Food photography is a unique art that captures the essence of all kinds of cuisine.
Food photography may not be as popular as landscape photography or portraiture, but it's a genre which holds many advantages over others. We all buy, prepare and consume food, so we don't need go to too much extra trouble in sourcing our subjects.
Food photography is a still life specialization of commercial photography, aimed at producing attractive photographs of food for a variety of uses including in advertisements, magazines, packaging, menus or cookbooks. Professional food photography is a collaborative effort, usually involving an art director, a photographer, a food stylist, a prop stylist and their assistants.
A food photographer takes pictures of food for magazine spreads, cookbooks, advertisements, and packaging. His job is to photograph each food in such a way that the resulting picture suggests its smells, textures, and tastes.
Houston-based food photographer Ralph Smith got what was probably the best advice of his career as a slightly back-handed compliment. While taking a course in photography at the University of Houston, a fine arts-oriented instructor told him: "You're good, but you need to go into commercial photography," Smith recalls.