Ironically, there's no recipe for angel food cake on Marcella "Marce" DiLonardo's blog, Hey Modest Marce. Every classic dish and inventive twist that she prepares and photographs seem effortlessly ethereal and pristine. Even the pork ribs take on meringue-like qualities.
That's because Marce is not four parts baker, one part blogger, but so many things in equal and generous measure - baker, chef, recipe developer, food stylist, writer, and of course, photographer. While her blog just turned one, she has been baking since an early age and taking photos for nearly as long. We asked Marce - who carries a leather Brixton bag - about her creative path and how she approaches her work. Our full Q&A is below.
ONA: How did you get into photography?
MD: I grew up in the early 90's and started shooting on an old, neon yellow 35mm camera my parents got for me as a gift. However, I didn't become serious about photography until starting my food blog. As an avid baker, I knew I wanted my blog to look professional and the photography to enhance my food and dishes. I'm primarily a self taught photographer and was taught some editing skills from my sister who graduated in photography and fine arts. Little did I know, my passion for food would lead to an even bigger passion for photography.
ONA: What camera do you shoot with? What is your “go to” lens of choice?
MD: I shoot with a Canon 5D Mark ii. My go to lens is my 50mm 1.4, I prefer using fixed lenses.
ONA: What sort of project drives your creativity? And what is your dream project?
MD: Any food-related photography project drives my creativity. I love taking process shots and showing how food is made. I often incorporate hands into the frame to showcase the time and effort that goes into the process of cooking and baking. Being a food photographer and blogger, I think people often forget that there is someone who has prepared the dish for the final shot and I like to showcase that. In addition to food photography my other passion is wildlife. My dream project would be to shoot forest life for a nature magazine.
ONA: What is the hardest thing about being a photographer?
MD: The need to constantly be creative and original. I want every shot to stick to my style of photography, but remain different and keep viewers interested. Luckily, I studied business and economics so that side of running a small business came naturally to me.
ONA: Describe your style of shooting.
MD: I really let the type of food I am styling that day dictate what the style of that shoot will be. If it is a rustic dessert, my look is dark & moody. If it is a delicate dessert, I opt for soft & grey tones. Overall, my aesthetic is very de-saturated with dark and cool tones. I love photographing movements: the cracking of an egg, piping of a cake, or my personal favorite: the pouring of coffee and cream.
ONA: In one sentence, what advice would you give to a photographer just starting out?
MD: Just keep shooting anything and everything. Your photography will improve more each day.
ONA: How did you hear about ONA?
MD: When I was on the hunt for a bag to fit my personal style. I love vintage style leathers and messenger bags. The Brixton was made for me.
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