Her first food photo was a blueberry pie. Since then, photographer Katrin Winner’s life has revolved around food. She regularly produces the most beautiful shots in her Munich photo studio for StockFood and StockFood Studios, too. Here, we present to you the photographer in an interview.
How did you become a photographer?
Katrin: Actually, through many happy coincidences. First, I completed an apprenticeship as a media designer. I really enjoyed the creative work on the computer: Creating flyers, designing and programming websites, creating animations, etc. After my apprenticeship, I first made my A-levels. I finished in the field of economics. It was a little break from creativity, so to speak before I started my design studies at the University of Applied Sciences Nuremberg. So photography was only added during my studies. There I specialized in Graphic Design and Photography. During my studies, I was able to gain valuable experience at well-known food photo studios in Hamburg and Munich. After that, I worked as a permanent photographer for several years. At the beginning of 2018, I decided to start my own daylight studio for food and still life photography. It is located in Obergiesing, a district of Munich. If the view is clear, you can even get a glimpse of the Alps…
Why did you finally decide to go into food photography?
Katrin: I’ve always liked cooking, but I like eating even more. In the second semester, we had the topic “documentation” in the subject of Photography. Everyone had to hand in a series of pictures within a week. While I was preparing a small blueberry tart at home, I thought about what I could document. I just couldn’t come up with a reasonable and useful idea… Until I finished the blueberry tartlet and thought: That looks nice. That’s when I had the idea to document how food is prepared. That’s how I took my first food photo: a blueberry pie. I think I still have a printout of it. It’s been eleven years now. Anyway, my professor at the time saw the photo and said: “Food photography is just what you need.” And so, for years, everything has revolved around food.
How would you describe your photography style?
Katrin: I think I can be very flexible in my work because I have to react to customer wishes and their requirements. When working in photography, one often works after a brieﬁng. The most important thing is to make the customer’s target group deﬁnition, to give advice, and also to respond to the use of the images, for example, print, web, ads, etc. It is also very important to be open to new ideas and to try out different approaches. Personally, I like daylight, great ceramics, textured surfaces, and of course tasty food.
What inspires you?
Katrin: Of course, I look at Instagram and Pinterest. But this whole flux of pictures is sometimes a curse and a blessing at the same time. Often you have the feeling that you have already seen everything. That’s why I love being out in nature. Shapes, colors, and light – I find it all incredibly exciting. And of course, I also like to see where food comes from. Packaging design is another source of inspiration. I think that designers do a really good job of creating beautiful, creative food packaging. The combination of photography and typography is an exciting thing.
Do you have a special trademark for your photography?
Katrin: I have – much to the dismay of the food stylists – an herb garnish. They always have to be fresh, with a nice bounce, and with that, I can bring some food stylists to despair…
Is there a favorite item within your equipment?
Katrin: Clamps of any kind. Who hasn’t wished for a third arm?
Please tell us about your most unusual shoot!
Katrin: In cooperation with StockFood and the Athesia Verlag, I have had a wild cookbook photography assignment and had to use a deer heart. It came early in the morning fresh from the hunter and was so bloody. Which sounds like a deterrent and cruel to many. But, for the first time, I found it extremely important. The principle ‘nose to tail’, i.e. is to use the whole animal, and seemed to me as the right approach. Unfortunately, many only see the packaged, cut, and cleaned meat. Many don’t see that there is a living being behind it, with eyes, nose, ears, and a heart. I think that respect for the animal is very important and also the work and the workers behind it. I grew up on a small farm in the Bavarian forest. Through my parent’s farming business and helping on the farm, I had an early insight into how much hard work and energy goes into the production of natural, fresh food. That is why I am always keen to work sustainably.
Which clients do you work for?
Katrin: The range is really wide: large corporations, medium-sized companies, various publishing houses, and editorial offices, start-up companies, and of course StockFood and StockFood Studios. Furthermore, I find it very exciting to work for start-up companies. I like being able to add new innovative products to photography and to follow the company from the market launch to growth.
Is there any time left for hobbies besides photography?
Katrin: I like to spend my time in my studio, but I also think that time outside of it is very important. Since 2011 I have been living with my husband in beautiful south Munich. I enjoy time outdoors in nature. I often find myself in Austria or the Bavarian forest. I ride my mountain bike and in winter, if there is snow, I go cross-country skiing on a cross-country trail. If the weather is not suitable, I am climbing indoors. Otherwise, I love to go out to eat and knitting is one of my passions.
How do you manage to get all that under one roof?
Katrin: Without the support of my husband, my great team, and my friends, my job and my photo studio would not be possible. I am very grateful for that. And the most important thing: It is good not to take yourself too seriously. Those who know me know that I have a great sense of humor…
Cover: ©StockFood / Katrin Winner / 12536115