In our previous food photography discussions I have attempted to share with you photographic work that pushes the boundaries of the definition of a food photograph. I have also tried to exemplify how a single ingredient can be treated, by itself, as Art. When I came across the food photography work of Richard Haughton I felt that his work correlated some of the points I was previously touching upon and wanted to share some more examples to reinforce the thinking.
Richard’s work is something different than what you may typically find as ‘popular’ on many of the food photography viewing platforms. Clearly his approach is based more from an artistic- ‘still life’ mindset and also obvious is that he is talented with creating studio light to highlight his subjects. His food images are most often stark and clean, with very little prop styling. He is a master when it comes to letting food stand on it’s own merit and treats it as a thing of beauty, whether just as bare food product itself or as a presented dish. Through viewing his work, one can surmise that he is working with some of the most creative chef’s around, and that should not discourage the average, everyday, ‘at home’ or ‘in a restaurant’ type food photographer. There are still lessons that can be learned just by looking at his work:
When viewing the images here or on his website be sure to be mindful of his use of basic compositional elements such as: Color, Line, Texture, Shape, Repetition, and Negative Space. Also keep in mind the simplicity and cleanliness of his imagery. There is usually very little environment added and most images are created on very clean, simple backgrounds so that the focus of beauty remain on the food itself and not the environment in which it is placed. All of this intentional action on his part creates a cohesive style of photography that showcases the subject as Art itself.
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In a previous post I introduced the discussion on ‘Treating an individual ingredient as Art’ and these shots by food photographer, Richard Haughton are great examples to support the theory. With basic compositional knowledge, one can highlight the natural beauty in food.
Similar to the above photos, Haughton maintains simplicity when shooting plated dishes. His use of simple and clean backgrounds help the viewer to retain focus on the food itself and not the environment in which it is places. Granted, he is working with some experts on plating and some really experienced chefs that know about presentation, but by creating such simplicity in the photograph the food becomes even further elevated as it is displayed to the viewer…as art…in and of itself.
Even when Haughton decides to add some environment, he still remains reserved and only uses backgrounds to support composition and reinforce the focus upon the main subject. Often times in food photography…less is more.