Hi, my name is Seema Rose. I am a food & lifestyle photographer based in Dubai.
My food & creative journey is a long one but my photography journey started just over 2 years ago. I had been in advertising for most of my life and thoroughly enjoyed the creative process. The part I did not enjoy was the corporate politics around it. In 2020, I lost my job which I had loved very much. This was very unexpected. It changed everything for me. After the initial shock, I gathered myself and thought hard about where I wanted to go from there. My family has been my rock and I wouldn’t have survived without their and my friends’ support. I love to cook & bake and started focusing on that more. I started my Instagram page and, thanks to its infamous algorithm, started getting served food photography – and that just blew my mind! I wanted my food to look that stunning. I spoke to my husband about it and he suggested I try using an old Canon DSLR. That’s how my food photography journey began. I started practising every day, but struggled to get the picture I had in my head. I had the fire, hunger & passion for photography, but just needed someone to guide me. This is when I came across Eva Kosmas Flores’ food photography course and that was a game changer for me. Around the same time, I also saw Bea Lubas’ stunning work and was hooked! She inspires me every day!
Over the course of my exploration into photography, I’ve attempted a vast array of styles, themes and motifs. That being said, the one I personally identify with the most is what I’d describe as dark and moody. I prefer dramatic, moody shots with pops of colour. I love the mystery around it. I love to tell my story through my photography and my editing. Though this style speaks to me the most, I’m constantly experimenting with new concepts and techniques. I find it so much fun to play around with the camera and how I set up my shots. I feel that doing so has helped me better my capabilities and made me fall deeper in love with photography and just how vast and creatively diverse it can be!
Inspiration & beauty is all around us – we just need to keep an open mind and really “see” it. Nature is a big inspiration for me – the colours of leaves & flowers, the way sunlight interacts with things, the natural framing by trees – it’s all so fascinating. I love drawing inspiration from seasons, though living in Dubai has its own challenges with that. Along with that, I observe a few select photographers’ work and journey closely. It’s interesting to imagine the thinking behind their work, which is something I try to learn from and integrate into my process. Besides food photographers, I am very much influenced by lifestyle & interior design photographers. There’s so much to learn about the use of colours, light and styling!
Another thing I love to do is attend photography workshops. It is extremely soul satisfying in my opinion. You get to meet like-minded people, from whom you can learn so much.
My mind is always on the lookout for new subjects and ideas that I can play with. Sometimes I get an idea very late at night, or when I am in the shower! I make it a point to jot down my thoughts before I forget. My process kicks into gear as I bring that idea to life, clarifying all the details of what I hope to achieve with this. I begin thinking about what emotions I want to portray and what story I want to tell the viewer. I usually go on to think of the colours I want to use, because colors play a big role in conveying the story. I then think of the food I want to show, where shapes, textures, colours come into play. Then, I focus on the angle of the shot, which helps me determine what kind of light I want to use. Sometimes, I have more than one angle in mind and could use both side light & backlight. This all leads me to visualise the overall scene, with details like composition, styling, use of props, etc. The magic is later amplified when it comes down to the editing. This is pretty much the breakdown of my creative process.
What started as a hobby is now a full-blown passion for me – a second birth almost. In my quest for finding my creative path, besides photography for personal projects, I have conducted photography workshops and done restaurant photography. And my latest venture, which I am super passionate about, is to organise creative retreats. This is basically a coming together of creative minds in an inspiring destination and spending a short break together. My first creative retreat, which I am co-hosting with my photographer friend Alessandra Mignardi, is due to happen in May this year in a beautiful location in Florence. I am super excited about it and see us organising more such retreats in the future.
Creativity is enriching, empowering & immensely satisfying. At the same time, it can be exhausting, demanding and unpredictable. Sometimes, it’s so difficult to bring your vision to life and that is frustrating! But once you overcome that mental barrier, it is the most rewarding feeling. Nothing gives me more joy than creating visual storytelling pieces and meeting other creative minds.
My motivation comes from passion, and that is something that comes from within. How much are we willing to invest in nurturing our soul, is a question that only we ourselves can answer. Sure, there are a lot of peripheral factors that also determine how motivated we are, but for the most part, this is something that we have to draw from within.
I want to thank Neoque magazine for giving me this platform to tell my story. They are doing such a fantastic job of celebrating women and their passions. Well done!
Photographer: Seema Rose @seemarosephotography – https://www.seemarosephotography.com