Join us on a journey of culinary expertise as we explore the personalities of the 10 most famous food photographers of the 21st century. In every photo, these multi-talented creatives explore the possibilities for storytelling, concept execution, gastronomy, and traditional cuisine through color, texture, and expert recommendations. In this article, we will introduce you to our selection of the top 10 most popular names in the food photography industry, whose images will hopefully leave you hungry for more! We will also take a brief voyage through the development of modern food photography to help you understand the role of food photographers and their impact.
Table of Contents
- 1 The Art of Modern Food Photography
- 2 Unveiling the 10 Leading Food Photographers of 2023
- 2.1 Jackie Alpers (1968 – Present)
- 2.2 Dennis Prescott (1981 – Present)
- 2.3 Marc Haydon (1986 – Present)
- 2.4 Kailee Mandel (1993 – Present)
- 2.5 Rachel Korinek (Present)
- 2.6 Andrew Scrivani (Present)
- 2.7 Mary Devinat (Present)
- 2.8 Thomas Brooke (Present)
- 2.9 Andrea Di Lorenzo (Present)
- 2.10 Skyler Burt (Present)
- 3 Frequently Asked Questions
The Art of Modern Food Photography
You may have heard of the phrase: “One must eat with their eyes first” when preparing a meal or attempting to follow a recipe from your favorite professional chef. But what is the significance of feasting with one’s eyes, and is this an art form? In art, food photography is viewed as a genre of photography that can be merged with commercial, product, and editorial photography for various reasons. In food photography, photographers may incorporate concepts that require them to think more creatively about how to relay a certain message or story about the parties affiliated with the food products or recipe. So, what is food photography?
Food photography refers to a genre of still-life photography that involves the documentation of food that can extend beyond its superficial value. Food photography is a form of visual poetry that accentuates the textures and elements of food to create a visually pleasing or interesting image. As such, food photographers are extremely talented in curating clever compositions using lighting and styling to transform simple meals into vibrant works of art.
The Earliest Food Photographer
Among the first images that can be understood as part of the food photography genre was an image by William Henry Fox Talbot, which was shot in 1845 as a daguerreotype. His image was a still-life of a pineapple with peaches and is widely recognized as the origin of food photography.
Another notable contributor to food photography was Edward Jean Steichen, who was a renowned 20th-century photographer who elevated the art form through many projects for Conde Nast.
Advancements in technology have also aided the development of food photography such that photographers can portray accurate representations of food with more detail. At first, food photography served a functional purpose as a tool for advertising, however, with the development of gastronomy in the culinary world, food photography was pushed as an art form. With the rise of social media platforms today, food photography has undergone a vast transformation in the digital era that helps bring recognition to food photographers and new developments in culinary arts.
William Henry Fox Talbot (1864) by John Moffat; John Moffat, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
The Importance of Food Photography
Without food photography, one may not discover the appetite for new dishes or cuisines. Food photography has played a pivotal role in shaping the recognition and evolution of modern food culture. The practice of food photography does not solely rely on making a dish look pretty, but it is also a useful tool for chefs, food brands, and restaurants to communicate their identity, meal philosophies, and approaches to cooking. Food photographers are connoisseurs of capturing the visual narratives surrounding food and our relationships to it. with a striking image of your favorite dish, you might even be compelled to research the background of a cultural dish or the origin of the ingredients and products used in the image.
Furthermore, food photos also recognize the brilliance of chefs and culinary masters across the world while showcasing a photographer’s technical eye and creativity in executing a concept.
Unveiling the 10 Leading Food Photographers of 2023
While there are thousands of foodies and aspiring food photographers across the globe, these top 10 food photographers have seemed to master the art of photographing food while driving home the concepts they are assigned, from start to finish. Below is a selection of famous food photographers whose dedication to modern food photography transcends words.
Jackie Alpers (1968 – Present)
|Artist Name||Jackie Alpers|
|Date of Birth||1 April 1968|
|Associated Movements, Themes, and Styles||Food photography, Contemporary photography, portraiture, culinary travel, and documentary photography|
Based in Tucson, Arizona, Jackie Alpers is one of the most renowned food photographers of our time who is also a celebrated cookbook author and culinary adventurer. Recognized as one of the best food photographers from 2023, Alpers has earned many accolades over her 25-year-long career, including the Taste Awards medallion and Muse Photography Award.
Her passion for food photography is rooted in the influences of her regional culinary experiences and knowledge of food history.
In photographing food, Alpers also photographs the emotional and spiritual connections that link people with food. Alpers extends her photography practice into education via workshops and lectures, which makes her one of the leading food photographers in the culinary arts. In 2023, Alpers published her cookbook The Unofficial Yellowstone Cookbook, where one can not only enjoy the many delectable recipes and culinary tips but also admire the stunning photographs shot by Alpers.
Dennis Prescott (1981 – Present)
|Artist Name||Dennis Prescott|
|Date of Birth||15 June 1981|
|Associated Movements, Themes, and Styles||Food photography, Contemporary photography, and cooking|
|Medium||Photography and Videography|
Culinary maestro Dennis Prescott is a multi-talented food photographer, videographer, TV host, and chef, whose impact on food photography is seen far and wide. The renowned Canadian photographer originated in the heart of the kitchen, where Prescott honed his cooking skills alongside other professional chefs. Prescott continues to share his passion for food and the art of eating with one’s eyes through his eye-catching short videos and recipe books that showcase his diverse cooking experience. Dennis Prescott also stood as the co-host on Netflix’s acclaimed series Restaurants on the Edge and is the author of the selling cookbook Eat Delicious, which features some of his best food photographs.
Prescott is also the ambassador for World Vision and Chef’s Manifesto, which cements his dedication to social causes.
Marc Haydon (1986 – Present)
|Artist Name||Marc Haydon|
|Date of Birth||October 1986|
|Associated Movements, Themes, and Styles||Food photography, Contemporary photography, still-life, advertising, and lifestyle photography|
Talented freelance food and still life photographer Marc Haydon is recognized as one of the leading contemporary food photographers of the last five years, whose visual stories are built from his base in West London. Equipped with a medium-format Hasselblad camera, Haydon has collaborated with many food businesses, supermarkets, restaurants, and magazines to create an extensive portfolio of food images that truly tantalize the senses.
Haydon’s exploration of food photography began after he graduated from the Editorial and Advertising Photography program at the University of Gloucestershire in 2008.
His journey led him to shoot for cruise ship lifestyle photos and later discovered his true passion in the art of still-life and food photography. Since 2014, Haydon has used his expertise to collaborate with stylists, food retouchers, and other passionate professionals on creating images that not only showcase the divine appeal of food but also tell stories.
Kailee Mandel (1993 – Present)
|Artist Name||Kailee Mandel|
|Date of Birth||25 June 1993|
|Associated Movements, Themes, and Styles||Food photography, commercial photography, Contemporary photography, product photography, portraiture, and lifestyle|
Commercial food photographer Kailee Mandel is among the most popular Canadian food photographers of the last year, whose harmonious and critical eye for color, collaboration, and culinary artistry resulted in some of the most appetizing visuals. When one visits her social media pages, one is certainly inspired to run to the fridge and whip up a quick snack. Mandel’s photography is marked by her use of marketable techniques in product and editorial food photography to create distinct visuals.
What sets her apart from the crowd is her ability to resonate with her viewers while building connections with many loved brands.
Mandel’s impressive portfolio includes projects with esteemed names like the World Wildlife Fund, The Globe and Mail, Miele, and Canadian Geographic among the many other well-known brands. Her style is further defined by her clean and cozy style which adds a unique and inviting perspective to the food that she photographs.
Rachel Korinek (Present)
|Artist Name||Rachel Korinek|
|Date of Birth||Unavailable|
|Associated Movements, Themes, and Styles||Food photography, still-life, Contemporary photography, cocktail photography, desserts, editorial food photography, and styling|
Rachel Korinek is one of the most accomplished food photographers to date and is originally from Australia. Korinek currently operates from the city of Vancouver in Canada and has a unique career history starting from accountant to teacher, and lastly, a celebrated food photographer.
Korinek’s journey is one filled with passion, vulnerable emotions, and transformation that continues to inspire her many fans on social media.
The famous food photographer is inspired by her love for food, creativity, and teaching, which extended into her many captivating features in publications like Fresh Magazine and Aldi. Through her platform, Two Loves Studio, Korinek not only draws attention to the essence of food but also shares her deep knowledge about how to create better photos when practicing food photography. An inspirational figure, Korinek empowers aspiring food photographers to embark on creative careers and foster a community where one can appreciate the artistry of food photography.
Andrew Scrivani (Present)
|Artist Name||Andrew Scrivani|
|Date of Birth||Unavailable|
|Associated Movements, Themes, and Styles||Food photography, Contemporary photography, and travel photography|
|Medium||Photography and writing|
Creative powerhouse Andrew Scrivani is a multifaceted food photographer who is also an educator, author, and director. His diverse range of talent extends to his contributions to various platforms like The New York Times and renowned companies including Disney, Apple, and Adobe. Scrivani’s career in food photography captures the visually appealing aspects of food from various countries that he travels to. The New York-born photographer uses photography coupled with a delicate balancing of lighting in various conditions to expose the moments when food seems both desirable and enticing to the viewer.
His expert eye for detail and years’ worth of experience in the field inform Scrivani’s success as an internationally recognized food photographer who generously imparts his knowledge to those who seek to learn more about the practice.
Mary Devinat (Present)
|Artist Name||Mary Devinat|
|Date of Birth||Unavailable|
|Associated Movements, Themes, and Styles||Food photography, Contemporary photography, American and French cuisine, gastronomy, and food and beverage photography|
Mary Devinat is one of the most talented emerging food photographers of the 21st century, whose passion for photography and American culture has led her to embrace the world of gastronomy. Devinat uses her lens to capture the essence of French culinary heritage and American cuisine through visually stunning and detailed images. Her career development over the last five years has seen the professional photographer collaborate closely with caterers and restaurateurs while creating family recipes that show her deep understanding of food.
Devinat’s portfolio demonstrates a bold affinity for embracing movement and vitality in her food and beverage photography.
Thomas Brooke (Present)
|Artist Name||Thomas Brooke|
|Date of Birth||Unavailable|
|Associated Movements, Themes, and Styles||Food photography, Contemporary photography, gourmet food, lifestyle, travel photography, and product photography|
Thomas Brooke is a distinguished food photographer hailing from Melbourne, Australia, and is best known on social media for his diverse portfolio of work. Among Brooke’s many specialties is food photography, which he uses to create clean and visually pleasing commercial food photographs. Brooke is widely recognized in Australia as one of the leading food photographers whose talents also encompass the genres of architecture, travel, lifestyle, and portrait photography. His images show his dedication to each project that is executed with detail in mind and Brooke’s awareness of the environment he is shooting in.
As such, his photos relay a sense of authenticity and rawness to them that present various culinary delights in ways that seem almost effortless but require much curation and planning.
Andrea Di Lorenzo (Present)
|Artist Name||Andrea Di Lorenzo|
|Date of Birth||Unavailable|
|Associated Movements, Themes, and Styles||Food photography, travel photography, Contemporary photography, food and beverage imagery, interior photography, and portraiture|
Famous Italian food photographer Andrea di Lorenzo is among the most esteemed commercial and editorial photographers from Rome. Di Lorenzo’s career in food photography began with his exploration of still photography while working in the movie industry. His passion for food was later cemented in his consulting services and specialization in F&B imagery, portraiture, and interior photography, which led him to explore his creativity further. Di Lorenzo’s approach to food photography tells a culinary story that transforms simple dishes into works of art. His photographs capture the spirit of hospitality, elegance, and emotive culinary expression that can be seen in his collaborations with various professionals from the Food and beverage industry.
Di Lorenzo’s photographs capture the flavor of Italian and regional cuisine while turning exciting concepts into stunning editorial and social media campaigns.
Skyler Burt (Present)
|Artist Name||Skyler Burt|
|Date of Birth||Unavailable|
|Associated Movements, Themes, and Styles||Food photography, Contemporary photography, editorial food photography, travel photography, and photojournalism|
|Medium||Photography and public speaking|
Skyler Burt is an award-winning Los Angeles-based food photographer and director whose fun and experimental food photos will have you hungry in no time. Traveling across the world for more than 12 years, the famous food photographer is considered an icon in the field of editorial food and travel photography. His client list includes renowned names such as Samsung, Pizza Hut, and Ritz Carlton among many others, including collaboration with agencies like Leo Burnett and R\West. Burt studied photojournalism at the Brooks Institute of Photography and later developed his skills under the guidance of acclaimed photographers. Burt’s drive for editorial food photography ripened during his internships in Kathmandu, Nepal, which prepared the photographer for his decade-long adventure in photography assignments spanning 15 countries. Burt is also a recognized industry speaker, who enjoys sharing his insights and tips on food photography with vast global audiences while collaborating with top brands like Fujifilm, Canon, and Zomato.
These renowned and respected industry icons continue to provide interesting ways of presenting food, from simple soups and smoothies to almost clinically curated gourmet dishes. We hope that these 10 famous food photographers and their stories will motivate you to try your hand at food photography the next time you are in the kitchen!
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is Food Photography?
The art of food photography is defined as a subcategory of still-life photography, which involves the creation of food images for various purposes. These include food photos for magazines, advertisements, culinary literature, and commercial purposes.
Is Food Photography an Art Form?
In short, food photography is considered an art form depending on its use and context. It is broadly considered to be an art practice by professional photographers who create innovative compositions using various photography techniques for commercial and editorial purposes. While food photography dominates these fields, it can be incorporated into fine art through conceptual photography and still-life. Regardless, photography itself is generally recognized as an art form in the visual arts.
Who Is the Most Famous Food Photographer?
Jackie Alpers is widely recognized as the most famous food photographer of the current era, who is listed alongside other renowned figures in the industry such as Louise Lister, Skyler Burt, and Mowie Kay.
Who Was the First Food Photographer in the World?
William Henry Fox Talbot was identified as the world’s first food photographer. The 19th-century photographer captured a still-life image in 1845 showing a display of peaches and pineapples, which are now regarded as the first food photograph in the genre.
Jordan Anthony is a film photographer, curator, and arts writer based in Cape Town, South Africa. Anthony schooled in Durban and graduated from the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, with a Bachelor of Art in Fine Arts. During her studies, she explored additional electives in archaeology and psychology, while focusing on themes such as healing, identity, dreams, and intuitive creation in her Contemporary art practice. She has since worked and collaborated with various professionals in the local art industry, including the KZNSA Gallery in Durban (with Strauss & Co.), Turbine Art Fair (via overheard in the gallery), and the Wits Art Museum.
Anthony’s interests include subjects and themes related to philosophy, memory, and esotericism. Her personal photography archive traces her exploration of film through abstract manipulations of color, portraiture, candid photography, and urban landscapes. Her favorite art movements include Surrealism and Fluxus, as well as art produced by ancient civilizations. Anthony’s earliest encounters with art began in childhood with a book on Salvador Dalí and imagery from old recipe books, medical books, and religious literature. She also enjoys the allure of found objects, brown noise, and constellations.
Cite this Article
Jordan, Anthony, “Famous Food Photographers – Discover the 10 Best.” Art in Context. November 15, 2023. URL: https://artincontext.org/famous-food-photographers/
Anthony, J. (2023, 15 November). Famous Food Photographers – Discover the 10 Best. Art in Context. https://artincontext.org/famous-food-photographers/