Sunday, January 31, 2010

Insider chat with ... Brett Stevens, food photographer

For all the voyeurs out there, this is the first of what will be a series of chats with food industry insiders.
Brett Stevens in action

Brett is one of Australia’s most talented food photographers and I have worked with him many times at The Australian Women’s Weekly and absolutely love his work. He also was the photographer for my award winning book Balance. Matching Food and Wine. What Works and Why.

He is based in Sydney and his pics have appeared in many top local and international mags: The Australian Women’s Weekly, Delicious, Waitrose Food Illustrated, Marks and Spencer, Martha Stewart Living, Country Style, Sainsburys and Vogue Entertaining + Travel. Brett has also shot and contributed to around 40 cookbooks, including my book Balance, Fired up, Snowflakes and Schnapps, Murdoch’s Indulgence series, Valli Little’s Faking it and Quick Smart Cook, Donna Hay Seasons, Gourmet Traveller Salads and many more.

Briefly describe a typical day: A shoot will generally start with a meeting with the Stylist and Food Prep about the brief from the Client and how we are going to interpret the required shotlist into a story. We would shoot each scenario with our particular style and build the shots into a storyboard which conveys the feel and mood of the shoot ie: Beach Summer, Winter log cabin etc... once we have completed the shotlist, everyone packs up their props, kitchen utensils and camera equipment, books couriers for returns of rental items and then post production copmmences on the days shots. This usually takes a couple of hours depending on the quantity of shots, these are then sent to the Client - job done!

Tell me something that is not generally known about your industry: That we do not use hairspray on the food we shoot, and, yes we do get to 'sample' most things we photograph.

The best and worst things about your job are: The food and the food.

What did you eat today: Fillet Mignon with Garlic Butter, Warm Spinach and Bacon Salad and Crispy Skin Trout, oh and toast with strawberry jam!

What do you never eat: Rhubarb

What is your signature dish: Slow cooked Moroccan Lamb Shoulder

What are your ten favourite ingredients: Red meat, garlic, salt, olive oil, lemon juice and rosemary. [Only six … not interested in four more? Can’t believe wine isn’t in there Brett – LM]

If the world ends tomorrow, what will you be eating and drinking today: French Champagne and freshly shucked oysters!

Thanks Brett.

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