry chef profession, she decided to develop photography skills as well. Since then, she has completed numerous international photography courses, including the famous Foodtography School by Sarah Crawford. Today she is known for her dark and moody, yet minimalist photos. By applying her new craft daily, her photos became better and better, so her audience is largely made up of food bloggers who want to improve their photography and cake-making skills. Vedrana offers her clients photography and food styling services, recipe development and she also writes articles for websites and publications. Today, Vedrana lives in Valencia and most often we can find her working in her studio on the development of new recipes and continuous improvement in food photography.
We managed to bring her back to Sisak for a couple of days so that Kul IN students could learn the rules, tips and tricks of styling and photographing food with smart phones.
We cannot wait!
Check out the full interview below.
Kul IN: Tell us a little about yourself?
- Ever since I can remember, I've been told that I'm picky when it comes to food and that I'm creative. Both are true. I love food and it is not difficult for me to spend hours in the kitchen testing new ideas and creating new dishes, especially desserts. Food photography followed as a logical next step in my professional development. After finishing Kul IN's Professional Pastry and Confections program, I worked in restaurants, 5-star hotels and pastry shops. Due to my husband's career, we moved to Ireland, where I soon realized that I had developed an intolerance to gluten. Working in hospitality was no longer an option for me due to health reasons, so I turned to food photography and the development of gluten-free desserts. It was a challenging transition that lasted a couple of years and I had a hard time accepting the new circumstances, but the more I learned and became better at making gluten-free desserts and photography, the more pronounced my desire for a career change became. After 4 years in Dublin, we decided to move to Spain because we missed the sunny weather and Mediterranean cuisine. I currently live and work in Valencia and I am looking forward to this collaboration with Kul IN because I love to transfer knowledge and I deeply believe that we open many doors for ourselves with our desire to learn and progress.
Kul IN: How did your food photography story start?
- I enrolled in my first photography education in 2015 with prof. Pero Dragičević in Split Photo Club. I didn't have a DSLR camera at the time, so I borrowed it from time to time when I needed to do a task. My photos got a little better, but not as much as I wanted because I didn't have much time to practice with my job in the pastry shop. It wasn't until 2017 when we moved to Ireland and I bought a camera and really started practicing regularly that I noticed progress. So in 2019, I set myself a challenge to photograph something, anything, every day. It was important for me to build that habit. Every day I watched at least one video on YouTube and then tried to apply what I saw. After that, I started investing more seriously in photography education and in equipment. Once I realized that I could learn much more in a few weeks by enrolling in an education program than in a few months of independent research, I continued to learn in that way. Currently, I have behind me several excellent online educations from which I learned how to set the scene quickly, with ease and understanding to get the results I want.
Kul IN: If someone wants to do food photography - what should they do first?
- Educattion is the key! Either through paid online programs or free quality YouTube videos. In the first case, the person will receive all the necessary information and applicable knowledge in order to be able to start creating better quality photos in the shortest time possible. The support of mentors and the community that learns at the same pace is often also included. In the case of free educations, you need to be dedicated, persistent in finding quality information and set aside a lot of time. I've tried both and I'm always in favor of enrolling in an education program. Progress is immeasurably faster. But nothing, absolutely nothing is achieved without practice. Even the most expensive education with the most famous mentors will not yield results if a person does not practice continuously.
Kul IN: How does the fact that you are also a pastry chef help you in your new career?
- It helps me a lot that I understand what characteristics the food I photograph should have in order for it to be both tasty and photogenic at the same time. Attention to detail is very important both in photography and in the kitchen. You can see everything in the photos, and it is much easier to make a good cake in the beginning than to struggle later when processing the photo. My fellow food photographers often tell me that it is precisely this part of not knowing how to make desserts that causes them the most problems, because when preparing food for photography they do not get the desired results, which ultimately results in additional work and unnecessary spending of time, energy and money.
Kul IN: Which tool or app you can't live without on a daily basis?
- Definitely a smartphone. It serves as my office away from the office. And much more than that actually. I very often use it as a camera and a notebook to write down ideas for new recipes and scenes for photo shoots. Photo processing applications and training applications are also great, and I also have access to online platforms for various educational pursuits.
Kul IN: What do you want to convey with photos, which emotions do you wish to excite?
- I live a very peaceful life and I believe that this is reflected in the photos I create. I like harmony, peace and elegance, without superfluous details. What served me the most in life was relying on myself and developing inner strength, and this is what I try to convey through my photos. You move, decide to leave everything you know, and come to another country whose language and culture are unfamiliar, you learn to see your strength sooner or later. You get rid of old patterns of thinking and habits that do not serve you, by getting rid of unnecessary things. And so in the end only the core remains. There are only a few details that need to be included in order to have a complete picture and a fulfilling life.
Kul IN: Minimalism or maximalism?
- I have always admired artists who are able to convey a powerful story with very few elements, be it through literature or through photography. In general, I cherish minimalism in my life, and this can be seen in my photos. I often tried to make scenes with a lot of elements, but I always ended up removing everything that is not necessary, and that minimalism always prevails.