Profile of a Stockfood Contributor
Anthony Blake - United Kingdom
Anthony Blake is a photographer’s photographer. His work in food is definitive, he being one of the first to work with natural light and shooting only food that was good enough to eat. His eye and sense of place connect the man to his camera. He was also one of the first to use colour and simplified settings.
His inspiration was an exhibition he visited of Cartier-Bresson: “I went in knowing photography and came out seeing in pictures, meaning everywhere I looked I saw a perfectly framed shot.”
His 1978 ‘Great Chefs of France’ took him into the kitchens of all 12 of France’s then Michelin 3-star chefs. What few realise is that ‘Great Chefs’ was entirely Blake’s concept from start to finish. His style is to shadow the chefs and their brigades before and often through service, catching every moment without ever having his subjects pause for the camera.
One secret of this and his many other chef collaborations is that Blake cooks as well as he shoots. That gives his photographs energy and has the chefs giving up their best for the camera knowing the man in charge understands their craft and art. Natural light and settings and pared down equipment makes for the agile ease of movement that brings us the trademark Anthony Blake shots.Deutsche Bank was to spot this talent and commission him to shoot a long running series of lifestyle images over 10+ years, designed to give the bank an engaging imagery long before big corporates considered the human touch.
Humanity and respect for people, ingredients, the land and the sky are essential elements in as good as all Anthony Blake’s photographs.It is hard to believe now that his teenage ambition was to be a dairy farmer. Somehow Anthony Blake has fused his love of the land with his work and maybe that is what makes an Anthony Blake image quite so special.
Thank you to Gareth Jones and Stockfood for sharing this with us, if you would like to know more about other Stockfood contributors you can visit their artists page. You can also find out more about Gareth Jones www.insearchoftaste.com / www.garethjonesfood.com .
Images: Anthony Blake/Stockfood