If you’re a frequent Pinterest user I am almost certainly sure that you’ve already come across one of Nadine Greeff’s food photos at some point.
I admire her photography for a long time. Her photos aren’t full of different props or over-decorated bakeries, which can be seen in other food photographers’ work.
The beauty of her pictures lies in a very clever composition and an excellent use of natural light. Dark mood, high contrast, deep shadows, bright colors.
Such a technique can be called the chiaroscuro style. Although it’s often associated with oil paintings of religious figures or French aristocrats, she brings the dramatic play of light and shadow to savory dishes and fresh produce.
“The chiaroscuro style uses the contrast of light and dark to guide the viewer’s eye to a specific area of the image,” she says. “Certain elements like an ingredient, wine glass or a spoon are occasionally hidden in the shadows adding a bit of mystery.”
The former floral designer explains that the trick is to manipulate what she calls “good indirect natural light,” since dimmed-down artificial bulbs have the opposite effect of making food look dull, rather than dramatic.
But that’s not the only style of shooting she’s capable of. Nadine likes to inspire herself with the current weather in Cape Town, where she lives. I included the photo collages which she posts on her social media very often.
There is definitely a lot to learn from her style!