Lucky that I live in a foodie house! We have a well-stocked library of cook books, foodie magazines and numerous recipes collected by my partner Susan over many years.
Trawling through this treasure trove of recipes it is interesting to note the evolutionary trends in food styling and photography since the late 1970’s. Cook books by Delia Smith and Greta Anna appear a bit dowdy and restricted by lack of variance in shoot angles (some always taken looking verticallydown with food items turned on their side to get a better look at their inner construction, some images are detailed and others need binoculars to make out the details of what is on offer)!
Fast forward to contemporary high key shallow depth of field images of food set upon white plates and in bowls lying on clean white table cloths and and soft pastel coloured flowers (prodigiously shot by Petrina Tinslay for MarieClaire/Donna Hay Magazine, and Bill Bryson, as well as Miki Duisterhof for Delia Smith) that are very clean in their expression and would be found in the high-end restaurant market (crisp. clean and minimalist).
In researching my next Commercial (food) shoot assignment that I am finding some fresh approaches taken by food/travel/lifestyle/editorial/advertising photography by by: 1) Erin Kunkel, who works well with a food stylist to produce nice inviting home-cooked food (One Pot of the Day by Williams-Sonoma) to stylish Vintage Cakes (by Julie Richardson). Both books exhibit attention to stylistic themes and context as well as variation in shooting angles, lighting and detail. 2) Manos Chatzikonstantis who has shot a series of seven “feel-good family” recipe books by Tessa Kiros including Apples for Jam and Falling Cloudberries. Manos’ images are wonderfully thoughtful, detailed, playful (due to the inclusion of childrens toys and drawings on a table), quirky and almost idiosyncratic (although that may be more due to the stylists input).
So tomorrow I aim to emulate the fine work by Erin & Manos and produce images of Susan’s baked a pear cake (and an apricot tart that is in the making)! And of course, a tasting of this output and critical review of images with friends late tomorrow afternoon is already booked.