It’s a brand new year and APA|DC’s Featured Member Profile turns one year old this January! In the past twelve months we’ve met old-timers, newbies, people who shoot things, shooters who snap people, snappers with big cameras, and camera-toters with iPhones. As we continue to grow we look forward to introducing you to even more of your peers.
If you’ve been around APA|DC for any amount of time, odds are you’ve run into Renée Comet. Known for her beautiful food photography featuring strong compositions and luscious lighting, Renée has worked with national and international clients for the last twenty years. These clients have included the American Diabetes Association, Australian Lamb, Marriott International, Ritz-Carlton, and the US Postal Service. She has photographed over fifty cookbooks including The Founding Fathers Cookbook, Olive Oil, Salt and Pepper, and Dining with the Washingtons.
December Featured member Tim Coburn recently headed over to Renée’s Glover Park studio with a fantastic sense of humor and a complete disregard for the chinaware. This happened:
Photos and Interview by Tim Coburn
First the obvious; what got you interested in photography? And why food?
For me photography is a way of communicating without words. Food shooting fits my personality. I like collaborating with a group.
Do you ever get to eat the food after shooting it?
Yes, only after we got the shot. You definitely don’t want to pop that cream puff in your mouth when we might need a replacement on set.
What’s the most frustrating thing about working with inanimate objects?
Ha, this from a fashion shooter. Well it was alive at one time and it is aging, drooping or melting as I shoot so you have to shoot fast. Really the hardest thing is making the food look alive, the environment someplace you want to be.
Being a food photographer, I imagine that you cook a lot. Is this true?
That is not really true, I am surrounded by people who love to cook and I like to eat. I do cook but very simple dishes and don’t like using a recipe.
Forgive my ignorance but I wouldn’t expect to find a full-time food photographer in D.C. Are most of your clients local?
I have a mix of out of town clients and local. DC is a city that likes food.
What is the weirdest food-resembling-prop you have used in a food shoot?
Pouring motor oil on a salad. It made a lovely pour but ick.
When you walk into a shoot, what is your biggest fear?
That the team I am working with will not connect or work as a team to reach the same goal… to make a beautiful shot that you want to eat.
What would be your dream gig? The pinnacle of your career ?
The pinnacle has not happened yet. I would like to produce something tangible. Food gives us life and is an integral part of life. I would like to create something that gives back to the community.
Can I hang out with you on a shoot and nibble all day long?
Yes, and you will still remain skinny.
You can discover more of Renée’s work at www.cometphoto.com