To represent the Italian influence in my home here in Yorkshire, I decided to do a product photoshoot capturing something we have adopted into our everyday life. I wanted to take photos of my siblings and I making our own pasta. During a visit to Naples around ten years ago, their grandma Maria taught me how to make pasta from scratch and ever since it has been something we as a family do quite often. The kids absolutely love getting involved with cooking and doing activities that their family do all of the time back in Italy. I think this is a great way to help them feel connected to their family’s culture and gives them the opportunity to learn more about their heritage.
Documentary photography is a completely new style of working for me but is something I am keen to experiment with. Setting up my Nikon D850 on a tripod and one light source with a white reflective umbrella, I ensured both the people and background of the photo were exposed correctly. It is easy when working in such a small vicinity to capture unwanted shadows on the walls. For this reason I used a high power light source to light the entire area within the frame. Despite I have a busy household with limited available space, I thought it was important to reconsider my studio space due to the pandemic. For this reason I am making use of the equipment I already have at home and adapting my home as a new studio workspace.
Lighting set up:
I wanted to capture natural photographs of my siblings and I in this process of rolling out the pasta, so I used my flash trigger and remote to allow me to also be in the photographs. I did not want the photos to be posed in any way so I did my best to distract my siblings and kept releasing the shutter button to capture as many natural photos as I could. Experiencing this blended family dynamic has been a great way to experience other cultures way of life and traditional traits. Through visually documenting these activities, it helps me to identify how and why my identity has been shaped in the way it has today.
Alongside this, I have been experimenting with product photography at home. Reflecting on Jamie’s lecture, I decided to adopt a slightly different style and use artificial light this time instead of natural light. I had to use a white reflector to bounce more light onto the left hand side. Since I was only using once light source on the right, the white reflector helped to bounce light onto the bowl of biscuits and the espresso cup. I found since my kitchen was quite dark this day, I had to set my camera with a higher ISO to increase the overall exposure. Coffee and biscuits is something that brings my family together and during this lockdown period, we have tended to all sit in the living room during the afternoon and take a break from our busy day to rest and enjoy a little snack. Amaretti di Saronno Biscotti are my siblings favourite biscuits and are sent to us by their grandma in Naples. Still to this day, my family still prefer to drink coffee in the traditional Italian Moka Pot’s opposed to using a modern electric coffee machine.
Behind the scenes set up:
Galloway, L. (2021). Homemade pasta. [photograph]. Leeds
Galloway, L. (2021). Biscuits and coffee. [photograph]. Leeds