Cameras dine first
Article from the Sun daily by Peony Chin (posted on 3 May 2016)
OF late, it's a norm to see people at hipster cafés whipping out their phones to capture a picture of their latte art, standing to take a "flatlay" of the food on the table, or shifting their meals and drinks to a more Instagram-worthy portion of the cafe. Some go the extra mile, standing on chairs for that perfect aerial view, or place the food on the floor for a better capture.
Eunice Lim, however, does most of it for a living. A food stylist and photographer, the 22-year-old started out as a food blogger, where she honed her food photography skills and cultivated her love for food. That's not her only source of income though, Lim owns Taiyakie House in SS15, and manages social media for several businesses.
How did you discover photography?
I had a pretty traditional upbringing; I was hardly out of the house so I was always in front of the computer. I'd scroll through Pinterest and Flickr where I saw a lot of amazing works which got me so inspired! Then, I got my first camera in 2013.
When you started out, what were you taking pictures of?
It was mostly food. I started out as a food blogger when I was 17 and in college. I hung out regularly with some food bloggers and started going for food reviews. I read a lot of food blogs from abroad, especially Australia. Their photography style and ours are very different. I learned mostly from there.
Where did you pick up food styling?
This is difficult to answer. I went through a lot of trial and error. I kept practising, with lighting especially. Everything was self-taught, plus I watched a lot of YouTube videos, read a lot from skilled chefs and websites. I hung out with good photographers, so I'd ask them when I have questions.
Do you think your signature style would evolve?
Definitely. Most people stick to one style comfortably, but I don't want to restrict myself. I'll just play around with anything and everything; maybe it will branch out to something new. I don't like following people – I like to be a trendsetter.
How did you end up with a F&B business?
I wanted to assure my parents that I have a stable income outside of food photography. I wanted to venture into business because I'm still young and I have room for mistakes. There is plenty of mistakes to make, but you shouldn't be afraid to make them. If you fail, you'll do better next time.
What do you think of people standing on chairs or placing food on the floor to get the perfect Instagram shot?
I detest that. I'm from a food science background. Food should not be placed on the floor; there's so much bacteria and dust. As for standing on the chair, you're actually distracting other customers in the restaurant. I'd never do that. At most, I'll just stand up and place my phone up high – if it doesn't turn out well, I don't post it on social media.
In your personal time, do you take pictures of your food when you dine out?
I used to. I was very obsessed and that was how I learned. Gradually, I felt it was unnecessary. When the food arrives, I just eat. My job is to take photos of food, so when I dine out with friends or family, I won't do that.
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