1. Tell us about yourself. How did you discover your love for photography?
- I started out as a cook attending a pastry school in Seattle and upon graduation, completed the culinary program at the Culinary Institute of America in New York. I had the good fortune to work in some of the best restaurants in the world including Le Cirque and Restaurant Daniel before returning to Seattle in 2001 to continue working at some spectacular restaurants. I was always a visual artist first so I knew I wouldn't be a chef for the entirety of my career. Food photography allows me to use all of my prior education and experience so it's really been a seamless transition.
- 2. How did you discover your love for photography?
During my time as a private chef, I wanted to capture images of the dishes I was creating which was essentially where my food photography career started. From there, I was able to assist various photographers in the San Francisco area and pursued landscape photography while traveling between the Bay Area and Tahoe. Landscape photography really forces you to dial in your skills under a multitude of changing variables and time pressures. It's fantastic for learning how to focus and expose properly).
3. What inspires you and your work?
I get my inspiration quite literally from anything other than what other food photographers and directors are producing. Searching for lighting ideas, unique compositions, and new techniques in odd places is not only a bunch of fun, but it ensures your vision is unique. Some of my images certainly have similarities to the styles that happen to be popular at any given time but that is often the result of collaborative influences in my commercial work.
- 4. Why did you choose broncolor?
I really love the interface of the Scoro packs and the incredible light consistency when shooting quickly. A majority of my images are layered in Photoshop and to have the exposures and color match perfectly between shots is certainly helpful. I also use CGI in my work and the Broncolor packs handle the capturing of photogrammetry assets extremely well. Photogrammetry is the act of capturing sometimes hundreds of images of a single object in flat light from every angle and using software to generate a 3d model with a photorealistic look to use in a 3d environment. I was first introduced to Broncolor during a photogrammetry shoot I was food styling for and was really impressed with what workhorses the Scoro Packs are) .
- 5. What is your favorite broncolor tool?
It's hard to choose a favorite but I really like the look of the light from the Picobox. It's perfect for food as it has a texture-revealing directionality to it while remaining just soft enough to make the food look delicious.
- 6. How would you describe your “lighting style”?
My lighting style typically starts with a key light from camera left pushing light across the front of the scene and I often have a light coming from behind as an edge light. I will start there and cut light, change its color, or add in another light modifier until I get what I need in a single frame. It tends to have an edgy feel without being too harsh but my lighting will often be directed by the project, subject matter, and creative direction first.
Where can people find more of your work?
My online portfolio can be found at stevehansenvisuals.com and I'm on Instagram at @stevehansenvisuals