The Lounge- Diana DeLucia Photography

in Photography

 

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All of us can take pictures.  After all, it is simply a point and shoot thing!  But not all of us can take great pictures, do what he or she loves, and makes a great living out of it.  Furthermore, not all of us can take photos that seem to come alive with its sheer beauty.

This month, I have had the greatest pleasure of interviewing one of the best photographers in the industry, Diana DeLucia.

Diana first became popular in the Corporate world creating headshots for executives and Law Firms. She gave her clients more control in the portrait process “I want them to like their headshot; it will be used for many years to come in various types of media”. After this many avenues opened for Diana in the corporate world such as photography for website homepages, annual reports and brochures.

Diana does not only deal with corporate photography, she also works with product photography.  She uses the standard white background in some of her shots, but she also encourages her clients to make use of other background colors and emphasizes the importance of  prop styling in product photography.  Not only are these “beauty shots” perfect for advertising materials like brochures and billboards, but they are also perfect for their websites, swing tags and product labels.

However, her passion is food photography especially for the fine dining industry.  This includes not only the dishes whipped up by some of the biggest names in the culinary world like New York Chef Daniel Boulud and Sydney, Australia Chef Tetsuya Wakuda, but this also includes portraits of the world-famous chefs as well.

Diana also specializes in restaurant photography, and her photos capture what chefs want their restaurants to portray – comfort, elegance, grace, and the fine-dining experience.  Diana knows how to tickle the visitors’ fancy and imagination by not only taking photos of the chefs, their restaurants, and their dishes but also the behind-the-scene actions of restaurant kitchens.  Her food photography grabs the attention of viewers.  The food photos tantalize their senses and make them imagine the taste and smell of the dishes.

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Diana DeLucia is a very interesting woman with a very interesting talent of “bringing to life” the images she captures through her lenses.  And it is my greatest pleasure to share with you the interview I have had with her.  I hope you enjoy reading through the interview, and if you have any comments, please feel free to leave one.  I also encourage you to visit her website to learn more about her art.

www.photographybydiana.com

www.photographybydiana.com/store

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Diana Delucia Photography

Dish by Iron Chef Marc Forgione of Restaurant Marc Forgione, New York City

Fettuccini “carbonara”, Feather Ridge Farm egg, Niman ranch Bacon, Oyster Mushrooms.


I asked Diana about her craft. You will find the Q&A below:

1 ) I learned that you were originally from Australia, what made you decide to move to the United States?

Business and Marriage (“I’ll save that for Vanity Fair” she says)

2 ) Has photography always been your interest and your passion?

Photography was my passion since I was a small child; my father gave me my first SLR camera, a Praktica, when I was 14 years of age. I studied Photography and darkroom film processing at the local Community College in Bundaberg, Queensland, while I was also at High School. I photographed mainly wildlife and scenery, and I soon discovered a passion for Fruit Bats and their habitat. Through this passion, I was fortunate enough to gain a great friend mentor – the renowned, late, Australian Naturalist, Writer and Photographer, Harry Frauca. Harry taught me extensive knowledge about photography and nature.

3 ) What made you decide to make a career out of it?

Photography was always my dream and my passion, and I wanted it to be my career from a young age. I had many diversions from photography, but I was always working in the industry one way or another. I walked the run ways on the Gold Coast as a fashion and swim wear model and worked in Television and Advertising Casting in Melbourne for many years before moving to the USA in 2002. It was here in the USA that I took up my Photography career more seriously.

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Diana DeLucia Photography

Le Cirque Restaurant in the Bloomberg Building, New York, New York


4 ) Did you take photography courses to enhance your skill?

As a photographer, you have to continually update your skills, so yes.

Photography is subjective. It is an art form, and to some degree, you are born with a photographer’s eye. If you have the eye, you learn the rules; and when you can break them, you learn the science of the camera; and you practice them all; and the eye will take care of the rest. Of course, you also need Marketing and personality, and you can never be in a bad mood. You must always smile and make people happy and feel good about themselves.

I was also very fortunate as I also started the magazine NY Restaurant Insider with my partner at the time, and over a 5 year period from 2004 to early 2010, I was house photographer and gained a great reputation in the Fine Dining industry, which led to many, many bookings in the Restaurant Industry and Product photography. I also work extensively in the corporate world as I developed my own niche and methods.

EzineSeeker.comDiana DeLucia Photography,

“Yellow fin Tuna Ribbons, Avocado, Spicy Radish, Ginger Marinade”

Dish created by Jean-Georges Vongerichten at Jean-Georges Restaurant, New York City


5 ) Can you tell us a little bit about the difference between taking up photography courses and self-taught photography?  In your opinion, what is better?

I would say that in today’s world, it’s always a better idea to start off with a degree. But, it’s not always that way. I have no degree, nor do many other renowned photographers. It’s the ability to sell and brand yourself, and people must like your photography style, that is what gets you bookings. You can photograph the most wonderful images in the world, but at the end of the day, it must be what people want, not what you want.

6 ) What is your “special style” in capturing images that make your art stand out from among the rest?

I love photographing food, and I love color. I see the food as an edible art form that can also be sensual to the human eye. I use mirrors and natural light if possible to keep the richest colors. I became accustomed to details as my images were often enlarged and in the centerfold of the magazine, so I learned to be super critical, and I can now spot an issue with a dish on site.

I’m not the most technically correct photographer; I have a knack, a 6th sense, especially for colors. Even my portraits are rich in color.

I recently started capturing black and white images again, and I offer B and W conversions now for all of my services, including Food, which has a different feel to it yet again without the color.

7 ) Right now, what is your inspiration in creating beautiful art and what motivates you to do more?

Much of my inspiration comes from my subjects themselves. Seeing the passion that Chefs have for their work brings me so much inspiration to constantly grow as a photographer. When I worked with Eric Ripert at Le Bernardin, I had to sit down afterwards at a cafe, have a glass of wine and cry, literally.  I cried as I could not believe the passion he had for his craft; you could feel it. I have since learned to contain this feeling as I see it over and over again in this industry.

 

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Diana DeLucia Photography

Cookbook Photography

Out take Photograph taken for a cook book project

Potato Artichoke Chile, Nirmalas Edible Diary, Chronicle Books, photography by Diana DeLucia Photography


8 ) Was there anybody in your life – a loved one perhaps or a famous photographer – who greatly influenced your career?  How so?

My career in photography was greatly influenced by friend and mentor, the late, Harry Frauca, Wildlife and Nature photographer; my admiration for Annie Leibowitz; my respect and pleasure to have witnessed and been involved with the work of Erik Fitkau many years ago in Melbourne; and recently my love for the work of Lou Manna.  Only one of these is a food photographer, but their passion for their work is what made me study them.

My clients are also a great source of inspiration as they continue to praise my work and my growth as a Photographer.

9 ) Is there anyone that you would love to have the opportunity to work with?  If so, who?

Yes, I would love to work with Annie Leibowitz, or just follow her around for a day at a Vanity Fair Celebrity fashion shoot!

I’ve shot so many Chefs.  My dream assignment would be to travel to Leon, France and work for Paul Bocuse. A day in the life of Paul Bocuse would be amazing!

10 ) I see that one of your passions is food and restaurant photography, what is in them that made you fall in love with taking photos of it?

It is the passion of the Chef.  Seeing that in action is an amazing thing to witness and photograph. The fine-dining masters create works of edible art, and so much work goes into each dish they create. Many people do not understand or appreciate the research of ingredients, the art of the presentation, and just how much goes into creating one dish.

I also love to photograph the restaurant interiors; they are pieces of history. Each restaurant is created by different Restaurateurs/Chef/Interior designers with vastly different personalities, and the ambiance and personality of each is so different.

My favorite restaurant designers are Adam Tihany and the world famous David Rockwell.

11 ) Have you ever had a “blooper” during one of your photography sessions, or a funny and memorable experience perhaps?

Yes, Charlie Trotters 20th Anniversary.  It was a very expensive fundraising Charity dinner for the Boys Home in Chicago.  Many of the worlds finest chefs were cooking at the dinner, including Thomas Keller, Ferran Adria, Daniel Boulud, Heston Blumenthal, Pierre Herme, Charlie Trotter, Tetsuya Wakuda and more; and the restaurant and kitchen were so busy that we had absolutely nowhere to photograph the food.  So I was set up in the spare bathroom, and it was funny to have the Gods of food bring me culinary creations to photograph in the loo. No lights, no nothing, just the light in the bathroom, funny stuff. In my opinion I did a lousy job that time, but the memories and laughs were worth it.

12 ) What are some tips and advices that you can share with photographers, especially those who want to turn their hobbies to careers?

Yeah, tons.

Understand that to work as a photographer, unless you are creating Fine Art, you need to take photos of what other people want.

You then need to apply your own style to this as this is why they hired you, and it is what separates each photographer from another.

Never act like you are the celebrity that is doing them a favor; I hear this complaint over and over about photographers.

Thank you for your time Diana. To contact Diana to arrange a booking call the number below or fill out the contact form on her website at this link

Diana DeLucia Photography LLC

860 406 1782

www.photographybydiana.com

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FoodiePad has 142 articles online and 14 fans

Chef Matthew, the owner of Dream Social Media, is an expert in culinary arts.  He is after all an outstanding chef, having had worked in some of the finest resorts, hotels and restaurants in the world.  His interest, however, in social media was awakened when he started his own websites.  Over the years, he took it upon himself to learn everything he can about social media.

He endeavored to discover the secrets behind generating huge traffic and leads for his websites.  He studied the secrets behind generating sales by piggy-backing on high-traffic social media sites.  Over time, he has developed 77 techniques on how to generate huge amount of traffic through the use of social media.

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The Lounge- Diana DeLucia Photography

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This article was published on 2011/03/23