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Episode 492: Exquisite Food Photography – How to Tell a Story with Lighting, Props, Food and Textures with Murielle Banackissa

In episode, Megan chats to Murielle Banackissa about how to create inspirational food photography and tell a story using lighting, props, food and textures.

We cover information about how to improve your food photography, from setting mood and learning from others to practical advice such as which lenses are best depending on where you are in your own food blogging journey.

Listen on the player below or on iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher, or your favorite podcast player. Or scroll down to read a full transcript.

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Guest Details

Connect with Murielle Banackissa
Website | Instagram | YouTube

Bio Murielle Banackissa is a food photographer, food stylist, YouTuber, and soon-to-be cookbook author based in Montreal, Canada. Outside of spending hours developing new recipes and shooting them in her home studio, Murielle loves getting lost in good books, designing her bullet journal spreads, sipping on warm beverages, and going on long walks. She draws a lot of inspiration from the colors and textures found in nature. From water droplets to the sun shining through the leaves early in the morning and the orange glow of summer nights, Murielle loves paying attention to the magic surrounding her as a way to feel more grounded and present.

Takeaways

  • Intentional Photography – Tell a story by focusing on details, intention, and purpose, bringing elements like family history and special moments into visuals.
  • Create Atmosphere – Consider the story and mood behind a recipe.
  • Moody Photography – Moody photography evoke comfort and warmth. Achieve this style using black foam boards to control natural light and creating a cozy atmosphere.
  • Learn from Others – Look at the work of other photographers for inspiration. Analyze behind-the-scenes content and experiment with different techniques.
  • Creative Seasons – Accept the non-linear nature of the creative journey.
  • Favorite Lens – Use a 50mm F1.8 lens, particularly for those starting in food photography. This lens allows for a low F-stop, enabling a beautiful blurry background and focus on the main subject.
  • Macro Shots Capture Close-Up Details – It also highlight textures, decadence, and intricate elements of the food.
  • Observe Light – It’s important to observe and understand natural light. Recognizing how different lighting conditions affect food can help develop a unique style and improve photography skills.

Resources Mentioned

Pre-Order Murielle’s upcoming cookbook, Savoring!

YouTube Channels

Joanie Simon’s The Bite Shot

Sean Tucker on YouTube

Books

An Audience of One by Srinivas Rao — Such an inspiring book! It shares many tools and practices to implement to help your creativity.

Any book by Brianna Wiest — Inspirational books on mindset.

Podcasts

Eat Capture Share Podcast by Kimberly Espinel

Transcript

Click for full script.

EBT492 – Murielle Banackissa

Intro 00:00

Food bloggers. Hi, how are you today? Thank you so much for tuning in to the Eat Blog Talk podcast. This is the place for food bloggers to get information and inspiration to accelerate your blog’s growth and ultimately help you to achieve your freedom, whether that’s financial, personal, or professional. I’m Megan Porta. I have been a food blogger for 13 years, so I understand how isolating food blogging can be. I’m on a mission to motivate, inspire, and most importantly, let each and every food blogger, including you know that you are heard and supported.

As a very long time food blogger who does not focus on photography much anymore. It’s saying a lot that I was very inspired by my chat with Murielle today. She is the blogger and photographer behind the blog, Murielle Banackissa. It’s been a really long time since I’ve been inspired by food photography, to be honest with you, but when I looked at her site, I was instantly drawn in, intrigued, inspired. Oh my goodness. Her photography is so, so unique and beautiful. She brings points and tips about photography to our conversation that I don’t think have ever been brought to an Eat Blog Talk podcast interview before. She looks more at the whole picture, like what is inspiring you? Going from thinking, from lighting to props, to food, to textures, thinking through the entire story of a situation before you even get your camera out, whether you are looking to up your photography game or not. Even if you’re not, I encourage you to listen to the episode because you will be inspired. This is episode number 492 and it is Sponsored by RankIQ.

Sponsor 01:45

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Megan Porta 02:43

Murielle Banackissa is a food photographer, food stylist, YouTuber, and soon to be cookbook author based in Montreal, Canada, outside of spending hours developing new recipes and shooting them in her home studio. Muriel loves getting lost in good books, designing her bullet journal spreads, sipping on warm beverages and going on long walks. She draws a lot of inspiration from the colors and textures found in nature, from water droplets to the sun shining through the leaves early in the morning and the orange glow of summer nights. Murielle loves paying attention to the magic surrounding her as a way to feel more grounded and present. Murielle, thank you for joining me on Eat Blog Talk. How are you today?

Murielle Banackissa 03:21

Thank you for having me. I’m doing really, really great. How are you?

Megan Porta 03:24

Well, I’m sitting here staring at your blog, so I am a little bit distracted and I’m, I apologize if I get lost during the interview because your photos are so beautiful. I, seriously, I, it’s been a long time since I’ve looked at photos like this that just like speak to me because I’ve looked at many. Okay. Anyway, already distracted. So, before we get into our topic, which is obviously food photography, do you have a fun fact to share with us?

Murielle Banackissa 03:50

I do. So my fun fact is not really related to food or photography or blogging or anything, but I thought it was quite interesting to share. So I love PJ’s. I don’t, it’s super random, but I love pajamas. There’s something about pajamas that reminds me of the preciousness of having comfortable clothes. And I love how, you know, at the end of the day after you’ve gone through like your whole to-do list, you take your shower, you get ready for bed, you put on your cozy PJs and it’s just like the evening and the winding down has started. And I also, I have this thing where I have PJs for different seasons. So around the holiday time, the Christmas season, I have a PJ set that’s all red and has like Christmas patterns that I only start putting on when my Christmas tree is up. So that’s, it’s kind of random, but I love it.

Megan Porta 04:46

I love that it’s like a signal for comfort and cozy for you. Are the Christmas PJs your favorite or do you have a favorite pair?

Murielle Banackissa 04:53

I think, yeah, the Christmas PJs are my favorite because they’re the ones that are the most out there and I’m a big Christmas fan, so I love when I get to put them on then that it, it means that the holidays are like right around the corner.

Megan Porta 05:07

Oh, okay. And then what is the material of them? Is it like flannel cotton? What is it?

Murielle Banackissa 05:11

Yeah, it’s kind of a, like a flannel texture, but not too, too thick. It’s more of an on the thinner side.

Megan Porta 05:16

Okay. A thin flannel. I like it. That is so fun. And actually it kind of ties into your photos because your photos are very cozy, like, oh, I kinda want my PJs on right now. So it’s related. You didn’t know it, but it was.

Murielle Banackissa 05:30

Yeah, it’s true.

Megan Porta 05:32

Love to learn that about you. Thanks for sharing that. So we’re going to talk about food photography today and how you got inspired by that and how you made these amazing photos look so beautiful. But first, do you want to tell us a little bit about your blog?

Murielle Banackissa 05:46

Yeah, so on my blog I like to share vegan recipes and recipes that are a little bit more out there in the sense. So I like to be inspired by my upbringing, my family history. So my mom is, was born in Ukraine, but she’s of Russian descent. So, and my dad is Congolese and my family immigrated to Canada when I was only eight years old. So I have food influences from all around the world and I really like to bring all these inspirations into the recipes that I create. And for me, putting flavor at the forefront of all my recipes is something that’s really important to me. And so on my blog I share different recipes that kind of link with all that. And obviously there are, you know, the classics, so like chocolate chip cookies and risotto and pasta and things like that.

Megan Porta 06:34

Awesome. It looks so beautiful and just yummy. When did you start your blog?

Murielle Banackissa 06:39

So I started my blog after university. So I actually studied international business and marketing and at some point during the, my university years, a friend of mine actually approached me and he saw that I was sharing food photos online. And he, so at that point I was just doing food photography for fun. Like it was not like a career or anything. And so he offered me to start taking pictures for him and that’s when I started taking food photography more seriously. And after that I figured, you know, I can kind of pursue a career in that field and it’s only after a few years of just doing food photos that I realized, you know what, I can actually start maybe creating recipes. because I’ve always loved food. I would always cook on the weekends and during the holidays food has always been a big, big, big part of my life. And so I started my blog around 2017ish. I started sharing recipes just that inspired me with ingredients that I loved, inspired sometimes by season, sometimes by stories, other times by just little events that happened in my life or even just holidays and things like that.

Megan Porta 07:46

Okay. So your blog was kind of an afterthought of your photography, which is not normally how things go with food bloggers usually it’s like, okay, I’m going to start a blog and then I have to learn photography. Right? But you did it the other way around, which makes sense because you have such a focus on it. Thank you. Yeah, it’s beautiful. Okay, so from the start you were into food photography obviously. So do you have any tips for us about like, I guess just talk to us about how you got inspired and how you bring inspiration for food into what you do.

Murielle Banackissa 08:21

Yeah, so I think one of the things that I love the most about food and food photography is the idea that you can really tell a story through the pictures that you create. So you can bring in, for example, history about your family, right? Like let’s say you have a recipe that has a really special place in your heart and you want to take a picture of that recipe so you can bring in little things that remind you of that history. So let’s say a mug that reminds you of a gathering with a family or a napkin that your mom gifted you at some point. And what I really try to do with my photography is to always pay attention to the details and bring as much as possible. Yeah, that sense of intention, of purpose with every single thing that I bring into the photos that I create. And also I think food is just really beautiful. So this the focus on detail also comes in when it comes to capturing the beauty of the food, right? So focusing on the textures of cookies or the beautiful little ridges on kale leaves or the little water droplets that just happen to stay on your coriander leaves. That’s something that really inspires me. And I always try to highlight whenever I take photos for my recipes for clients and just for fun for myself.

Megan Porta 09:44

Okay. This is interesting because I love that food lens for such expression, right? . because there’s so many different things involved. Like you mentioned the texture, like I’m looking at your chocolate peppermint patty cookies right now. And like the texture inside of there is just so intriguing. Your eyes immediately drawn to that and then the sprinkles on top and then like the ridge is on the cookie, or you mentioned like the kale and just how crispy, I mean food equals opportunity because people love looking for food or looking at food. So I’m curious if your audience, do they talk to you a lot about this? Do they comment like, oh my gosh, your photos? Are they really engaged with your photography? Do you know?

Murielle Banackissa 10:26

Yeah, definitely. I think it’s something that kind of sets me apart a little bit, especially because, you know, my photography is more moody and generally speaking in like the food blogging world, the photos tend to be a lot more bright and airy and I kind of gravitate more towards the moody style because of comforts kind of a recurring theme in my work and my life. I love creating this sense of comfort, creating scenes that are very inviting and you know, that pull people in. And I think my audience really connects with that as well.

Megan Porta 11:00

So how do you recommend we find those details in dishes that maybe don’t have the details, like a cookie that, you know, is nice and flaky and or moist and crumbly? Like obviously that lens for opportunity. But what about like a, like a creamy pasta dish? It’s like what detail do we focus on there?

Murielle Banackissa 11:18

Yes, that’s a really good question actually. In that case, what I would do personally is get creative with garnishes. You know, what is it that you can put on top of that creamy pasta dish that might maybe be a little bit, maybe boring in a sense at first glance, but you know, with a little bit of garnishes, so like fresh parsley for example, coarse ground pepper, or even like pink peppercorns, you can sprinkle that on top and all of a sudden that creamy dish becomes much more vibrant. And even like, you know, going beyond that, I think there is something beautiful about the creaminess of the pasta dish, right? So we can highlight that creaminess by, for example, one of my favorite tips is brushing a little bit of olive oil on pasta dishes. So what that does is, you know, when the light comes in, it kind of reflects off of that oil that you’ve just like lightly brushed on top of your pasta and makes it look extra luxurious and decadent. And so that’s something that you can definitely do even with the dishes that are maybe not as appetizing at first glance.

Megan Porta 12:23

Yeah, it’s amazing what a little sprinkling of pepper can do for a dish. I mean, it’s like when I’ve learned that trick a long time ago, I was like, wow, this dish looked really not appetizing before and now it looks amazing.

Murielle Banackissa 12:36

Yeah, totally.

Megan Porta 12:37

I have a question about your moody photography. How in the world do you capture this? Like everything is really well lit, but the background is so comforting and moody and dark. How do you do that?

Murielle Banackissa 12:48

It takes a lot of what, how do, how do you call those, you know, those foam boards? Yes. It takes a lot of black foam boards. So I shoot all of my photos in my kitchen. Yeah. So 95% of my work is with natural light. And so that means that I have to just use what light I have. And my kitchen has quite a lot of light coming in, so I actually have to block out probably 75% of it in order to create that moody vibe. And I do that with black foam boards also, you know, reflectors, but with like the black sleeve on top. that helps as well. And yeah, it’s really all about light manipulation and trying out different things and really seeing what is happening. You know, whenever you block, let’s say a little portion of your window, how is that affecting your entire scene? And yeah, that’s what I do.

Megan Porta 13:41

A lot of trial and error. Did you learn this from anyone or is this something that you just experimented with on your own?

Murielle Banackissa 13:46

It’s a mix of both. I’m a person who’s a very visual learner, so one of the things that I did earlier on in my photography journey is finding people that have a style that I really connected with. And back then, like my style was very, very bright and airy, like pretty, like as far as possible from what I’m doing now. Oh, interesting. But I always gravitated to like the dark and moody images. There was something about that comforting feeling, that groundedness that those images had that really pulled me in. And I looked at how people, I looked at other people’s photos and tried to replicate that. And then, you know, back in the days a lot of people would share like their behind the scenes of how they would shoot certain scenes. So I would look at that in their stories and try to replicate that in my kitchen and yeah, a lot of trial and error. And also there’s online, there are still quite a few resources, free resources that you can find. Like YouTube is a great place to start when it comes to food photography and building like a base of knowledge.

Megan Porta 14:51

Oh, that’s really inspiring. Just for people who like me who have been doing this for a long time, who honestly I’m at the place now where I’m really uninspired by photography just because it’s like I have, I don’t know, I have a lot on my plate and it’s like, I want to get in and out and just do it. But this is the first time I’ve been really inspired like, oh my gosh, it’s so pretty.

Murielle Banackissa 15:12

Thank you. I mean, I do have to say something and, and this is something , it’s funny that our conversation is happening today because yesterday I had a shoot day that was supposed to be like an hour and a half and it ended up being four hours and a half. And it was, I’m telling you Megan, I was freaking out because it was not working. I had to redo my setup four times and like, this is probably the first time in like the seven plus years I’ve been doing this that this happens to me. So like I really understand, like sometimes there are days where you’re just like, okay, I just want to get this done and make it happen and you know, get through it and it’s, it’s just not working or you’re just not inspired. There’s sometimes some things are not aligned, so you’re definitely not alone in that. And I’ve had many periods where I just went wasn’t as inspired or my shooting days weren’t as fruitful as I wish they were. So it’s completely normal.

Megan Porta 16:08

It happens to the best of us, I guess. Right?

Murielle Banackissa 16:10

Absolutely.

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Megan Porta 17:42

I think especially if you’re looking at the timeline of a blogger, like over the course of 10 plus years, it’s like, of course you’re not going to be inspired that whole time by photography. Right? Definitely. But you can kind of dip in and out of it and hone in on your style. I just, I don’t know, I’m just like, right now I am full circle. Like I take photos with my phone right now because I’m just like, I do not want to spend time on this. But it still inspires me. Like I look at your stuff and I’m like, oh, this is so beautiful. I maybe someday I’ll get back there to wanting to create something that really inspires me, but for now I’m just going to look at your stuff I think.

Murielle Banackissa 18:20

Well, yeah, and that’s okay too. I think like I really believe in the idea of like creative seasons, right? Like there are seasons where you are creating in a certain way at a certain pace and other seasons where it’s completely different. And just embracing the fact that it’s never a linear journey. It’s always ups and downs. It changes constantly. So that’s totally normal.

Megan Porta 18:41

Yeah. Right? Like you can’t expect it to stay, stay the same all throughout your journey. That’s just not realistic at all.

Murielle Banackissa 18:48

I know. Absolutely not. Yes. We’re human after all.

Megan Porta 18:51

Exactly. We are. What lens do you use for this photography? Or do you use multiple?

Murielle Banackissa 18:56

So I use multiple lenses. I mean, because I also do like food photography professionally for clients. I do need to have a bigger range of lenses. But the lens that I would recommend the most is a 50 millimeter F1.8. And yeah, so there are different camera companies that make this 50 millimeter F1.8. So Sony has one, Canon has one, Nikon has one. And it’s a great lens to start off with because generally speaking, it’s not as expensive as some of the other lenses. And the fact that it has a low F-stop is great because it allows you to take pictures with that nice blurry background and focus on your main subject. So it’s a lens that I recommend to anyone kind of starting out and dipping their toes in photography.

Megan Porta 19:41

And what’s an approximate price point for that one? Do you know?

Murielle Banackissa 19:44

So the Canon one is the one that’s the cheapest. It’s under $200, which is super affordable for a camera lens. And then the Sony and Nikon ones are under 300.

Megan Porta 19:55

Oh yeah, that’s very doable. Good place to start. And then you mentioned food photography clients. How much client work do you do?

Murielle Banackissa 20:01

So I would say my food photography work is the main source of income that I have right now. I have, I mean, the number obviously varies per month. Some clients come back like every couple of months. So I have about like a dozen clients, maybe a little bit under that.

Megan Porta 20:17

Okay. At this point. That’s great. Congratulations. You, I think a lot of people really want that. Yeah. That’s amazing. And then, I don’t know, I guess what inspiration or encouragement would you have for food bloggers who are looking for, I don’t know, just leveling up their food photography skills? Do you have anything to inspire them? Encourage them?

Murielle Banackissa 20:39

I think one of the things that I would say is ask yourself, the questions of like, some questions like, what inspires me in food? What am I trying to convey with the imagery? What, what do I find beautiful in food? And when you have answered those types of, well those questions, you can bring those answers into your next shoot. Right? So for example, if for you, one of the things that you love the most about food is the color. Okay. So then when you’re shooting your next recipe or photo, how can I highlight the color of my food? Is there a way that I can style my scene with colors that are complimenting the dish that I created or the ingredient that I’m shooting? I think for me, that has been one of the best ways to create images that make me excited and happy to shoot and create. So yeah, that would be my advice.

Megan Porta 21:31

How much time do you spend per recipe post for your photography, would you say?

Murielle Banackissa 21:36

For the photography? I would say from like the brainstorming to styling, shooting and editing, maybe three hours.

Megan Porta 21:46

Okay. So you brainstorm how it’s going to look beforehand?

Murielle Banackissa 21:50

Yeah, a little bit. I always try to, because, because I try to create photos that are very intentional and recipes that are intentional. I always think of what mood am I trying to create. So for example, one of the latest recipes I posted on my website is this chocolate chip cookie. This is actually a recipe that I served my wedding guests at my wedding that just happened in September.

Megan Porta 22:12

Congratulations.

Murielle Banackissa 22:14

Thank you. And so when I was brainstorming on how I would style this setup, I thought, okay, how can I bring elements from my wedding into this photo? So in those photos, there is actually my bouquet that I brought down the aisle that was dried up. And so that’s kind of a little touch that, you know, has meaning for me, but also makes the scene more natural and organic. And then on top of that, there are little cozy candles all around just to create that sense of coziness of warmth. So those are things that I thought about before I actually stepped into, well before I actually started shooting. And that also makes it so that it’s much easier for me to shoot on the day that I, I’m planning on shooting on, because I don’t have to think, okay, like what prop should I be bringing in right now? What direction am I going in? It saves a lot of time and actually , the reason why yesterday my shoe didn’t go well is because I didn’t do that.

Megan Porta 23:13

So good lesson. Yeah. Yeah, it does really pay off to put a little bit of thought into your photos beforehand because there’s nothing worse than scrambling last minute. Like, oh gosh, what, what can I add here? I need something that’s read and you’re . running all over the house and Oh, that’s super stressful. Okay. So you brainstorm beforehand and kind of think through props and all of that. And then your, like, your cookies are ready. So then how long does it take you to set up the scene?

Murielle Banackissa 23:42

I would say like, generally speaking, it’s about like 30 minutes. I mean, especially for something like cookies, it doesn’t take that long because it’s like they’re already pretty cooked, like, and they don’t need to be like piping hot for me, for me to shoot them. Like, as opposed to something, let’s say like a grilled cheese that is very time sensitive. Like once it’s prepared you have to shoot it right away to get that beautiful gooey cheese coming out of the sandwich. So yeah, I would say about like half an hour, more or less.

Megan Porta 24:13

Okay. Oh my goodness. So what is your favorite type of shot? Like I notice you have a few really cool pore shots, you’ve got some gooey shots. Do you have a favorite?

Murielle Banackissa 24:23

I think my favorite shots are actually the macro shots. So those are the photos where I get really up close and personal with either a dish or an ingredient. I really like those because I am able to really bring out the details of whatever I’m shooting. I think they’re really, you know, because we get so close to the ingredient of the, or the dish we’re able to kind of have an exclusive view I’d like to, to say of the food. And I just love those images. I get to really bring out the texture and the decadent aspect and play a lot with shadows and contrast. And yeah, I would say those would be my favorite shots.

Megan Porta 25:04

Yeah. So that reminds me of Pinterest because that’s what Pinterest is known for. Just those really up close and personal shots of like the drip or the pore or whatever. do you do really well on Pinterest?

Murielle Banackissa 25:15

I do. I mean, relatively well, yeah,but not like amazing, I would say.

Megan Porta 25:21

Okay. I was just looking at your Pinterest account too. Yeah, it looks really beautiful. Okay, what other questions do I have? I have so many. Do you have any other tips about Okay, styling. I, this is something I’ve always struggled with. I’ve always been more on the simplistic side because I’m lazy. Just like, okay, what am I going to throw in here? Last minute , I’ve never captured necessarily scenes like you do those beautiful, just kind of like mood inducing scenes. Do you have tips for just being a little bit more cognizant stylist, you know, like more focused on the details there?

Murielle Banackissa 25:59

I would say like, especially if you’re capturing a, maybe a little bit of a bigger scene is thinking about, so what would the people who would be in this scene doing? Is it kind of like a little gathering between two people? Is it more of like a solo moment where the person is about to eat the dish in front of them? Is it maybe a moment where it’s an afternoon snack? You know, so in that case, for example, you can have a little book in the background that kind of signals this idea of, okay, this person is reading a book while enjoying the snack. Maybe you can have a little cup of tea also to kind of create this atmosphere. Or let’s say if you were doing more of like a gathering of two people, then you can bring in maybe chairs that kind of symbolize that you can make sure that there are two more distinct plates.

Murielle Banackissa 26:47

So little things like that. And really when I talk about like intentional photography is asking yourself the questions, right? Like, what am I trying to create here? What is the mood that I’m trying to create? What is the story I’m trying to tell? And that for me has been one of the easiest ways to identify what kind of props I can start bringing in. And honestly, like, look at what also other people are creating. Like what, what type of props do they have? because Sometimes it’s like, it’s hard to, like right when you’re home and you’re about to shoot something and you’re like, okay, so like, what can I be bringing in right now? Like when you’re looking, as you said around you Yeah. And you, you just don’t know what to bring in. So like looking at what other people use as props can be a really good inspiration to, to look at what you have around you with a different eye. And it becomes easier to style in that, in that way.

Megan Porta 27:36

You mentioned bringing in chairs. I have literally never thought to bring in a chair for a prop for my food photography. It’s, that is way beyond my scope of thinking about my scene , but I’m so impressed by that. But yeah, that’s such a good way to just communicate that someone else is going to be sitting at the table with you, right? Like, what a perfect way to describe that in a visual way. Thank you. Yeah. Okay. Let’s see, what else do I want to ask you? So we talked about your lens, you use Canon, correct? You said?

Murielle Banackissa 28:08

Actually I used to, now I actually, I switched to Sony. So I had, I’ve had two Canon cameras. They were both cropped sensors. And then when I started shooting my cookbook, I was like, m it’s time for full frame camera. And so I decided to switch with Sony because I wanted to go mirrorless instead of DSLR. And I did like the price to specs comparison and Sony was more worth it. So now I’m with Sony.

Megan Porta 28:36

Okay. Do you feel like your focus on photography has translated into extra views, traffic and all of that good stuff that we’re always looking for?

Murielle Banackissa 28:43

Oh yeah, definitely. I think because of the fact that my photography is such a big focus and because it’s quite different, it does attract a certain crowd of people for sure.

Megan Porta 28:54

What would you say your crowd of people are? Like? Are they photo interested or are they just more like, I don’t know, just Ewing and eyeing over the food?

Murielle Banackissa 29:03

Yeah, I think the, my crowd of people is the people that really like the idea of intentional living and kind of broadening that beyond just, you know, how you live your life and your daily routines, but also bringing down into food. And they are people who like to kind of experiment to with new flavors. There are people who are not afraid to go out to a new grocery store to find an ingredient to try a recipe. And there are people who are kind of like me in that they like to spend time, you know, browsing recipes online on a random Friday to find what they’ll be cooking on the weekend. And the weekend is kind of a time to really explore new recipes, try out new things, and just be super present in that process.

Megan Porta 29:48

You’ve used the word intentional a few times. I love the term intentional photography, but also you just said intentional living. which I think is kind of a new, I wouldn’t, I don’t want to say trendy, but it’s like a really important . way that people are starting to live in order to preserve their sanity and all of that. Yes. So I love that term that you’re using and that that’s the people you’re drawing in. That’s so cool. Do you do video also?

Murielle Banackissa 30:15

Yes, I do. So actually I started video more through YouTube. So I’ve always had a pool to create videos on YouTube and create like, educational content and a little bit of recipe videos. And so I, I started that a few years ago. I’m not as consistent with it as I would want to be, but I really love it. I think it’s a great, it’s been a great way for me to connect with my community and just to create more longer form content. But I also do video like reels and stuff on Instagram, although always with my camera, just because I, I just love creating, recreating the mood that I have in my photos through video as much as possible.

Megan Porta 30:52

Does your Instagram account do pretty well?

Murielle Banackissa 30:54

It does pretty well. I mean, obviously with the algorithm it’s a little bit tricky sometimes to keep up and have the views, especially because since I am creating videos with my camera, it takes so much longer than to create videos with a phone. Yeah. Although obviously it’s also long with the phone, but with the camera it’s, it’s just different. And so I’m not able to create as many videos and reels as I maybe should in order to get more views, but that’s okay. I’ve honestly come to terms with the fact that, you know, my account might not be the one with the most amount of engagement. because At the end of the day, as you said a bit earlier, is like, I want to preserve my sanity and I want to create like a work-life balance that really fits with who I am. And also that aligns with the future too, right? Where I’m not like overworking myself and feeling burnt out because I need to keep up with numbers and the algorithm and all that.

Megan Porta 31:53

I love how that all ties in together. So your philosophy about living also ties into your photography style. That’s so cool how it all ties together. Is there anything else we need to know, Murielle, about photography? Any other tips or anything you want to mention before we start saying goodbye?

Murielle Banackissa 32:08

I would say maybe one thing, a little tip that I would give to the listeners is start observing the light and how it changes. because I find that’s one of the ways that I was able to really train my eye is see how, you know, depending on the type of day, whether it’s cloudy or sunny, how your food looks in different lights. And is there a time of the day that you find your food looks better? Is there, because you know, for example, if you were shooting right in the middle of the afternoon and the sun is like coming in through your window and it’s really strong and it creates harsh shadows that will affect, you know, how your food looks. And if that’s a style that really, that really speaks to you, then you can kind of make it a habit to always shoot at that time of the day to replicate that style. Whereas if you’re a person who likes more maybe moody images with more, more of a diffused light, then maybe grayer days are better for you. So definitely pay attention to the light and how it switches and changes and I think it could really help you improve your photography, your, and also give you a specific style.

Megan Porta 33:17

Great advice. I love this. If you are interested in upping your game with photography, I know you’re going to love this episode. This was so good. Thank you so much for your time, Uriel, it was a pleasure talking to you.

Murielle Banackissa 33:28

Thank you so much, Megan, it’s been lovely.

Megan Porta 33:31

Yes. Agreed. Do you have either a favorite quote or words of inspiration to leave us with today?

Murielle Banackissa 33:36

Yes, I do. So my favorite quote is one that has, that I’ve carried with me since my early teenage years, and it is “Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire.” It’s a quote by Jennifer Lee, who is an American filmmaker. And what I love about this quote is that it really highlights the idea of following your intuition, that little small voice inside of you that tells you to go after certain things and to go at it with courage and intention.

Megan Porta 34:05

Oh, love that. What a great way to end the conversation. We’ll put together show notes page for you, Murielle. If you want to go peek at those, you can head to eatblogtalk.com/murielleb. So tell everyone where they can find you.

Murielle Banackissa 34:27

So you can find me on Instagram. I’m at @MurielleBanackissa on YouTube also @MurielleBanackissa. My blog is MurielleBanackissa.com and my cookbook is going to be out on March 5th, 2024. It’s called Savoring and it’s available for pre-order. It’s also on my site, so you can learn more about it over there.

Megan Porta 34:48

I can’t wait for your cookbook. I’m going to go check that out. How exciting. Congratulations on that.

Murielle Banackissa 34:53

Thank you so much, Megan.

Megan Porta 34:54

Yes. Well thank you again for being here, and thank you so much for listening, food bloggers. I will see you in the next episode. 

Outro 35:02

Thank you so much for listening to this episode of Eat Blog Talk. If you are craving accountability, focus, and connection at a low monthly cost, join the Eat Blog Talk accountability group at eatblogtalk.com/focus. I will see you next time.


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Megan
Megan

Megan started her food blog Pip and Ebby in 2010 and food blogging has been her full-time career since 2013. Her passion for blogging has grown into an intense desire to help fellow food bloggers find the information, insight, and community they need in order to find success.

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