The perception of Washington, DC, as a prim and proper destination, dominates our collective conscience. Perhaps it’s a location solely reserved for people in suits and dresses squabbling over policy matters, and then dining with fancy cutlery during recess. But a big ol’ Jumbo Pizza Slice in Adams Morgan or some wings and fries slathered in Mumbo Sauce downtown would prove otherwise. The culinary landscape of the US Capital is diverse, rich in ingredients and flavors from all over the world. Professionals with the camera are necessary to document these delectable experiences for our visual palate. So, to furnish this feast for the eyes, we found seven of the best Washington, DC, food photographers using our directory.
At Wonderful Machine, food photography covers it as a product or experience, showing it being grown, prepared, served, or consumed. So we went ahead and located seven photographers capable of capturing this long and winding journey of everything we eat, documenting its beauty through all these different stages.
A shutterbug with a severe case of wanderlust, Jennifer Chase brings a suitcase full of worldly experience to her assignments. It all started with her learning to cook while being a Peace Corps volunteer in West Africa. Since then, she’s learned more about cooking and even more about capturing the culinary journey through pictures.
Jennifer’s a DC food photographer who appreciates different aspects of the specialty. In addition to focusing on edibles and drinkables by themselves, she creates visual narratives of the people and places involved in food, from the chefs to the servers who’re instrumental in creating a multi-faceted experience. With her excellent eye for photographing both the finished product and the artistry behind the scenes, she’d be perfect for a wide variety of campaigns.
Jennifer’s photography has appeared in publications such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, Conde Nast Traveler, Bon Appetit, Food and Wine, Domino, Afar, and countless others. Currently, she also serves as the Creative Director of Edible DC.
Justin Tsucalas made a name for himself as an exceptional lifestyle photographer, winning the 2016 PDN World In Focus grand prize and being featured in Emerging Photographer Vol. 7, No. 1. His philosophy is to present “the scene for what it actually is, whether it’s beautifully intriguing or completely out of the box.”
This approach is also visible in his food photography, creating a state of hyper-awareness around the colors, shapes, and textures at play in the food we eat. By doing so, he instills a sense of novelty, even in something as common as a sandwich, revealing a cross-section of one to show layers upon layers of marvel, much like a geological phenomenon built over the years. Or else, he might capture sprinkles being showered on top of some ice cream scoops, creating a scene reminiscent of a New Year’s Eve gala with the splash of colors resembling confetti. His compositions use food to activate the imagination, giving meaning to them beyond what’s simply visible.
Justin’s clients include Wired, National Geographic Traveler, Food Network, Frank’s RedHot, Surface Magazine, Neon, McCormick’s & Co., Baltimore Magazine, B-More Art Magazine, MICA, Visit Baltimore, Four Seasons, Consumer Reports, French’s, MIT, Penn Gazette, Hopkins Medical Magazine, and many others.
When it comes to food photography in DC, Laura Chase de Formigny is an exceptional candidate for editorial assignments. She began her career as a staff photographer for the Annapolis Capital Gazette, building a keen eye for storytelling that has led to projects with The Washington Post, AARP, NPR, Smithsonian Institute, Science Magazine, and the Michelin Guide. That’s on top of countless collaborations with restaurants and chefs in the DC area. In addition, she recently cooked up images for National Geographic’s Attainable Sustainable, a book that lays out self-reliant and sustainable living practices for the 21st century. When it comes to material for publication, traditional or digital, Laura is at the forefront of most clients’ minds.
Laura’s food photography explores everything from the farm to the table, chronicling the voyage of ingredients and the people who transform them into delights for the senses. It’s all captured in a rich array of colors, making food one of the most vibrant components of our day-to-day lives.
Having lived and worked in the capital for over 30 years, Scott Suchman is one of the most experienced Washington, DC, food photographers. He has handled assignments for Bon Appetit, The Washington Post Magazine, Forbes, Barron’s, Popular Mechanics, Politico, Southern Living, Garden & Gun, Wine Enthusiast, and many other publications.
In addition, his photos have graced cookbooks published by National Geographic, Smithsonian Books, and Ten Speed Press. And he also happens to be a contributing photographer for Washingtonian Magazine. So he has plenty of credentials to tout, and his food portfolio has plenty to show as well.
It contains a cornucopia of delicious imagery, captured from angles both high and low, close and afar, revealing the beauty of food beyond appearance. He has a knack for capturing the hustle and joy of the kitchen in raw and unfiltered terms, placing the spotlight on the makers of food at home and commercial kitchens. He’s yet another DC food photographer with strong editorial sensibilities.
Whether it’s something sweet or savory, Stacy Zarin Goldberg will photograph her edible subjects with a characteristic lightness, finding acutely angled arrangements for them in the most serene settings, typically shot from high vantage points. Her pristine and immaculate setups are also the very definition of “easy on the eyes.”
Along with her BFA in Photography, Stacy also concentrated on art and painting at the Pratt Institute of Art in NYC. Separately, she has taken lessons in the camera and the brush from the Corcoran Gallery of Art. Armed with the knowledge of both disciplines, she presents narratives within her food photography, bringing attention to the chefs and restaurants behind the culinary magic. Her ability to focus on the product and the process has regularly garnered interest from local, regional, and national publications.
Cameron Whitman’s photography is steeped in earthy tones, dishing out color in just the right amounts to present meals and recipes as an extension of nature, rather than products manufactured through artificial means to saturate the senses. In fact, his portfolio depicts food in extremely wholesome ways, finding it to be an instrument for connection between friends and family. His skill at highlighting the relationship between people and food makes him ideal for assignments that require this genre of lifestyle imagery. Cameron has also done a fair bit of work in the restaurant space, using an uncomplicated aesthetic to highlight drinks and dishes.
Renée Comet is a nationally recognized DC food photographer whose aesthetic relies on clean and simple compositions. However, by focusing on a modest selection of ingredients, props, and colors, she allows the subject in question to occupy centerstage, leaving no room for any supporting characters to create distractions. Additionally, you can see a bit of playfulness tucked into certain corners of her portfolio, finding some lighthearted ways of framing food. It’s certainly bound to draw the interest of commercial clients looking for edgier photo campaigns.
Your search for a DC food photographer should seem much less daunting now! With these seven choices, you can take your next commercial or editorial campaign in many different directions, creating a library of images that appeals to your target audience.