Hello, Namaste! I am Gayatri Vinod, based out of India. I am a self taught food photographer, who is now sharpening her skills by learning from experienced food photographers, one of them is Lucia Marecak. My passion is all about knowing and learning about Indian Food and its rich culture. I love to cook, experiment with a variety of dishes that belong to different states of India. That gave birth to my Instagram page in the year 2019. Many suggested I should do blogging, write recipes and curate it at one place. So, with that focus in my mind, I started cooking, plating dishes and clicking my dishes through my only mobile. Gained interest in how beautiful the cooked food is seen through the lens. I wanted to know more, learn more and implement. Slowly, I started reading about the basics of photography, editing, and different software. And then there was no looking back. I wanted to click every bit of the ingredients that completed the very dish.

Kali mirch – Black pepper
The name pepper comes from the language Sanskrit ‘Pippali’. This is also known as the king of spices and has loads of health benefits. The major benefits of consuming pepper are weight loss, digestion and detoxifying the body.
Rai – Black Mustard seeds
Black Mustard seeds have a pungent spicy aroma and flavor. There are about 40 different varieties of mustard seeds. However, white, brown, and black mustard seeds are the most well-known for use in cooking.

My primary focus is on our day to day dishes, Indian Street food, ‘Spices’ that go in these dishes, age old traditional dishes. These clicks are of Indian Spices or “masalas” as we call them, that are majorly used in Indian Kitchen. The unique texture, aroma of each one of these spices, the combination in which it is used is the highlight for making any Indian dish : “how it looks and how it tastes”. They say “if you want to know the taste preference of an Indian Family, just see their Spice box(Masala Dabba) kept in the kitchen.” I was intrigued by the very thought. The beauty of these spices merely cannot be enjoyed by the human eye. That’s when the thought of photographing these spices crossed my mind.

Chakr phool – Star anise
Despite its sweetness, star anise traditionally is used in savory recipes, particularly with meats. It often is added whole to soups, stews and braising broths, to which it adds a sweet-licorice-peppery flavor. Star anise can be used whole or ground.
Haldi – Turmeric
Turmeric has a warm, bitter taste and is frequently used to flavor or color curry powders, mustards, butters, and cheeses. Because curcumin and other chemicals in turmeric might decrease swelling, it is often used to treat conditions that involve pain and inflammation.

I like to photograph any dish/ingredient as authentic as possible. I believe in a simple set up, where the main focus is on the color, texture, shape ,size. I never go by any rule book, what is pleasing to my eyes, click. Having said that, sometimes I do follow some basic rules of composition as well in a few situations. But 90% of my work is always done with what connects to me and pleases my eyes given what ingredient is present at that point of time and the mood I would like to capture, with the natural light set up.

Elaichi – Cardamom
Many Indian and Indian-inspired dishes call for cardamom, including curry dishes, Kheer (Indian rice pudding), and chai. Indian spice blends such as garam masala also feature cardamom. 
Idli Podi – Gunpowder
Milagai Podi, often referred to as Gunpowder Spice, is a mixture of dal (lentils), seeds, and spices traditionally found in South Indian cuisine. The blend can vary in heat level, based on the number and types of chilies used. It is typically used to season idlis and dosas in Indian cuisine.

I aspire to bring out the beauty of Indian Food and its culture, globally through my photography. I know for sure this journey of photography is going to open up many pathways for exploration. One such thing is to be part of NEOQUE magazine. I would like to Thank NEOQUE for providing me with this platform to share my journey with others. Your thought of bringing all like minded passionate women under one forum is truly commendable. Kudos for that !

Lal mirch – Chilli powder
Chilli powder is predominately used both for heat and a bit of colour in marinades, fillings and dry preparations. Usually fresh chilli is used during the cooking process and then additional chilli powder is added if an extra punch of heat is required.
Traditional way of making chutney (Indian dip) in Mortar Pestle

Photographer: Gayatri Vinod @gayatri.srinivasan18 (Simple delights)