How Taking Great Food Photos Made Him Good Looking Food Blogger: Mowie Kay from Mowielicious

Mowie and Pavlova Last few days have been very exciting. Lot of new things have been happening. One of them as we talked about previously, is interviews with food photographers. I have started interviewing some famous food photographers. I was fortunate to get some time from a well known food blogger for this interview to talk about food photography and secret of good looking food photos.

Introducing Mowie Kay

Mowie Kay is a well known name in the food blogger community. Mowie runs Mowielicious.com – a dessert and baking blog that has lots of mouth-watering food photographs. In Mowie’s words, “I’m obsessed with all things sweet and I believe desserts should always be served before a meal, and after.”  

Mowie along with Meeta K from What’s For Lunch Honey and Béa from La Tartine Gourmande are speaking about food photography and food styling in the upcoming Food Bloggers Connect in London this year. Mowielicious.com also won Good Looking Blog for January 2010.

I have known Mowie and have been viewing his work and for some time now and he has been very gracious to spare some time for this interview.

Congratulations on winning Good Looking Blog for January 2010, tell us your secret on how to make a Food Blog Good Looking?

- Thank you so much – I can’t believe I won it! I can’t really say what makes a blog good looking, I can only share what I do on my blog: I keep things simple, I experiment with light (I really love backlit images), I love and play around with height, colour & depth of field. I love pink and tend to use that a lot. I also use a lot of flowers in my posts and try to incorporate them with the food in one way or another.

How did you get into Food Photography?

- I’ve always been into photography and always adored the gorgeous photos in cookbooks, like Bill Granger or Donna Hay. I bought a camera about a year ago and started taking pictures of my meals and something just clicked into place, it all just felt right. So I kept taking pictures, and as my obsession is dessert (not surprising as I come from a long line of bakers), I thought it would be a great idea to document some of my favourite recipes on a blog, and also experiment by trying and creating new ones too – things I’d never baked before.

What type of training do you have (course, self-study etc.) and how did you get it?

- I actually don’t have any professional training in anything I do on my blog: writing, photography or food styling. I’ve learned everything from scratch, on my own, either online, or from friends & family. I say this to everyone, but it’s true: my blog is driven by instinct. Instinct, focus & vision.

How (and where) does your inspiration come from?

- I get inspired by a lot of things – great cookbooks, lovely blogs, good music.  I usually get visions of the end product and I see exactly what I want to create in my mind, and that’s how it all starts – and I literally don’t rest until it’s out of my head and on my screen. Sometimes it will be a song lyric, or something someone says, or something I taste, or a memory of something nice that triggers the image in my mind.

Your favorite food photographers/stylists and food photography websites?

- I adore Con Poulos. His work is just amazing. His simple yet comforting art of styling and photographing food leaves me breathless. He’s just very inspiring.

What would you advice to aspiring food photographers who are trying to learn this art?

- Don’t give up if you don’t like the first few pictures you take. Keep taking pictures. Experiment with lighting, backgrounds and height. Portrait works so much better than landscape when it comes to close ups. Keep turning the food, the plate, add things to it, take things away. Experiment with colour schemes, make sure colours go together. But most importantly- have fun, enjoy what you do, stay true to yourself, rely on your instincts and it will shine through in your photos.

Please Say Thank You

If you have found this helpful, I would appreciate if you can let Mowie know. Say hi on twitter @mowielicious or please leave a comment below. I am sure he would like your feedback on the interview.

Questions for Mowie

Please ask your food photography questions for Mowie by contacting him on Twitter or by posting it below. If there are enough comments and questions, we’ll do a follow-up interview with him.

Will Appreciate if..

… you could please tweet this or share it on facebook. If you are part of forums, sharing this interview will help a lot.

More Food Photo Blogger Interviews

In next few weeks, we will have more interviews from some very amazing photographers. Don’t miss the upcoming interviews. Stay tuned. Get rest of them by subscribing to the RSS feed or by subscribing to email updates.

Photo Credits: Both photographs by Mowie Kay

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  • http://www.maxitendance.com Nat

    Great interview – I have had a lot of fun to read it – and Mowie is a very inspiring food blogger & photographer :-)

  • http://thetastebudz.wordpress.com/ Viviane, Taste-Buds

    I gotta agree with Mowie about the use of pink, somehow it livens a photo in an unexpected way. He does have a good looking blog congrats on the Good Looking Blog award.

  • http://brightmorningstarsfoodie.blogspot.com/ sugar plum

    HEy NEEL ,this is a great interview u have done and congrats to Mowie ,i aint suprised on his winning the good looking food blog , coz his blog absolutely is good looking….oh pink dreamz are always welcome so are flowery Springtime bursting pics…love them all….
    i so agree with Mowie too, have fun and if ur heart is happy and cheery …ur sure to get it right [maybe someday atleast:-)))] or jokes aside , Mowie’s got talent and so have u Neel, lots of it !!!
    super sparkly happy sunshine day to u alll…..

    • http://www.learnfoodphotography.com/about Neel

      Thank you for your comments Nat, Viviane and Mia. Glad you liked the interview.

  • http://www.passionateaboutbaking.com/ deeba

    Love everything about this talented man… he really is the best! WAY TO GO Mowie. I’ve learnt so much from here, and wish I was at the FBC this year too! You are inspiring.
    Thank you Neel for doing this fab interview! Well framed questions.

  • http://www.cunningeye.com Bruce

    Great interview of a great blogger. Mowie definitely is a talented photographer, writer and baker. A true artist!

  • http://marcellinaincucina.blogspot.com/ Marcellina

    I have just stumbled onto you blog! Thank goodness! Finally some good info on food photography. I’m just a beginner and looking out for ideas and tips without going to lots of expense.

  • http://recipetaster.blogspot.com Alessio Fangano

    What to say… Mowie is as sweet as his recipes and interesting as his pictures :-) Congratulations my friend!
    Nice interview, by the way.

  • http://www.mowielicious.com Mowie @ Mowielicious

    Thank you everyone for your lovely comments, and thank you Neel for the interview!

  • http://thedomesticmama.com the domestic mama

    It was so nice to read that- especially the sdvice-and I simply ADORE the fact he’s self-taught. Makes it even better. Cheers!

  • http://www.pigsinblankets.net Debora

    Aww, I <3 Mowie! You are so inspiring

    I do have a question about the madeleines post (http://www.mowielicious.com/home/2010/02/chocolate-madeleines-moleskine-recipe-journals-giveaway.html#comment-6a00e554dae3f488330133ed20f2b0970b)

    The brightness of the background blends with the white in the blog's background. I never seem able to achieve this, always getting a dull greyish color. How do you accomplish these colors? Do you use a reflecting board or something similar? I would appreciate some insight, I keep trying to get my pictures right but I can't.

    PS: I just asked you the same question on your blog, but I thought people here would find the answer interesting.

    Thank you!

  • http://foodientravelbug.blogspot.com Mei Teng

    “I believe desserts should always be served before a meal, and after.”

    I agree. That’s the section I scan through in menus before deciding on the mains. I love desserts. And food photography.

  • http://blog.maisoncupcake.com Sarah, Maison Cupcake

    I’ve only just stumbled across this post after having made a calendar note to read your Tastespotting post published yesterday.

    As a personal friend of Mowie I’d just like to add that he’s just as fabulous as his pictures.

    • http://www.learnfoodphotography.com/about Neel

      Thanks for the note Sarah. Mowie and I have had some conversation and I’ll agree that from whatever little I know, he is amazing. One of these days (read FBC) I’ll finally get to meet him and rest of the FBC gang.

  • http://www.jessikerbakes.blogspot.com Jessica @ Jessiker Bakes

    I love mowie!! thanks!

  • junie12e

    I just love Mowie’s photos! Although I wouldn’t be able to make those wonderful recipes, I just love looking at the photos. Thank you!

  • http://www.tomaytotomaaahto.com Ruby

    Good interview. I was surprised that Mowie’s only been at it for a year. I always assumed he had been at least a photographer for longer than that. Definitely inspiring and a kick in the butt to ‘up my game’!

    One thing Mowie – I just checked out Con Poulos’s portfolio and, although I love his lackadaisical approach to styling and composition, he goes a bit overboard with backlighting, making many of his images seem dark. Your work, in my opinion, is better. Keep it up!

  • http://www.pegandrail.com Peg Rack

    taking great pictures is a lot like golf, would you watch him play golf on TV look so easy for when you try to take some great photographs yourself you realize how hard it can be to take great pictures

  • Jason

    Truly inspiring, Neel. I checked out his site and it was awesome. Not so if you’re on a diet like me, but awesome just the same. ;) I’m into photography as a hobby. I got started in on it when my daughter was born and I found that capturing precious moments on film is just so rewarding and great. Maybe, just maybe, if I don’t stop nurturing this interest, it can grow in to something bigger for me.

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  • http://www.expatrecipe.com Expatrecipe

    Thank you LFP for this wonderful interview with the inspiring Mowie Kay. really enjoyed.

  • http://downloadfreemusicz.net Penny

    Mowie’s work is wonderful and It was great to come across this inspiring interview. “I actually don’t have any professional training”. I had no idea Mowie wasn’t professionally trained. As an inspiring self-taught aperture photographer, that gives me hope! Thanks for sharing the interview, it made my night!!

  • http://getyourxbacknow.org Renee Zillweggar

    Hi there mowie, yes you have a wonderful review on taking food. Yes, it make a food look good and more delicious. Thanks mowie.

  • http://www.dreamstime.com/Ntrifunovic_info-resi3898795 ntrifunovic

    Really inspiring article, I’m doing a little of food photography on my own. You can check out my work on http://www.dreamstime.com/food-rcollection17121-resi3898795. I’m hopping to get successful as Mowie Kay :)

  • Frank

    This sure was one of those I look forward on learning. It sure isn’t easy to be taking shots of food and making them come to life. I wish I was like Mowie.

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