Friday, August 29, 2014

Getting to know Melea Schneider - Food Photographer Extraordinaire!

Recently we decided that we needed some professional photos taken of our granola. I love taking photos! The iPhone does wonders for my amateur skill set and thanks to all of the amazing apps out there, I can make my photos looking pretty good - but not that good. We needed that WOW factor. We needed someone who knew what they were doing and could truly make our granola look amazing! It was by fate that we met Melea Schneider -- I'm sure of it! A beautiful soul with creativity and talent running through her blood, this lady is awesome!!

I am beyond happy with what she created and we could not have asked for a better person to work with. She exudes joy and positivity and is a breath of fresh air. Through working together, she has become a great friend! So I am tickled pink to let you get to know her a little more this morning. I am also thrilled to share with you some of the amazing photos she took - they're sprinkled all throughout, so enjoy!

You've worked in the school system for several years now. What made you decide to change careers and pursue food photography?

I have worked in the school system for Guilford County as a school social worker for the past 6 years.  I have been doing photography as a hobby for the last 6 years as well and I began to grow more and more passionate about photography.  I began with abstract photography, selling a few photos here and there at coffee shops and an art gallery when I first started.  I then proceeded (approximately 3 years ago) to get into photographing children, families, and couples.  However, my mind always pulls me back to more abstract work and I began photographing food in my kitchen one day, two years ago.  My interest in food photography grew from there and now... here I am... enrolled in Commercial Photography with my eye on the FOOD arena! :) 

You just started photography school last week, but you already take such amazing photos! How did you learn to photograph food so beautifully?

Thank you... I have simply spent many hours playing around with my camera in my own kitchen.  Light, color , and eye appeal (make it look yummy!) is everything when it comes to food photography. I enjoy spending time in my own home practicing with those 3 areas and I hope that photography school improves my skills dramatically! :)

You could photograph everything from weddings to babies, but you want to specialize in food. Where does your love of food come from? 

I believe my love for food comes from my mother.  Ever since I was a little girl, she has taught me that COLOR in food is everything.  Color usually equates to health and also beautiful to look at and enjoy while eating.  I have never liked to cook or bake very much, but I LOVE making food look pretty and appetizing.   

What's your favorite food to photograph?

My favorite food to photograph are cupcakes and cakes.  For some reason, they just make me happy and they are simply FUN to photograph!

Food photography is really hard work. Even with Instagram and dozens of photo-editing apps, my photos never seem to look "professional"! Any tips for us amateur food photographers with our camera phones on the ready? 

The only piece of advice I would offer is to remember your lighting (because apps are not always miracle workers), remember the color arrangement of the food being photographed, remember your background (What's behind, beside, or in front of my food that may not look very appealing?), and remember to make it look READY TO EAT! :)

Just for fun, what are the top 3 foods on your food bucket list (the 3 foods you want to try before you die!)? 

That is a great question! I have never thought about a food bucket list!  Even though I have tried some of these foods, I haven't tried them in these locations so here it goes...
1. I want to visit Italy someday and try some fresh baked bread with a bowl of pasta in a random, not-so-popular Italian village. 
2.  I want to try goat cheese in the countryside of France someday. 
3.  I want to try a scone with a hot cup of tea in England someday.  

Where can people go to find more of your work or to get in contact with you?

People can view samples of my work at Defy the Eye Photography or they can email me directly at :)  I also have a Facebook page listed as " Defytheeye Photography by Melea Schneider"  :) 

If you're in need of a professional photographer or are just looking for some beautiful inspiration, make sure to follow along with Melea: Website | Facebook

xoxo Lauren

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