Wednesday, 18 August 2010
photographer katie quinn davies
Hope you're not feeling hungry. I think these images could convert any food saint. They're the work of Katie Quinn Davies, an Irish photographer who has recently moved to Sydney. She's also a cook, food stylist and graphic designer. Who can compete with that! Her home was featured in the August issue of real living. I love that she decided to teach herself the skills she needed to change careers, getting up at 7am to cook, style and shoot.
Which five words best describe you? Perfectionist, passionate, stubborn, loyal, Irish.
What was your first career/job and what path have you taken since? Shocking to some I am sure, and not that many people I know are aware of this but, my first "real job" was that of a model in Dublin. I didn't enjoy it initially due to dreadful nerves and I had no confidence in myself whatsoever, but over time this grew (somewhat). To be honest I think this is where my love of photography and being in a photographic studio was born. I had studied graphic design in college beforehand but dropped out - mainly due to the modelling which popped up halfway through my second year and distracted me from focusing on my studies.
Ironically, after two years of modelling my urge to return to design became a huge focus for me and I started a junior designer role in a good Dublin design studio, after three years I decided to return to college to complete my qualification. I continued working for the next nine years as a designer until early '09 when I really started to ponder if I was on the right career path. I have always held a fascination for food styling and food photography and often remember looking at stylists and the photographers working on food during shoots I was art directing for clients. I was fascinated by these two professions and always felt it might be an area I would excel in due to my love of food, attention to detail and passion for photography. My move to Australia heightened this for me three-fold due to the abundance of amazing food magazines and wealth of incredible food photographers - I don't think had I stayed living in Ireland I would have been as motivated to make the big leap to change career. There are no food styling courses in Oz and the option of doing a full-time 4 year chef degree was not an option, so I decided to teach myself, getting up every day at 7am, cooking food, styling it, photographing it and editing where needed. I feel my years as a graphic designer have helped train my eye hugely when it comes to the photos, I inherently think very much with the mind-sight of how the photos will be used in print - placement of typography etc... The photography is the main focus for me, but I think it helps greatly that I have such a strong appreciation of the styling side of the process.
What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way? "Don't prepare, prepare to fail"...
What’s your proudest career achievement? Probably one from my earlier days working as a graphic designer in Chicago when I was offered a job at iconic Chicago firm, VSA Partners.
I didn't work there as long as I would have liked as I had to return to Ireland for personal reasons, but it totally moulded my career from that point onwards.
What’s been your best decision? Changing my career from design to food photography - I only wish I'd done it years ago.
Who inspires you? Ditte Isager, William Meppem, Con Poulos, and in general - people who don't sweat the small stuff!
What are you passionate about? Photography, food, throwing big dinner parties for friends and family, music, magazines, Radiohead, graphic design and typography, vintage packaging, quirky pen and ink illustration, expensive high-end designer shoes I can't afford...
Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? Thom Yorke from Radiohead.
What dream do you still want to fulfill? To go back and live in New York. As much as I love living in Australia, I dream to live again in the US, my desire to go back and live there has never gone away.
What are you reading? When Giants Walked the Earth - A biography of Led Zeppelin.
images courtesy of katie quinn davies