Dessert. It is always a crowd pleaser.
Before we launch the 2015 competition we took time out to talk all things food photography with judge, Andrew Scrivani, food photographer at the New York Times.
Food is an intregal part of our lives and our respective cultures. Like any other documentary art form, food photography offers us the opportunity to catalog many different aspects of life, all over the world, through the foods we eat, grow, cook, socialize with and sometimes have to do without. It's a common thread that touches all of our lives.
People are taking more pictures of food than ever - why do you think this is?
Photography in general is booming because of the ease of use of digital cameras, smart phones & social media. Food, more than ever, has become a relatable, social interaction we share. I think taking photos of food & food events is the natural evolution of all of the social behaviors that are facilitated by food. Plus, food as status symbol had also reared its head in this equation.
What do you look for in a good food image?
It's exactly what I look for in any piece of art. I like to see the balance of shape & color, beautiful light and composition that tells a story. I like the combination of these elements to make me think and feel something I wasn't before seeing it.
What are some of the tricks involved in professional food photography? – for instance, is colouring and glazing important to make subjects look 'right'?
Being able to identify the "hero" for any given shot is essential. The hero being the best looking item to be photographed. This takes planning from the time the shopping starts for a shoot.
Also, keeping things looking moist and appetizing by coating with some oil or water during the shoot as things get dry or cool off.
What's the most common subject that people choose?
Dessert. It is always a crowd pleaser. Anything chocolate in particular. Sweets really elicit some powerful reactions from people because we usually associate desserts with good times, sensuality and pleasure.
When you're done, can you resist eating what you're shooting?
Not really, if it's something I want. I'll set foods I love aside for myself. Most times, though, after working all day with something, I tend to package it up and give it to staff, friends and neighbors.