Carefree creative expression leads to a fusion of food artistry and photography

Post by
Marisa Young
Carefree creative expression leads to a fusion of food artistry and photography

Motivated creator Lynn Clark has always been inspired to express her creativity in a multitude of ways. Her creative skills are a vibrant mix of formal qualifications and self-taught, stemming from her time at Art School and further foundations pursuing a career in Graphic Design.

With all these creative skills and ideas bubbling away it was no surprise that her love of cooking helped her rediscover a passion for photography. As these two creative worlds deliciously collided you can now find her artistic expression etched into decorative breads, painted onto pasta and more. Lynn has even been shortlisted for the prestigious Pink Lady Photographer of the Year Awards for the last two years running!

Her creative talents aren't just active in the kitchen, Lynn is an artist at heart and often has a paintbrush, or stylus, in hand producing a variety of unique artwork. In addition to her creative qualifications, Lynn is also a trained mental health aid and advocates the benefits of expressing your creativity, regardless of your skill level. We love bearing witness to Lynn actively practicing what she preaches, no creative medium is too challenging for her to tackle!

Lynn is a resourceful creator who is very active within the creative community. She generously shares her experiences as she develops new techniques and creative ideas so that others can learn alongside her. We have also had the pleasure of partnering with her for many a customer project, particularly memorable is her work for Mike's Hard Seltzer and Bundaberg where she added a unique local perspective to the brands' expansion into the UK.

Scroll down to meet Lynn for yourself and see the many strings to her creative bow.

Lynn's creative beginnings

I got started in photography at Art School, using a Canon SLR and learning to process film in a dark room and enjoying messing around with photo manipulation, textured and hi-res shots.

After graduating with a degree in 3D design for theatre, I stopped the photography for some years but eventually bought myself a DSLR and rediscovered my love for it.

When I began to get a little known for my food (outside of my day job in communications and digital design) I began to draw back in on my earlier photography and undergraduate experiences. My photography quickly improved and many skills I learnt from my degree such as lighting, prop making etc. really came in handy!

Lynn sure knows how to make a splash! Source: Creatively Squared

I love playing with my images, whether that's in the set up or post production, and I have a strong connection to the use of colour and light. I also often use anything that I've created (crafts, art, food) or natural elements such as foraged items or items from my garden.

My food photography lead me to drinks and then product photography. For the past two years I've had images shortlisted for the prestigious Pink Lady Food Photographer Awards.

Lynn's images shortlisted for the Pink Lady Food Photographer Awards 2021. Source: @inksugarspice
The main thing I'd say about my photography is I get so excited every time I pick up a camera: I can't wait to tell my next visual story.

How Lynn challenged the limits of her creativity

I began participating with Creatively Squared's photography challenges, I'd seen one of my online friends producing some of their best images through them. I enjoyed participating and it really began to push me creatively and helped me realise all that I could do. The team at Creatively Squared have been encouraging since the get-go! I joined up to continue to get that creative push and inspiration and for the goal of seeing my own images alongside other amazing photographers' work.

Lynn shows her creative and whimsical side (not to mention her editing skills) with this clever and fun levitation image. Source: @inksugarspice

Food and drink will always be the core of my work, but anything that will allow me to tell a story and get creative, whether that's stop motions and cinemagraphs, freeze-frame action shots or using my styling skills to set the scene.

I'm eclectic and a bit of a magpie. I constantly carry a sketch book to jot down info, draw from real life, as well as use my phone, to capture new ideas. I'll often make a mood board of recent inspiration that will inform my next photography experiments.

The most challenging for me, but one where I learned so much, was my first wine project. This was for Proudly Vegan wines. I thought it would be a breeze to switch to wine, but there's a real skill in getting the lighting right, being careful with reflections, keeping the translucency and quality there. I improved so much in just that first project, helped by feedback and encouragement from Creatively Squared. I'm now many drinks projects in and confident of my wine, beer and soft drinks skills.

Cheers to Lynn's drink styling. Source: Creatively Squared


Lynn's tools of the trade

I currently use a Canon D90, a fabulous, pin-sharp crop sensor. I'm hoping to move up to mirrorless soon though. I have several tripods mostly Velbon and Manfrotto, including a mini tripod to get low and a monopod for on-location shots. Also for on-the-go I have an LED handheld lightpad. I edit in LightRoom and Photoshop but for quickness and ease when I'm out you can't beat Snapseed which, as a bonus, is free. I make most of my own backdrops and props, but have a stash of vinyls as they're so handy.

It's all me - I love being multiskilled and learning every part of the process.

Lynn combines her love of cooking, art and styling to create her content. Source: @inksugarspice

I prefer using natural materials, so found objects like treebark and I often use real tiles or travertine for backgrounds. Often they're actually cheaper than the vinyl background equivalents and you'll get a unique pattern. I luckily live close to the beautiful Peak District so I'm often taking products out to the hills or dales or a pretty village to get the best shots.

I use any space I can find! I have a mini studio set-up in a spare bedroom, but I often photograph all over the house and in particular my garden, which has a lot a variety in the areas I can use. This is because I use all my surfaces, walls, bricks, patio, garden, kitchen etc as the backdrop. If you look around your own home and locality there will lots of great surfaces and objects you can utilise.

Lynn makes the most of her garden for styling opportunities, and levitation hacks. Source: Lynn Clark

I sketch out rough ideas and create a mood board in Pinterest for each project. I've also got a dot journal I use specifically for Creatively Squared projects and plan out each image design and transfer all the key notes from the project brief.

Lynn's project planning in sketch form for a Creatively Squared project. Source: Lynn Clark
One of Lynn's final images created for Mike's Hard Seltzer. Source: Creatively Squared

I carry a sketchbook everywhere and take lots of photos on my phone. I confess I don't really have a problem of not being in the zone: that creative buzz in my head is 24/7!

My favourite creators that I follow on Instagram for inspiration are @madeineastanglia (Catherine Grassin), @thefloristsdaughter, @locavoremagazine and CS's own @sandywood

Lynn's top creative tip

Use space as creatively as you use the objects you're shooting. Think of it all as part of the composition. The product and props may be positioned beautifully, but also consider all your composition techniques on the gaps in between too as this will ensure your final image is the best it can be.

What's next for Lynn

I want to practice more on stop motions and cinemagraphs, as I've barely touched on these in the last year and they're so rewarding to make. I'd also like to branch out into other product shots.

Thank you Lynn for being an important and always supportive member of our creator team and community. You can follow Lynn's journey over on her Instagram or head to her website and see her latest blog posts.

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