My name is Yelena, and I was born and raised in St. Petersburg, Russia and now I live in small historic town near Philadelphia. I am a wife and mother of two precious children 7 and 11 years old and I run food blog called Cooking Melangery. My blog is my portfolio, although I have real portfolio at http://yelena.strokin.info, and it is a place where I can introduce my work to the world. I “meet” new people there all the time, and I am happy about it. I have a degree in Culinary Arts and a passion for anything beautiful and creative. In the recent past I have worked for number of major financial companies in Information Technology field. My corporate environment experience is a real asset in creative work which I have decided to pursue after the birth of my second child.
Currently I work out of my home studio as a freelance food stylist and photographer.
I have started taking pictures long time ago. Initially, I was really into taking action pictures as a photojournalist. Slowly my hobby became a passion. I have learned all technical terms, inner workings of all types of cameras and intricacies of correct lighting. Finally I have combined my passions for food and photography together and started a blog. I am doing it full time since then. Now I am always thinking about food photos, matching colors, textures, surfaces, shapes and shades. Sometimes in my sleep I even dream of backgrounds, dishes and silver spoons…
I photograph with my heart and do it for people trying to evoke through my work the most positive emotions, associations and memories. I don’t do it for myself as demonstration of creativity but rather I try to make the world a little better place by means of my photographs and recipes.
Of course I love to make, eat and photograph all kinds of desserts, but sometimes the best photos come out from simple dishes, like Orange Sweet Potato Baked Chips with Thyme ( http://www.melangery.com/2012/03/orange-sweet-potato-baked-chips-with.html). Also, I bake beautiful bread at home. There is something magical about homemade bread. I love to work with dough and watch it grow, my kitchen smells like yeast and fresh baked treat. The crust, the color and texture, oh my… It is wonderful experience…
Lately I am having pleasure to photograph still life compositions. I have seasonal winter collection of “still life” on my blog which I am very pleased with. Old Dutch and Flemish masters are my teachers and my inspiration when I work with still life. I plan to do an exhibition of my work in a near future.