mimi brune

Alya Galinovskaya aka Mimi Brune.

 

Since Alya Galinovskaya started using Instagram in 2013 (under the name @mimibrune) her images of beautiful table settings, food and nature have gained her wide recognition and popularity with thousands of followers from all over the world. 

How old are you?
I just turned 26 on August, 10th

What is the story behind your instragram-blog?

I started instagramming when I got my first iPhone. At first I didn’t post anything, just looked at other peoples photos. Gradually I started taking pictures myself. I downloaded a couple of editing apps and since that very moment Instagram became a big part of my life. I met so many wonderful and talented people though it that now I cannot even imagine my life without it. Simple ’good morning’s, ’have a great day’ and normal everyday communication with users from all the way from Brazil to Japan makes me feel like the world actually isn’t that big. It really amazes me!

Which is your most beautiful food photo and why do you think so?
I love all of them! They are all different so it’s very hard to choose. Some of them are very saturated and with many details, colors and patterns, others are more or less minimalistic. But I love them all equally. If I don’t like something about a picture, I do not post it. Of course, when I scroll down to when I just started, some pictures look more simple, but still I love them, because they are a testament of my Instagram beginning.

baka brod

Alya runs a small cake atelier.

 

Why are you so fascinated by food?

Why food? Cooking is something I do regularly, when I make dinner for my family, my friends or when I bake cakes in my Cake Atelier. I don’t have to create things to photograph , it’s all already there. And food is something you can easily play with. You can shoot some products just as they are – natural, colorful, beautiful, or you can make your own combinations with kitchenware and textiles using different shapes, sizes and color grades. There are too many variants, so you can never get bored of combining things. And sometimes I shoot other things than food. Flowers, interiors, nature and people – everywhere there is beauty that you can capture in your own different and unique manner.

What’s your favorite thing to make for dinner?

That is a tough question! I love cooking – but I love to eat even more. I am a soup person and love all kinds of soups except the cold ones. Pasta, stews, salads, grilled veggies, fish and ohh – sea food, pies… Everything! I love making little starters for the dinner, they always make the occasion a little special and a little more long-lasting, so that every lunch or dinner turns into kind of a little celebration or fête, as the French would say. And desserts. Come to think of it dessert is my favorite part of any meal.

How do you prefer to set the table?

Oh, in so many different ways – all kind of textiles, flowers, candles and beautiful details are welcome. You just need to make sure that everything looks natural and does not distract from the food, I don’t like it when the table is cluttered with things that are beautiful but don’t belong here. I think it gives it a “synthetical” look. I love when everything is natural and simplistically suitable.

pumpa

Spicy squash buttermilk cakes with lemon curd and pumpkin seeds.

What inspires you?

Every time I see something beautiful or remarkable, I try to store the feelings I experienced when I saw in my memory. And then, when I create something myself, the biggest pleasure is to revisit those memories. Isn’t that a miracle – that we can replay the emotions we’ve felt before? Sunrises, horses, meadow flowers, plashes of sunlight on the ceiling as I open my eyes, walking barefoot on the lawn, sea salt on my skin, the scent of the freshly cut grass, the melodical sound of rain drops on my windowsill, beautiful views, beautiful things, beautiful people (both from inside and out) – all the feelings and emotions I’ve experienced, they all inspire me.

All time favorite ingredient?

Well, you know… Love. Love of cooking, eating, love for those you cook for and of doing what you love. In the end love makes everything better. And cooking is no exception.

How did you choose your Instagram-signature Mimi Brune?

It started a long time ago. I am an all things French lover since my very childhood when people told me that I look like Sophie Marceau. I loved the idea of  looking like a famous French actress (thought actually I never did). But that’s how my love affair began. And this name is just a small, and perhaps childish tribute to my grand amour of the country I wish to visit before I get old and daffy.

mimi brune alya

Alya with a coffeecup.

Where do you live in St Petersburg?

I live in an apartment not far from the city center. But my dream is to live in a small and old country house with a big garden with cherry and pear trees, raspberry bushes, wilds of sweet peas, old English roses, poppies and everything else green and scentful. This is something I dream of every night.

Give us some tips on how to compose the perfect instagram photo.
I’m not very good with words, so expressing my emotions through photos is more comfortable and sometimes more vivid for me. Creating the photos is always different. Every picture is a story and I love telling stories. Sometimes I just see something in my everyday life and catch it with my camera. Other times it takes hours to style a setting. I am a perfectionist and need everything I do to be perfect (perfect for me, not as a general notion, I’m not that self enamored). It just has to be the way I pictured it in my mind. It might sound strange, I know. And believe me, this kind of perfectionism is a hard thing to live with. For my instagram I only take photos with iPhone, because I believe that a mobile app should be used for mobile phones. And posting professional high-resolution camera photos is a little bit unfair. But that’s just my personal opinion. Usually I edit in VSCOcam and Afterlight adjusting everything manually, I do not use set filters.

What importance does instagram play in your professional life?
I am a hotel manager so Instagram unfortunately has nothing to do with my occupation. I also run a little Cake Atelier and sometimes I post pictures of what I do there, but not very often as I don’t like using Instagram for any kind of promotions, including my own business.

tomater

»Harvest from the local market. I just added a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of sea salt, and suddenly the world got so much better.«

What inspires you?
I am inspired mostly by old paintings of famous artists like Caravaggio and Vermeer with rich yet “dusty” colours popping out of the darkness. They have this special light I cannot resist. There’s so much energy in them, but the energy is not garish, it’s strong and firm yet so tranquil at the same time. I’m in love with this unique combination.

Do you have any future goals?
Of course I do! A countryside house, children, gardening, developing my cake business, shooting new inspirational things. But I love living in the present. I do not like living for something. I live for living, and work for my goals.

eggs

»Messy Saturday morning table with the classics – asparagus, ham and eggs, sprinkled with roasted sunflower seeds and my new favorite – blueberries in a red wine vinegar.«

Read more about the best foodstyling on Instagram in Residence number 8/2015.