London based creative photographer Dominic Davies had plenty of experience shooting album art imagery for the music industry but when asked to create images for Heston Blumenthal’s book The Fat Duck, he had to embrace a new challenge since he had no experience shooting food. ”I liked the idea of doing something I had never done before and doing it really well.” (From and interview with Fine Dining Lovers). To prepare for the shoot he was granted access to the kitchen during a dinner service and he spent the entire time ‘just watching’, in order to have a better understanding of the processes and the mindset that goes into making the dishes for The Fat Duck. Davies explains a transference from his past experience of being able to relate ‘music’ in an image to being able to translate ‘taste’. After winning a James Beard Award in Photography for his work, Davies continues to push and test the boundaries with multiple collaborations with food partner Andrew Stellitano.
Dominic Davies’ work that went into creating The Fat Duck book has an undeniable appeal. Not only are the shots executed with photographic skill but by mixing showcase images of plated dishes alongside more creatively inspired scenes involving the food, Davies work weaves in and out of normal expectations of a ‘food photograph’. What I find most interesting is that with further exploration into Davies’ non-food related work you can actually get a better understanding of his perspective as an artist and how he was challenged by the project and how he successfully achieved his goal of “doing it really well.” I highly recommend spending time on his personal portfolio site and witnessing the many galleries created. It seems to me that part of Davies’ process and therefore success is based in a huge amount of exploration and testing one’s limits.
For our purposes here a viewing of his food work from ‘The Fat Duck’: but keeping in mind…he had never shot food before…he took on the challenge and applied his skills. When viewing his work ask yourself how you can challenge yourself in your own work? What can you do that you’ve never done before?
All images contained in this post are © property of Dominic Davies and request for use must be obtained through the copyright holder.