Stockholm, Sweden-based photographer Lola Akinmade Åkerström specializes in travel and lifestyle photography, but for her latest project, she applied her expertise to the sustainable food movement. Lola’s recent work for the Electrolux Food Foundation involved photographing all the content for the launch of REPLATE, a new online initiative that seeks to inspire people to make more sustainable food choices.
In partnership with AIESEC and Worldchefs – World Association of Chefs’ Societies, the goal of REPLATE is to gather the latest research on sustainable food and make it accessible. Having worked with the client as a photographer on several projects in the past, Lola has a long-standing relationship with the client. However, the creative direction for the campaign made her the ideal candidate to lay the groundwork for the project.
As a travel and lifestyle photographer, I focus a lot on environmental portraits of people and food in a more natural setting. Shooting this particular campaign for the Electrolux Food Foundation was a great fit because they wanted the images to be approachable, not overly staged studio photography.
When scouting for possible locations, Lola had originally wanted to utilize an outdoor restaurant as the backdrop, but due to time constraints, she wasn’t able to secure the location. Instead, she captured the images outdoors in a private home’s garden, which ultimately added a layer of authenticity to the images giving them a more down-to-earth look.
Due to the time turnaround, the location we wanted wasn’t available but we were able to use the small garden home of Kate Trofimova for the creative shoot.
Lola’s biggest creative challenge was capturing various images from this one shoot that could be used in different ways across various promotional materials. She had a few bowls of fruit, vegetables, and ingredients to work with but had to get creative with angles and styling to get multiple options.
Considering how little materials we had to work with under a very tight time schedule, I learned that we can push ourselves a lot more creatively when faced with challenging situations that we think we can.
The final images are appealing depictions of fruits and vegetables shot outdoors in a tablescape setting and in a garden. The table images, in particular, strike the ideal balance between looking beautiful but perfectly natural, similar to how a friend might set the table for entertaining.
This shoot was going to set the tone of the overall REPLATE campaign so all the fruits, vegetables, and plating of salads needed to work well together and feel replicable by anyone in their own home.
After the shoot, Lola lightly edited the photos to ensure consistency across images for the campaign and handed them off to the client. On the REPLATE website, Lola’s photos accompany useful information about how to eat more sustainably and provide both beautiful and attainable visuals, further communicating the idea that eating a sustainable diet doesn’t have to be difficult.
Electrolux Food Foundation is doing an amazing job in terms of not only showing us how to all eat more sustainably in a more affordable way, but the Foundation is also holding our hands through the process.