A Talk with Food Photographer – Marta Szymanek

As our readers can very well tell that we admire photography and photographers. WeekendTrivia has always tried to bring forth for you all very talented photographers from all over the world and this continues to be our constant search and refrain.

The photographer we are talking about today hails from Poland. Marta Szymanek and came to our notice through her excellent work on Food Photography through her Instagram Page. As you might very well know that recently, we had interviewed several food bloggers on our page, we thought that this would be the perfect time to share our conversations with her. Today we share a small insight into her work and life and let you all know what a wonderful photographer and person she is.

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Follow her on Instagram – with.a.grain.of.salt

Check out her portfolio – http://martaszymanek.prv.pl/

P.S. All the pictures and videos are owned by ©Marta Szymanek and reproduction in any form, without prior permission, is prohibited

Q: Would you kindly introduce yourself to our reader? Along with the genre of your photography and on which project are you working currently?

A:  I’m Marta Szymanek, I’m a professional video editor and director from Warsaw, Poland. About a year ago I started my journey with food photography that quickly became my passion. I always loved taking photos, I worked as a portrait photographer in a casting studio here in Warsaw, but food photography was something that I’m really into right now.  I’m posting all my work on my Instagram @with.a.grain.of.salt

The Beautiful Marta Szymanek

Q: What attracts you to your genre? Whose work has influenced you most?

A: I always loved taking photos, especially fashion and portraits, but I was looking for a form of expression that would be more personal  – photos that I can easily produce in my home, on my own, without huge preparations. My first photoshoot was literally me taking and arranging 4 cups of coffee, that I thought that would look cool together. I also love cooking, so I thought that I will combine my two passions. 

Q: Is it important to have any professional training to be a photographer? Did you have any at the time you set of your journey? 

A: I graduated from Academy of Photography in Warsaw, and Academy of Film and Television, but I truly believe that you can be a successful self-taught photographer because hard work is key.

Q: What do you consider your greatest achievement?

A:  The moments when my friends ask me after seeing my posts, if they can drop by and eat the photoshoot leftovers.  

Q: When you go in one of your photo-shoot which one is your favorite lens and why do you prefer it?

A: I always use canon 50mm 1.8, somehow it always works perfectly.

Behind the Scenes

Q: How do you as a photographer make sure that the subject you want to shoot looks the way you want it to? 

A:  I always make sure that my set is eye-pleasing before I grab my camera. I sometimes spend a lot of time rearranging the set by moving my photo props by a few centimeters before I hit the shutter button.

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Q: Can you explain to the budding photographer what makes the good picture stand out from the average?

A: I wish I know a simple recipe to that! Everything is a matter of personal taste, so a good picture to you may be an average to someone else, and this is a beauty of photography because I believe there is no right or wrong. I think the more thought you put into your work, and you know what you want to tell through your photos, the more likely you going to stand out from the crowd.

Q: How important is to have a proper backdrop in food photography and how do u find them??

A: It can be very important, or not important at all, depending on your idea. In my case, I decided that my background would be the same for most of my pictures, so it would create a series. I’m actually shooting on my grandma’s old sewing machine, that has an amazing old-wooden top, and I use a piece of my friend’s old countertop (that he wanted to throw away) as a backdrop. Anything, that has potential, can be your photo prop.    

Q: When you get an idea in your head for a photo, how do you go about getting that shot?

A:  I think, I go with the flow and let my intuition be my guide. I try to have some options, while I’m shooting, so I like to have different photo props on hand if I want to completely rearrange the set. 

Q: Please share your experience with different brands/restaurants that you have worked with

A:  I haven’t had a chance to work with any brands yet.

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Q: How important is it to have a proper color of the food in food photography? What is the best possible way to avoid any shadow?

A:  Like in any other types of photos lighting is the key, but also when I’m preparing my sets I like to keep in mind the colours and make sure that my entire set has one or two dominant colours, so it’s easier to concentrate on the main character in my story.

Q: Which post processing software you use for your pictures?

A: Adobe Photoshop

Q: Many of the photographers ask us where they find out about the salon news or exhibition news. Can you please give them some idea?

A:  I thinks it’s different for each city, here in Warsaw I like to keep track on exhibitions in all of the main galleries and the Museum of Contemporary Art.

Q: Name the last photography book/journal that you read.

A: I don’t really read photography books that often, but I find a lot of inspiration in movies, so I guess that’s my own way.

Q: Nowadays almost everyone has access to devices with which it is possible to take pictures. What do you think is the difference between a professional photographer and any other amateur photographer? 

A: Professional photographer is choosing photography as his/hers source of income, while for amateurs it’s usually a hobby, but I believe it doesn’t impact quality of their pictures.   

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Q: Any quick message for our blog?! Thanks for your time!  

A: Thank you so much for this interview, Best wishes to team Weekend Trivia!

Thank you, Marta for taking out time to talk to us, and having such a wonderful and heart-to-heart conversation. We look forward to your continuously bringing more deliciousness to our feed! Happy Holidays!!

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