If there is a photography genre that most people love, it is food photography. A professionally curated photo of a freshly prepared meal can make all your senses go wild. As with any other genre, though, you need plenty of experience and skills to be able to create art from your food photography.
We’ve reached out to 11 of the top food photographers and asked them what makes food photography special to them…
1. Benoit Levac – canada
“I love food photography because I generally love food! A piece of baguette with butter is magic! I attempt to show the simplicity and freshness of foods. My goals are to create ambiances while telling stories.
“I work exclusively with artificial light to recreate natural light. This allows me to set up a sunny morning on a rainy day. The best part about my job is that once all of the shots have been taken, we sit down to eat everything that was photographed.”
You can see more of Benoit’s photos on his website
2. Orkun Orcan – United Arab Emirates/DUBAI
“I live in a world of shifting dunes, where beauty is in grains of sand, but gone tomorrow in the wind. I focus on the detail in the world around me. My clients include archaeologists, architects, artists, jewellers, manufacturers and restaurateurs. My pictures are mindful of the moment. Simple photographs, nothing more.
“I chose this picture because I love my food almost as much as photographing it. I prefer to capture servings at the moment they arrive. That way, I hope to stimulate my viewers’ appetites sufficiently to buy the product, and by doing so to reward my clients for their custom for many months to come.”
Interested to see more of Orkun’s work? Check his full portfolio
3. Oliver Hauser – Germany
“In food photography I can express my passion for good food of different cultures with their unique colours, fragrances and recipes.
“I love to travel, visit markets and producers, to collect impressions and recipe ideas, which I then often cook myself and take pictures of.”
More of Oliver’s work is available on his website
4. Nicole Genoni – Italy
“Food photography, for me, is relaxing and fun! It lets me tell stories through set design; props, lighting and the food are all part of the set.
“Every time I create and shoot a set, I imagine that I’m in a different house or different kitchen, inhabited by people with different habits, personalities and taste. This gives me the inspiration to create different environments.”
Nicole’s food photography portfolio is available on her Behance profile
5. Fernanda Bonserio – Argentina
“Food can tell many different stories. To work as a food photographer is the best way I have found to show my passion for cooking, food and everything that involves it.
“My aim is to transmit feelings, textures, colours and even scents. If my photos are alluring and make people’s mouth water, then my work is well done.”
See more fantastic food photos by Fernanda
6. David Griffen – United Kingdom
“I run a kitchen studio in the South West of England, where we are very lucky to be surrounded by some of the world’s best produce.
“Food is a naturally beautiful subject to shoot, and I like best to shoot the ingredients and cooking processes – with an aim to visually reveal the taste and terroir.”
7. Karl Petersson – Iceland
“I’ve done photography for over 25 years and the only knowledge I have collected is that the more I learn, the less I know. I am a class A nerd when it comes to technique, but the only way for me to get some form of sense about what I am doing is to let go of all those skills and trying to simplify all elements. This is my biggest challenge and the most rewarding thing – to achieve some form of success in simplifying light, technique, composition and life.
“Food photography, for me, is all about my personal relationship with food and the emotional triggers it has for me. All I wish to do is to trigger my own appetite, and that unfortunately has an effect on my waistline as well.
“A successful food photograph triggers memories, associations to thoughts and travels in the mind, a great bi-product is if it makes people hungry.”
More of Karl’s fantastic food portfolio is available here
8. Carl Warner – United Kingdom
“Food is the paint on my palette from which I create my imagery, I am inspired by its visual beauty and have always been amazed how its textures, colours and form echo the design aspect of the larger world we live in.”
If you want to enter Carl’s amazing world of “foodscapes”, check out his website
9. szendeff Lőrinc – Hungary
“I believe that gastronomy is the most complex and diverse branch of art, which affects all of our senses at the same time. This is why culinary art has become a great passion and also a hobby in my life.
“A few years ago, I started taking photographs of different kinds of food, in an attempt to find a combination of my job (graphic designer and photographer) and my hobby. When the two met, great energies were released.”
Fancy seeing more of Szendeff’s work? Check him out on Behance
10. Francesco Tonelli – United States
“I have been a chef for over 20 years and never took a picture, nor owned a camera. Never quite understood film, aperture and shutter speed, despite working alongside photographers in Italy styling the recipes I developed for a culinary publication. But beside food, I have always been attracted by computers and had a Mac since the early 90s.
“When working as a faculty member at The Culinary Institute of America in New York, I felt the need to document the dishes I was creating, to help my students visualise the recipes. That’s when I decided to buy my first camera, a digital Olympus D-500L with less than a megapixel. It was a revelation.
“What started as a work task in full automatic, soon became a hobby and I started shooting my meals at home, but also experimenting with manual controls and controlling the light source. It was so exciting with the immediate feedback of the LCD. The possibility to have my own “digital lightroom” inside the computer, to give me control of additional adjustment, sealed the deal. Soon I started to shoot for my first clients, purchasing professional equipment and eventually decided to venture into my new career.”
Read more about Francesco’s amazing food studio in New York and see some of his other great projects on his website
11. Beata Lubas – United Kingdom
“I’m a storyteller and a camera enables me to express the way I see the world. Food photography came as a natural choice to me – I just started photographing what I loved the most.
There is always a story behind every image I take. What story? A story that everyone will see differently.”
See more examples of Beata’s food photography