Cincinnati-based photographer Marlene Rounds was having a conversation with her friend (also a photographer) about an experience she had with an art buyer. The art buyer had been perusing her friend’s printed photography book and asked if she had any pictures of apples as only oranges appeared in the book.
This request got Marlene thinking about the phrase “comparing apples to oranges,” and she decided to create a picture with both fruits. (Why can’t they be compared?) Marlene was quite taken with the resulting picture, and after sharing the image with her food stylist friend, she decided to run with the idea and use it as a jumping off point for a personal project.
To plan for the rest of the shots, Marlene put together a mood board of inspiring images. And while many contemporary images and ideas inspired her, Marlene also cites Irving Penn’s food photography as an influence for this project.
Much like Penn, Marlene wanted to make pictures of food in an unexpected way, but she also wanted to add a sense of modernity to the photos.
Seeing food presented in new ways is always fun for me… I mainly shoot products and food and I liked that these pictures were a combination of the two in a lot of ways.
Marlene emailed the mood board to food stylist Jeffery Martin, and they later discussed the details over the phone.
I had already made the first piece, so the set-up was pre-determined. Now, it was just a matter of fleshing-out the nuts and bolts.
Marlene had a blast making the pictures. It was her first time working with Jeffery, and she was thrilled by how productive and seamlessly they worked in the studio together.
We cranked up the 80s jams and just went with it…lot’s of fun!
Although most of the shoot went smoothly, Marlene knew photography often necessitates problem-solving. There was a particular shot where the ingredients simply weren’t meshing together to create a solid image. Marlene is thankful she didn’t spend too much time working on a fruitless image and knew when it was time to move on to something else.
Although pink is often associated with femininity, Marlene wanted to strip the color of those connotations and reclaim as something less gendered.
I always felt pink was off-limits because I didn’t want to seem too girly, but I have always loved the color and it compliments my business and favorite color turquoise nicely.
Marlene was happy with how everything came out, and she enjoyed the entire creative process, especially her collaboration with Jeffery.
Looking ahead, Marlene is currently working on expanding the project through additional pictures and by creating stop motion animations using the same setup.
See more of Marlene at marlenerounds.com