Katie Quinn Davies ~ originally a native of Dublin, Ireland, now based in Sydney, Australia, works as a freelance commercial photographer specialising in food and lifestyle subjects with a strong focus on the former. She also is a cookbook author and recipe writer and is a regular contributor to Australia’s ABC Delicious Magazine, for which she writes, styles and shoots a monthly, eight page food editorial story.
In the past two and a half years she has amassed a respectable editorial and advertising client list including; Penguin Books, Murdoch books, ACP Magazines, News Magazines, Conde Nast Brides, Vogue Weddings Japan, Vogue Australia, Tourism Tasmania, Delicious Magazine, Martha Stewart Living, Food + Wine NYC, Real Living Magazine, Fairfax Media, Tourism Victoria, Kellogg’s, Kitchen Aid, Unilever, Sonoma Breads, Taylors Wines, Lean Cuisine, to name but a few.
Katie brings a natural, rustic, tactile and graphic quality to her photographic work, opting to present food and subjects in an honest and candid state.
In her spare time, as a sideline to her commercial work, Katie writes and shoots for her website: ‘What Katie Ate‘ for which she develops, cooks, styles and shoots each recipe, features travel stories and general foodie related pieces. In collaboration with Penguin Books Australia and Penguin New York, HarperCollins U.K. and Hachette Livre in France, Katie released her first 304 page, hardback ‘What Katie Ate ~ Recipes and other Bits and Bobs‘ Cookbook in October 2012 which is full of honest, home-cooked recipes, most in part inspired by Katie’s love for throwing a good dinner party for friends and family. Katioe’s first book has sold into 20+ countries and translated into 16 languages worldwide.
Katie’s second book ‘What Katie Ate at the Weekend‘ went on sale in October 2014, and contains 100 recipes to be enjoyed at the weekend with friends and family.
For any queries not relating to the blog directly – aka you are inquiring about a commercial photography assignment booking and/or query, please contact Sophie Penhallow @ Network agency:
Sophie Penhallow + producer
Network agency + management
Studio 1 level 3, 35 Buckingham Street
Surry Hills NSW 2010 Australia
Ph+ 61 2 9690 2299 | Fx + 61 2 9690 0799
For pricing of images, interest in buying pre-exisiting photos on WKA or such, please contact Katie directly
For any queries relating to the promotion, publicity or sales of Katie’s book in Australia or New Zealand or abroad, please contact Katie’s Australian publicist Heidi McCourt at Penguin Australia, who can help with all publicity matters. Ph: +61 2 8204 3316 | Mob: 61 432 460 796
For any queries relating to the promotion, publicity or sales of Katie’s book in the USA, please contact Katie’s American publicist Lucia Watson at the Avery/Gotham division of Penguin Books New York, who can help with all publicity matters located in the USA or Canada.
Questions and Answers with Katie
What cameras and lenses do you use for your work?
For most of my day-to-day food shooting work I use a Canon 1Dx for most food based photography, a Canon 5D Mark III for reportage jobs, and a Hasselblad H4D-40 for advertising jobs.
I pair the Canons with 2 or 3 standard L series lenses for food:
and for location and reportage work, I would also carry the following lenses:
I shoot only in natural light, using scrims, reflectors, white and black boards and the occasional speed-light.
2. Do you take on assistants?
At present I have a regular assistant who helps me out on all shoots for What Katie ate. On commercial jobs I also have regular help, however if you are based in Sydney, come from a photography background and keen to help out from a photography assisting point-of-view please feel free to mail me with your details. Please add ‘Photographic assistant’ as the subject title. Please note ~ I do not hire styling assistants as commercially I do not work as a food or prop stylist. If you are looking for food or prop styling experience your best bet is to contact a commercial food or prop stylist directly as they will be able to offer your more relevant experience.
3. Do you take offer photography (or styling) workshops?
No. This is due to the fact that I work as a photographer in order to earn a living, and it’s not something I am keen to do so early on in my career.
4. How did you get started in photography and what lead you to start What Katie ate?
In 2009 I left my full-time art director role and decided to take a year out to teach myself the skills needed to single-handedly develop a portfolio of food photography with the aim of gaining commercial job bookings for Australian magazine titles and cookbooks. I had a decent knowledge of film photography as I had studied photography as part of design qualification in art college in Dublin some years previous and I also researched at length ~ if there were any professional food styling courses in Melbourne or Sydney, but alas there were none, so I decided it best to bite the bullet and to teach myself. To do this I got up early each morning for a year, bought ingredients the night before and practiced styling food items which I had read were somewhat difficult to master ~ burgers; sandwiches; lasagne; ice-cream etc etc. So I gave them all a shot ~ and failed a lot, but persevered and each time I got better and better. I believe it’s only through failing do you really learn your skill and hone your style, you must not get disheartened as when you so succeed the feeling will over-weigh the negativity of something before not going so well.
I continued building a portfolio of food photography and after about 4 months of doing so I was approached by Getty Images who were interested in 50 or so of my food shots. This was a great break and helped to grow my confidence that I was doing something right and or that i had potential.. I steamed ahead, cooking, styling, shooting, cooking, styling, shooting, cooking, styling, shooting etc for almost a year, building a decent-szied photography portfolio in the process.
Which was perfect time for a move for a somewhat unexpected to Sydney where I started to get commercial photography and food styling work with the Sydney-based food magazines. From there i was taken on by an agent and I work on a range of food and lifestyle jobs for magazine editorials, advertising work and on-location shoots.
5. Do you accept submissions from external contributors to feature on What Katie ate?
At present I don’t, due to reader feedback. This might change in 2013, and if and when it does I’ll be sure to post a feature on WKA.
6. Do you cook, style and shoot posts for other websites and blogs?
Due to my work schedule and fact I have to fit What Katie ate in and around this when I can ~ aka generally the weekends, it leaves little time for me to create and shoot external posts for other blogs.