Robertas Daskevičius is a freelance food photographer, based in Lithuania. This year he has started his personal non-commercial project called 52 times, which recently has been named the best blog in Lithuania. The idea of the project is to make different food photoshoots with different chefs every week of the year, revealing the various possibilities of food photography.
We have interviewed him to know more about this project and the chefs involved.
What is 52 times and when did it begin?
52 times is my personal food photography project and blog. How did it begin? One sunny evening during my last summer vacation in Italy we sat on a terrace with my wife and the idea of “52 times” came to my mind. I wanted to create something not ordinary in food photography and when the idea of the project that will continue throughout the year and will consist of recipes for 52 delicious dinners with friends, 52 talented chefs, and 52 exquisite food photography sessions, came to my mind, I knew I have to do it and decided to start with the beginning of 2017.
What does the name signify?
There are 52 weeks in a year, hence, 52 weekends as well. It means that there are 52 splendid occasions to spend some time with your beloved, dear friends. In order to inspire people to meet more often each week, I create different food photoshoots with different chefs and they offer their recipes for such dinners with friends.
#37 Time ©Robertas Daskevičius
What made you embark on this project?
First of all, as food photography is my passion, I want to show various possibilities of it and to surprise my followers with new ideas and delicious food photoshoots. Second, it’s a challenge to myself, when every week I have to create something new, something special - this makes me learn new things and thus I accumulate huge experience in food photography. And last but not least, I want to encourage professional chefs to share their recipes, to reveal them to ordinary people, so that they could get some ideas, inspiration, try new tastes. In this way, I can contribute to increasing food culture in my country to new levels.
How do you select the chefs?
There are different criteria - some of the chefs I already know and work with, there also some, with whom I would like to create something interesting - the ones, whose ideas, philosophy seems appealing to me. Some chefs also address me themselves. In general, I want the chefs, who join this project, would not be simply working as chefs. I aim to choose the ones, who literally live in their kitchens, have a great passion for food and always seek the best result.
#43 Time ©Robertas Daskevičius
Which were the best collaborations? Can you give us some examples?
Each week and each photoshoot is very special to me because every time I create something new, I challenge myself and I am forced to get out of my comfort zone. Still, if to distinguish some photoshoots, I would name these:
#1 time was created with one of the best pastry chefs in Lithuania, Ali Gadžijevas, where we tastefully combined food and fashion in a beautiful way to tell the story about dinner with friends through one person. Every dish was presented in unique pop-style surroundings alongside clothes and accessories superbly crafted by talented Lithuanian designers. This has all been presented amongst aesthetic minimalist Scandinavian interior design details and decorations.
#8 time was created especially for Pancake Day with one famous Lithuanian dessert studio owner Laura Donelė. During this cozy photo shoot, I tried to create a warm home atmosphere where the appealing dishes are already served on the table and await the happy families to roll in loudly for the festive dinner. This food photography style is not very characteristic to me and that’s why it was interesting to try it.
#11 time was created with chef Dmitrij Berman and let me to combine my passion for pictures on water and food photography. Water is one of those substances which allows one to play, experiment and which surprises one with unexpected images you cannot repeat. So we splashed the plates and the result was a fresh, brisk and most importantly, a spring-inspired photo session.