Food could be part of the reason that a city never sleeps, offering its visitors and residents countless delicacies from sunrise to sunset. What choice would anyone have but to stay up and explore one amazing dish after another? Among the many breathtaking sights that The Big Apple is home to, food is one of them. Home to one of the most diverse communities anywhere in the world, there’s nothing you can’t find in New York City, especially when it comes to food. With the sheer diversity of cuisine on offer, you’d be hard-pressed to find a moment you wouldn’t want to capture the meal in front of you, for your Instagram account or your upcoming commercial and editorial assignments. When it comes to the last two, you’d best leave it to the professionals, which is where our list of the best food photographers in New York is worth chewing on.
At Wonderful Machine, food photography covers food as a product or experience, showing it being grown, prepared, served, or consumed. The photographers on our list below may be exceptional in one, a few, or all of these various stages, giving you a comprehensive resource from which to find the right match.
Originally from Seattle, Washington, Michael Marquand now calls the borough of Brooklyn his home, and he makes our list of food photographers in New York that much richer because of it. His portfolio exudes a plethora of strong colors, letting ingredients of different varieties either dominate or blend in through the meal in question. His food photography uses high angles and aerial viewpoints, giving us the perspective of a bird flying over a dinner table surveying a cornucopia of delights. Our eyes dart from one corner of the frame to another, darting back and forth across the space, overwhelmed by the culinary pleasures in front of us.
Michael is equally adept at making a single item the centerpiece of a photo, whether it’s a juicy hamburger or a stack of blueberry pancakes. This versatility has been sought after by numerous clients. His images have been seen in the pages of Conde Nast Traveler, Wine Spectator, L’official Voyage, and Bon Appetit, and he has collaborated with brands such as Hellmann’s, Pure Leaf, Patina Restaurant Group, and Crate and Barrel, to name a few.
In some ways, Will Styer is a New York food photographer cut from the same cloth as Michael. They both call Brooklyn their home and use similar viewpoints through high angles and aerial perspectives. In other ways, though, they’re entirely different.
Will’s food photography has elements of fun and humor, relying on contrast and comic conceptualizations to highlight the food. He’ll have hot dogs splattered with ketchup and mustard organize themselves in crisscrossed patterns, or instruct pastries to dance in unison like cheerleaders at a football game. His unorthodox arrangements always draw the eye, so your commercial or editorial assignments won’t be left wanting attention.
Will has collaborated with the likes of Unilever, Chipotle, Tropicana, and Hellmann’s, and his photos have graced the pages of Esquire, Elle, Martha Stewart, and Rachel Ray Every Day to highlight just a few names.
Larisa Niedle is another New York food photographer who likes to have fun with her compositions, whether it’s by dressing a pineapple as an 80s dance instructor or having a sweet potato pie run across the dinner table like Pac-Man. Without a doubt, she’s a fan of the bright, colorful, and whimsical, as she’d put it. Food is a passion, and she’s fascinated by every step of a dish’s creation, which definitely explains her binging on the Food Network.
But beyond the food on the table, she’s equally invested in your brand’s objectives for a photoshoot. With a psychology Ph.D. and more than 10 years of corporate consulting experience in tow, Larisa is the very definition of a brand whisperer. She’ll ensure her artistic vision aligns with your campaign expectations, and at the end of the day, that’s classified as a resounding success.
Her approach has the seal of approval from Real Simple, Martha Stewart, Better Homes & Gardens, Southern Living, and Seattle Chocolate, to name just a few clients.
Aaron Kyle Barton will have you look at food photography as a category of fine art. He’ll cook up visions of food with his camera to elevate them beyond mere solutions to our hunger. By combining patterns, props, and varying perspectives, Aaron will add new meaning to the food in front of him. Pieces of chocolate could be recast as dancers at a disco, or a portion of fruit coated in syrup could be transformed into a tale of self-preservation.
Food can tell exciting stories, and if you want Aaron to be the narrator, brands such as Bon Bon Bon, Toast Birmingham, Vinology, and Aunt Nee’s can vouch for him.
If we’re looking for someone who checks every single box on Wonderful Machine’s definition of a food photographer, Cayla Zahoran would be at the top. She covers it all, from how food is grown to how it’s cooked and consumed at home or at restaurants.
This appreciation of all things food stems from her background and experience. Her time as a photo editor at Edible Allegheny and WHIRL Magazine ignited her passion for food and its place in our culture. Add her love for traveling and cooking into the mix, and you get someone who recognizes the beauty of cuisine across the globe and fuels her creativity through these different flavors.
Cayla’s broad expertise in food photography has been vouched for by clients such as Jose Cuervo, Catalina Crunch, Pure Leaf, Just Bare, and Pilgrim’s, among many others.
What started with a 35mm Pentax film camera at the age of 10, eventually led Mark Weinberg to a career in photography. Barring a minor detour in college where he expressed interest in earning a second degree in chemistry, photography has been a focal point in Mark’s life. A camera was always beside him when he traveled to 31 countries, and it stays right there when he’s in the kitchen as well.
Mark is a New York food photographer who enjoys the moments leading up to the final dish, from the chopping and whisking to the frying and baking. If your brand or publication wants food photography that goes beyond just the end product, Mark is a fine candidate for the job.
Clients such as Food52, NY Times Cooking, Clinton Street Baking Co, Whole Foods Market, and GreenPan have all called on his services.
Whatever craft you pursue, it’s always good to start young. With architects for parents, Paul Sirisalee showed an interest in photography and design as a kid, when most of us were too busy wasting time in front of the TV. He eventually attended the Rochester Institute of Technology and nurtured a love for crafting light in the studio, furthering his education in the field. Every lesson he has learned along the way now informs his food, beverage, and cosmetics photography, in addition to his stop-motion animation.
Paul’s work is vivid and vibrant, lighting food and dishes with dramatic flair. You could even say that his photos have a seductive quality to them, as you watch cheese melt down a sandwich or a spotlight reveal different depths to a burger. Similar to the other food photographers in New York City mentioned on this list, Paul’s images will also guarantee salivation.
Paul’s work has drawn the attention of clients such as BBDO, Martha Stewart, O the Oprah Magazine, and Weight Watchers.
If only our lives were as colorful as Lauren Volo’s food photography. Ordinary meals like a grilled salmon or ham and cheese submarine seem more special in front of Lauren’s camera. In addition to the medley of colors you find in her photos, Lauren’s portfolio exhibits impeccable food styling and food arrangements. From the way cutlery is placed to the trivial details like intentionally misplaced morsels of food, Lauren’s photos are a case study in meticulous and methodical planning. It’s something we’d love to classify as artful authenticity, resembling meals and dinner tables as we’d find them in our homes.
She has worked with the likes of The Food Network, Barilla, 7-Eleven, Guinness, and HelloFresh, and it wouldn’t be a bad idea to add your brand or publication to that list.
Wearing many hats is a benefit in this industry, and it always works in Bobbi Lin’s favor. She’s a New York food photographer who started as an editor for Martha Stewart Living, creating content across their publishing and broadcast arms. She then moved on to be a freelance stylist and set designer in New York, before a project in Maine encouraged her to pick up the camera once again. Since then, Bobbi has joined hands with clients such as Bon Appetit, The Food Network, Food52, General Mills, Ghirardelli Chocolate, and Chipotle.
Bobbi thrives on collaborating with teams to bring a client’s vision to fruition, and her background as an editor and stylist makes life that much easier for everyone involved. She understands that people on set will have different viewpoints about achieving a given result, and harmonizing those opinions as one to create beautiful photography is a unique talent of hers.
Paul Crispin Quitoriano is a New York-based photographer specializing in portraiture, food, and still life. While including your typical photos of food from angles high and low, Paul’s portfolio also pays attention to the people who eat and the places where we eat. He documents the work in the kitchen and the merrymaking that follows thereafter with a keen eye — no surprise given his background studying photojournalism at San Francisco State University.
If your commercial and editorial projects require snaps of restaurants, chefs, and happy diners in addition to the food, Paul is definitely a photographer worth considering. His clients include The New York Times, Google, Malin + Goetz, Avene, VICE, GQ, and YouTube.
Evi Abeler has been nurturing a lifelong passion for food and photography, one that began during her upbringing in rural Northern Germany, taking in the sights, smells, and tastes of her family’s cooking. She studied photography, design, and multimedia at the University of Osnabrück in Germany and later earned an MFA in studio art from The City College of New York.
From then on, she has brewed countless successes: publishing an award-winning food blog called Whip+Click, creating DeLonghi’s first campaign in the US, shooting a commercial for Barilla, and bagging an ICC award for starters.
The list of brands, agencies, and publishers she has worked with is neverending, as she exhibits a unique range of photography styles to suit varying campaign requirements. She has accomplished the rare feat of having some clients stay by her side for over 15 years, so you know she’s definitely one of the best food photographers in New York City.
A daydreamer at heart with escapist visions and fantasies, Will Strawser’s artistic touch can be found on campaigns for major brands around the United States. He draws inspiration from different mediums, whether it be the art of Johannes Vermeer, the movies of Fritz Lang, or the music found outside the mainstream. Add his BFA in advertising photography from RIT into the mix, and you have a photographer with an insatiable appetite for learning.
By drawing inspiration and lessons from all these sources, he has gone on to create truly exceptional work, work that got him featured in the Communication Arts Photography Annual and Lurzer’s Archive.
Will is among the food photographers in New York who appreciate the long journey food goes through from farm to table. So whether your assignment needs photos of the fruits of hard labor at an orchard or the finishing touches on a plate before it’s to be served, Will Strawser will deliver.
Most of us have an eternal love affair with eating, but Alex Sewald can add cooking to that equation. It started during his childhood in South Carolina, hanging around the intoxicating sights and smells of a southern barbeque. These cultural roots kept food close to his heart and soul, so capturing those special moments with a camera became second nature to him.
Now, Alex is a New York-based commercial photographer specializing in food, drinks, and lifestyle, capturing a broad spectrum of dishes but with a particular penchant for pizzas and pies. There’s a homely quality to his photos, through the scattered arrangements on camera and the props and plates he uses for styling, an approach we can attribute to his upbringing without question. If your next commercial or editorial assignment needs this aura of comfort and coziness found around the dinner table, it’s time you gave Alex a call.
There may be just as many food photographers in New York City as there are residents, so we’ve narrowed the number down to 13 for your convenience. Each person on our list brings a distinct flavor to their photography, enabling you to realize your goals and objectives through different artistic interpretations. Food is hard to get right in the kitchen and in front of the camera, but with years upon years of practice and experience, the individuals we’ve highlighted above should make the job that much easier.
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