20 Questions with Luisa Brimble


Ok so maybe it’s more like 24 questions, but in any case I had the pleasure of catching up with good friend and photographer extraordinaire Luisa Brimble to pick her brains about all things food, lifestyle and of course, Justin Bieber.

Luisa, I know you love to embrace the season you're in, so what are you cooking right now?
Ohhhhh I just made Avocado on Turkish Toast with salt, pepper, squeeze of lemon, add a sprinkle of chilli flakes and a dash of truffle oil. Pretty much a good savoury summer lunch needs to be fresh! We mainly rotate between Asian & Mexican. My family loves Fajitas and Beef tacos with freshly made tomato salsa.

What is coming up for you in 2016?
Hmmmmm at the start of the year I was getting really excited because I’m thinking of all the collaboration possibilities. I’m supposed to be working on a cookbook but I can’t confirm that 100% as I haven’t signed the contract. I have confirmed four food photography & styling workshops with Sophie Hansen of ‘Local is Lovely’ along with some international guests such as Marta Greber of What’s for Breakfast, Simone Hawslich, Molly Yeh, Skye McAlpine & Imen McDonnell. I’ve also got two other workshops with Annabelle Hickson of The Daily up in The Dumaresq Valley (11 hours drive from Sydney) and then the release of Arthur Street Kitchen Cookbook #2 in September. In between these I will always fill up the calendar with collaborations and shoot stories I’ve been dreaming of for ages.
So yeah Jacob Leung!!! It’s playtime again soon for you and me right?

You are the queen of collaboration – why do you collaborate with people? 
Ha ha ha! That’s too funny. Thank you! Ok so here goes I’ve written 10 reasons here:
1) It’s because I can’t do everything on my own.
2) It’s always so much fun working with other people. 
3) It brings me work the more I collaborate the more I get jobs and enquiries for some reason. 
4) I get to shoot what I’ve always dreamed of. I believe that personal work when it comes to photography is very important. 
5) It’s great way to catch up with friends, if you’re catching up why not shoot instead. Coffee date?? Hell no! Ask me for a ‘play date’ and I’m there. Let’s talk business and shoot at the same time, that’s a lot more productive. 
6) It gives me a chance to suss out people who I can work with; I love getting to know people first before working with them on big projects. I always call on people I collaborate with first whenever a job comes in and I need a cook/food prep or food stylist or prop stylist etc… 
7) When you collaborate that’s instant content! Content to share for all. Content to hopefully inspire others.
8) When you collaborate it will really test how you work with different characters especially if you’re driving the project. It will test you how you’re going to find a solution to a problem.
9) Collaboration brings people together. It’s a good bonding exercise.
10) When you collaborate it’s always going to be a win win situation. Everybody wins (as long as all the collaborators have something to put in the table). So when you want to collaborate work on what you can offer first.  
What is the best part of your job?
The best part is meeting new people. I’m always on the look out. The best part of shooting food is it doesn’t complain (joking)! It’s a lot of fun shooting a cookbook; It’s a complete story! Travel is a perk too. Yes of course it sounds glamorous but in reality it’s always hard work and it’s not always fun being away from the family.   
You really are constantly travelling with your work, how do you juggle your passion for photography and a family?
People ask me that all the time. I think that when you’re put in the situation you will always make it work. If I have a job or travelling I always seem to find a solution as to who is going to be picking up my girls from school etc. I’m very lucky that Chris - my husband - is super duper supportive. I think that my luck might run out soon though but we’ll see….
Are there any food & lifestyle trends you’re seeing for 2016?

A few friends in the industry have asked me this question, and I believe we are going back to basics. Soon people will be over the sugar thing and moving back to the basics. Or maybe people will go back to the basics now with the knowledge how to eat healthily… maybe we will see a move to more plant-based meals.
Styling-wise I’m hoping that we can all move on from the heavy use of the linen-fabric-pretending-to-have-just-been-chucked- there-hastily-kind-of-look. More simplicity is what I’m hoping to see it in 2016.   
What advice do you have for up and coming food and lifestyle photographers? 
Hhhmmmm the hustle in me says come and attend one of the food photography & styling workshops I do with Sophie Hansen of Local is Lovely  or if not there will be two new workshop in the pipeline with Annabelle Hickson of The Dailys so keep and eye out for the one.
But really, just like anything else, if you’re up and coming first and foremost you need to have the interest (then passion) in the chosen field that really speaks to you. I like to think that when you do something in life it needs to have meaning and relation to what you are passionate about. So for a food and lifestyle photographer you obviously need to be interested in food, cooking, travel, people etc. I mean, who doesn’t I guess? Interest in people when it comes to lifestyle will really help you in photographing a compelling story. Always find a story when you’re shooting.   
What’s the best photography advice you have been given?
It’s cliché but 110% true; Shoot, shoot and shoot. You’re not going to get any better if you only shoot twice a month. You need to be shooting every week at least, and if you can manage it every day! if you want advice as a growing photographer you need to read what Eric Kim wrote here
Nikon or Canon? Canon of course
Chicken or Beef? Beef… or Chicken… hmmm definitely beef
Red or white (wine)? White. Red makes me sleepy. 
Fine dining or picnic? I’d say fine dining because you can do a picnic any time. 
Flowers or foliage? Oh don’t do that to me! I’m choosing flowers coz of colours. 
Jamie Oliver or Nigella Lawson? Definitely Jamie Oliver. 
Woolworths or Coles? Neither
Sweet or savoury? Always savoury
Ben and Jerry’s or Messina? I used to not like Messina but Hetty McKinnon & Erika Raxworthy convinced me otherwise. 
Asian or Mexican? (cuisine of course!) Asian because I am one! 
Beach or country? Beach, always.
Eat or drink? Eat for sure! 
Studio or outdoors? Outdoors it’s more fun and spontaneous. 
Salt or pepper? Salt! Not a big fan of pepper. 
Justin Bieber or Tay Tay? Of course The Biebs - only recently though coz of his new album.
Luisa Brimble is a Sydney-based food and lifestyle photographer and founder of Alphabet Family Journal.