Discover food photography for sale online today. Our selection of still life photography ranges from vibrant expressions of colour to quiet scenes in monochrome. A good place to start is with Geoffrey Ansel Agrons, whose beautifully still photographs resemble intricate oil paintings. Geoffrey’s background in medicine meant he spent much of his time analysing scientific photographs, which has fed into the haunting, quiet photographs he takes today.
Food photography is a genre of still life photography that uses lighting, composition and styling to create a distinct mood around food items. While most types of photography hinge on the artistic handling of the camera, the art in food photography is in the lighting, and the choice and arrangement of the food objects.
Whilst food photography is commonly thought of as a type of commercial photography for advertisements and magazines, fine art photographers have been capturing these stylised spreads since the 1800s. The very first picture of food styling was titled A Fruit Piece and was taken by William Henry Fox Talbot in 1845. The display is a simple arrangement of two fruit baskets with a pineapple tilted to one side and apples spilling out onto the table.
Food photography is for many a realistic art form that takes a constructivist approach in its composition. But some contemporary food photographers are changing the still life genre by introducing context into the images. One such example is Martin Parr’s West Bay in which seagulls are feasting on a polystyrene plate of fries on West Bay beachfront in Dorset. In the image the fries and the tray are moving through the air as the seagulls attack it from both sides. Behind them is a sunny beachfront and a blue sea.
For the British Nigerian artists Rotimi Fani-Kayode, food depicted in fine art photography is an insight into just how symbolic and ritualistic food can be. Food is such an intrinsic part of all cultures yet its preparation and consumption can be a very private act. Many cultural photographers are inspired by this fact and aim their work at capturing people eating or preparing food in their homes, with their families and in their communities.
In many ways food photography has evolved alongside style, technology, politics and media, with recent photographers such as Harold Edgerton incorporating science into food photography, as seen in Bullet Through Apple. Inventor, engineer and professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Edgerton used the camera to enhance the capabilities of the human eye, allowing it to see aspects of reality never before seen or imagined. He did this by inventing the stroboscope, which would later become the electric flash.
Another photographer using science in their work is Irving Penn.Frozen Food with String Beans in 1977 is a simple, modern arrangement of colourful blocks of frozen food and underpins Penn’s talent in the still life genre. Throughout his career, Penn created powerful images by removing anything that didn’t contribute to the image.
Find out more in our Guide To Photography.