Meet Food Photographer Nicole Branan

Nicole Branan_Barbecue Ribs_High Res Finalist Image

For 2015 our Food Portraiture category is being sponsored by Marks and Spencer and Steve Rowe, Director - Food at Marks and Spencer, will be judging the category for a third year.

We are really excited to find out where the 2015 winner will come from but in the meantime we talk to Nicole Branan our 2014 Food Portraiture category winner from the USA to inspire you to share your amazing food photography in this years' competition!

Seen left is Nicole's winning image 'Barbeque Ribs'.



Camera 360I was working as a science journalist in the late 2000s and as the publishing industry changed print journalists were expected to expand their skill set and become proficient photographers as well.

Somewhat grudgingly I picked up a camera and learned how to use it by photographing subjects around me, including food. To my surprise I fell in love not only with photography but with food photography in particular.

What excites me so much about food photography is the ability to create different moods and atmospheres that will evoke an emotional response in viewers. That's very powerful and also very challenging.

About a year ago I started a food and food photography blog called The Spice Train. On the blog I post original recipes as well as photography and styling notes for the photos I post. It's been a very fun and rewarding journey so far. Here are some photos from The Spice Train as an example.


If I was to give any key advice to aspiring food photographers I would say food photography is very difficult so don't beat yourself up if what you create is not always as good as you want it to be. Just keep practicing; learning this craft is a marathon, not a sprint. And always remind yourself  that you are trying to tell a story with your photo and use that as your starting point. Once you have created a story in your mind, turn it into a photo using your lighting, food styling and prop styling.

I always do the styling for my photos myself and I am particularly intrigued by the prop styling aspect of food photography. So intrigued, in fact, that I started a series called Prop Talk! on The Spice Train where I write blog posts about my favorite food photography props and explain how and why I like to use them. I'd really love to hear from others interested in this area!


To find out more about Nicole visit her here:





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