Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Wishing you all a very Happy Diwali with some Gulab Jamun

#GulabJamun #IndianDessert #SimiJoisPhotography #Dessert #Festival #Diwali #Recipe

#GulabJamun #IndianDessert #SimiJoisPhotography #Dessert #Festival #Diwali #Recipe
Happy Diwali !  Diwali brings back so many memories..this is that time of the year I really miss India and miss being a child. Earthen ware lamps, fire crackers and lots n lots of sweets to gorge on…. blissful. One time of the year, where we could be up till 11 playing outside. 

Gulab jamun is one of my favorite dessert and I have not met a person who has not liked jamuns.
Traditionally milk is boiled for hours on and reduced to milk solids, mixed into a dough with all purpose flour, deep fried in pure ghee and soaked in sugar syrup... What's not to like about that. Like is an understatement, bordering around insult. lol ! Seriously you need to taste it to believe me.

If you are into traditional Indian Desserts, here is the list 

Rice Kheer/Pudding 
Mysore Pak 
Instant Milk Peda
Carrot Halwa 
Kaju Katli 
Mishti Doi
Moong Daal Kheer /lentil pudding 
Coconut Burfi 
Besan Ladoo
Puri Unde/ Puff rice in sugar syrup

Just to name a few, you can have an endless list of Indian desserts, there are soo many, I can have a blog on Indian desserts and I can blog every day for next decade and still have desserts to blog about, am sure my Indian friends know what am talking about :) For now it’s gulab jamun : a hot favorite in the Jois household.

#GulabJamun #IndianDessert #SimiJoisPhotography #Dessert #Festival #Diwali #Recipe

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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Mixed Lentil Curry

#MixedLentil #MixedDaal #DaalCurry #LentilCurry #Recipe #IndianLentilCurry #IndianDaalCurry

#MixedLentil #MixedDaal #DaalCurry #LentilCurry #Recipe #IndianLentilCurry #IndianDaalCurry
This post was ready to go live last week,  I took some pictures posted it on some of my forums and many of my photographer friends thought I could do a better job on the images.  That was really enough to push me to restyle and reshoot. This post is really to all the amazing people out there who think that a camera in one hand and photoshop in another you can make great images. Am sorry to burst your bubble,  photographers work very hard at their craft, we are constantly stretching our selves. If camera and Ps made images, I would not need to cook again and restyle and reshoot. 

Phew! am glad that was easy and is off my chest now.  Overconfidence and lack of confidence are both harmful for a creative person, but when good critique comes from reliable sources, it’s always wise to embrace it. That is the only way to grow,  at least  for me. So thank you guys! Also, kind of went overboard with my camera,  picture heavy post ;)

The rejected image is after the jump break. 

Before I forget two things, First, Thanks Neel for adding Turmeric and spice to the Amazing food photographers with amazing food photo list.  Quite an honor to be featured with some of the major players and amazing photographers. ( doing the happy dance here). 

Second,  saw some of my images stolen and used without my permission. You may wonder why I do not have watermark on my images, well I do and it is embedded in my images. Wonder why people steal…. !! Well, I  will keep that rant for another day. 

#MixedLentil #MixedDaal #DaalCurry #LentilCurry #Recipe #IndianLentilCurry #IndianDaalCurry
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Thursday, October 9, 2014

Simple everyday pilaf

#PilafRecipe #SimpleEverydayPilaf #IndianPilaf #Recipe #SJPhotography
 Neel from Learn food Photography hosted a free food photography work shop sometime in September, like last year I took the plunge.  I met some amazing photographers and made some good friends, after all it was 30 days of working together and lots of inspiration and interaction. There are about 500 plus members in this group and somehow you  end up ‘connecting’ with some people.

 I met Krystallia through this workshop and by met, I mean, met online. We seem to like similar images,…I don’t know what it was, but we became friends.  Krys asked me to do a guest post on her blog ‘My Cooking Secrets’ , we started brainstorming about ideas, The time difference of eight hours did not come in our way, we were chatting till midnight. I asked her to tell me a little about herself,  other than photography,…. “My favorite moto is ‘’DO NOT WASTE FOOD, there is always a way to CREATE a dish from scratch’’. Seriously it was like my mom talking, I grew up on that….wasting food was unheard of and you eat what you get. I knew why we had become friends, we talked about a lot of things about Greek food, about real food, local foods and why we both started blogging, she said, “I didn' t set out to be a food photographer, let alone a blogger. I was previously an executive secretary and account assistant. When I got married and moved to Malta I focused on what I loved most. To create recipes, promote the Greek cuisine and inspire people to cook. My blog was the perfect way to combine my creative interests, yet it made me feel incredibly happy, so I ran with it.” Two women thousands of miles apart, who have never seen each other ( Krys, better put up a profile picture on FB), yet had so much in common. At the end of the day we are all the same under the skin and we relate to similar emotions. Krys is so passionate about her food, it percolates to her blog. Her enthusiasm and passion is surely contagious. Thanks so much Krys for your friendship and all the energy you bring to the blogging world.

Krys had a few questions…over to her to read the informal chat.

#PilafRecipe #SimpleEverydayPilaf #IndianPilaf #Recipe #SJPhotography

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Monday, October 6, 2014

365 days of photography - September 2014

#365DaysOfPhotography #FoodPhotography #MoodyPhotography #SimiJoisPhotography
 Thank you for the overwhelming response for my moody tutorial,  big thanks for all the comments, emails and messages on Facebook. I loved creating the post, will try and do more, let me know if you want something specific.

This is going to be my favorite post from 365 days of photography, am going to be cheating a bit here. Everything is fair in love and photography:))I did take much more than 30 images for the month ( way more), but as I was getting all the images together, I realized that most of them are produce, so I got all excited and thought of doing something a bit different. Doing a 30 image post on just produce and not all the images are taken from september, some are really old, but I thought it would be a nice thing to have them all in one post, my favorite ones :)   I can do a whole 30 day post on tomatoes, but I will spare you guys :) a lot of moody shots for you to gawk. I normally don’t  like to do two photography related post one after the other, but this time made an exception. I had so many moody shots,  could not wait another week to share.

Previous 365 days posts…..

I am already thinking 2015, I may not do a 365 for 2015 but will definitely do one photograph in a week, calling it a 52 weeks challenge. What do you guys think ? 

#365DaysOfPhotography #FoodPhotography #MoodyPhotography #SimiJoisPhotography

#365DaysOfPhotography #FoodPhotography #MoodyPhotography #SimiJoisPhotography

#365DaysOfPhotography #FoodPhotography #MoodyPhotography #SimiJoisPhotography

#365DaysOfPhotography #FoodPhotography #MoodyPhotography #SimiJoisPhotography
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Wednesday, October 1, 2014

How to shoot moody images: Food Photography tutorial

Over the last few months I have been getting lot of requests to do a  “ how to “ tutorial of moody images.  I wish I could just do a video tutorial, but video is not my thing. I will try to do my best and if you have any questions please feel free to comment leave me a message on Facebook or just email me.

Background and props 

I use dark color backgrounds and muted props if am going with any props to start with. You don’t want a white jug shining at you when everything else is muted, our eyes always go to the brightest part of an image. We need to create an autumn-winter kind of mood but our main hero is still the food, the props are playing second fiddle, we only use props to create a mood.  Similarly, with color,  complimentary colors work better, creating a monochromatic look. Warmer color tones play better too.  Again these are not rules, just guidelines.

See the image below - the background colors are all muted shades of brown and brown-black.
If we analyze the image it has warm tones, muted monochromatic background, this is only in respect to propping, we have not talked about lighting and camera yet.

#foodPhotography #FoodPhotographyTutorial #HowToShootMoodyFoodImages #SimiJoisPhotography

#foodPhotography #FoodPhotographyTutorial #HowToShootMoodyFoodImages #SimiJoisPhotography

Even the color of the food is almost the same family,  again this is not a rule but makes things easier.
However I have also done, images where the colors are not complimentary but it is still a moody image. But I might not use a white with a black background for moody, it will distract the eye.

Kind of props : rustic props really work wonders for a moody shot, again not cast in gold. You can do a very modern dinner setting and still be moody and romantic. Arrangement of the prop is your creative choice and will not effect the moodiness of the image.


Lighting is the key to any great photography, how you bend it and use it to create an image is your artistic expression. It eventually translates to your style and your trademark if I may say so. Moody images DOES NOT mean absence of light or dull images. Let me try and explain. When you are setting the table for a romantic dinner, you have subdued lighting, yellow warm light not a white dim light bulb, it creates an ambiance, you use light to create a mood. Similarly for a moody image you block light, and keep just enough to be able to display the hero, i.e food. You can play with the intensity the way you want, it is your creative choice. I am using natural light here.


Manual, get your camera to manual mode. I am assuming you understand aperture, shutter speed and ISO. If you don’t go read up your manual and get your fundaments clear.

Camera : any DSLR - am using Sony NEX-6 for this shot
Lens : Prime 50mm is what I will be using. It is a very versatile lens and if you don’t have it, might be a good time to think about it.

Shoot in RAW mode. So you can have total control on how the final image looks like. If you shoot jpeg, the camera will make certain decisions for you. Also in RAW you have complete control over editing.

We are going to be creating this image today.
#foodPhotography #FoodPhotographyTutorial #HowToShootMoodyFoodImages #SimiJoisPhotography

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