How did you get into food styling?
Well I got into food and cooking during my college years and from than on it became my passion. It is a place I go to when I need to relax or when I need to steam off some creativity. But I didn't want to become a chef. Photography has been my hobby from my high school years. I guess that the combination of those two is the perfect fit to become a food stylist. At first I was doing all sorts of jobs on commercials, but everyone knew about my passion for food. When foreign productions came to Slovenia to film food commercials, they brought food stylists with them and those needed someone who they could rely on during the preparations days; someone who knows about seasonal ingredients, this and that about cooking, and most importantly, they were looking for someone who they can rely on during the strenuous shooting days. So I gave it a go. At first I was overwhelmed but the moment I got a taste of it I fell in love with the job.
You seem to have more video styling than still, do you like that more? Did you start in film?
Right away I started working on film, but I had a pretty good idea about the work flow on the shoots, but for someone who didn't have an opportunity to experience that, it can be quite overwhelming. It is very, very demanding, because there are more variables, more uncontrollable factors and things that can surprise you and consequentially, go wrong... So you have to be prepared, think ahead and foresee things. Unpredictability is always in the air. You have to be quick and efficient, but always in control.
Where do you look for your inspiration?
I browse food blogs every day. I study the photos featured on those blogs and try to understand why some are more appealing to the eye and why food looks better on some. How the food is lighted and the textures add to this appeal. Also my inspiration are people I work or worked with. Food stylists with 10, 20 or 30 years of work experiences...
How long have you been in the business? Who are some notable clients you have worked for?
It's been only a few years since I started doing this professionally and getting paid for that, but fortunately I had a very quick and efficient "go" during this time and gathered quite a lot of experiences and built my references, as an assistant or solo food stylist. You can see my show reel on www.sabinapensek.tumblr.com
Any dream clients you want to work for?
I haven't thought about that yet. Maybe it is not so much about the clients, maybe it is more about creative behind the commercial or a shoot. I would love to do a big medieval feast of sorts. That would be fun!
Can you tell me about your photo shoot with Delamaris? (Quick walk through how you approached this styling job)
That was a shoot for a photo on a package, and it is not out yet, so i better not talk about it just yet.
Can you tell me a little about your TV shoot with Gea?
Meggle cheese commercial is more recent and a bit more interesting than Gea.
The client wanted to tell the story of a typical family breakfast. Not too tidy and classic, but rustic, with story and with a hint of nostalgia - like a grandma would prepare. So the props on the table - the utensils and plates were selected in that manner and I styled the food on the table that way. Fresh and healthy ingredients that go along with the tasty cheese spread and cottage cheese. To get that perfect knife and the cheese spreading action we had to have quit e few go’s, always with a a new package. It had to be warmed to just the right temperature to get that nice glossy flow look and feel.
One tool you can’t show up without.