I am so excited about today’s Guest Blogger! Paul Lowe, author of the fab blog sweet paul, is a food and interior stylist in New York City. He is super creative and talented as well as a fellow chocoholic. I love his blog and am intrigued by his job…and he’s agreed to give us a sneak peek into his world!
Paul is originally from Norway and is doing some great work here in the States. He has several beautiful books, works with some amazing photographers and magazines, and even does cool things like style for Katie Lee Joel’s cookbook…and then hang out with her husband Billy during the shoot (yes, THAT Katie Lee & Billy)! Anyway, I wish Paul lived with me so he could style for my blog, but alas, I must enjoy his talent from afar. Without further ado…here’s Paul!
Guess the whole “making things pretty” gene runs in the family.
My grandmother was a great cook and my mother has always had very good taste when it comes to decorating. With this mix of genes running in my blood, it’s no wonder I became a food and prop stylist. I have been doing this for about 16 years now and am loving every minute of it.
I have always enjoyed being able to tell a story without having to use words. And I find that photography is the perfect media to do this with. I also think I have a different approach to my work than others in the same field. I do both the food and the props. Usually people do one or the other, not both. I really enjoy doing both. I like to be in control of the whole thing and love to mix food, interiors and craft, all in one story. I really hate putting food on an ugly plate!
I start by choosing a theme – it can be an ingredient, a color, a material. A while back I did a story for the Norwegian magazine Interiormagasinet. I wanted to make knitted tea cosys. But I can’t knit. So, I bought a white woolen sweater and made a lot of props with the sweater and a hot glue gun.
When I start on a story I decide on colors, props, etc. Then I go prophunting. New York is good for props as there are a lot of great prop rental places. You can find amazing things there. I pick out the props I want to use, then find surfaces and backgrounds.
I also usually make my own recipes. I love to go food shopping. Whole Foods is my favorite. They usually have everything I need. Farmers markets are also a great place to find stuff.
The morning of the shoot, I drag all my bags to the studio and start unpacking props and food. I always have an assistant to help me. He or she will prep all the food and I will put it together.
When I do the set up I always think about where the camera will be, what angle, etc. I don’t do too much ‘hokus pokus’ with the food, maybe just a little extra oil or a spritz of water.
We always eat the food for lunch. Sometimes that can be quite a spread! Afterwards we pack up the props, do the dishes and go home.
I’ll leave you with a few more images* from my portfolio.