Food Photography Philosophy From Leigh Beisch

Posted on: October 15th, 2014 by

lychee photo leigh beischDo you have an emotional connection with lychee? How about when it’s in your wine? I hadn’t given it that much thought until I got a review copy of The Essence of Wine to check out on my tablet. The words are provided by Vinography’s Alder Yarrow and the beautiful photos by Photographer Leigh Beisch. It’s a meditative visual work considering many of wines most classic flavors and aromas (oak and pear, for example) along with Yarrow’s picks for bottles that exemplify each essence. Lengthier essays on wine can be found throughout the book as well.

Read Yarrow and Beisch’s thoughts regarding the creation of the book and how the process impacted them on Grape Collective.

The food dude in me had to ask Beisch about photography. I was really impressed how energetic all of these inanimate objects were in every photo. My query and her response, the latter I enjoyed for its philosophical insight as well as practical advice:

JF: Many of the pictured fruits are squeezed, smashed, and/or sliced; they look very dynamic. Can you give a casual photographer a quick tip for shooting food so it doesn’t look it’s “sitting there doing nothing”?

LB: “Food is an experience. We share it, we desire it, we need it to survive! Don’t think of it as a static object when photographing it. Food has a life span, it dies quickly, sometimes subtly. Shoot it quickly, passionately. Show evidence that it was enjoyed.”

Lychee by Leigh Beisch. Please peruse her photography portfolio.

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18 Responses

  1. CakeSpy says:

    I have a belief that if you feel something for what you are photographing, it will be instantly more beautiful. I love how Leigh puts this idea in practical form. Her work is really inspiring. 🙂

  2. Linda Omura says:

    I really like her recommendation on shooting food to “Shoot it quickly, passionately. Show evidence that it was enjoyed.” Something to think about in my next food shoot.

  3. I love this explanation. I will think of the food I’m shooting differently now! Thanks for a great new way to approach the task.

  4. Katie Levans says:

    I love creating recipes and photographing food (just for fun) but I’m not sure I’ve ever put much thought into taking it beyond a “static object.” Nice inspiration to try something new. Thanks!

  5. Well, this book is definitely going on my list to read!

    • Jameson Fink says:


      I got to check it out on my iPad and all the images are lovely. And it would be a fun exercise to explore distinct flavors in wine via the recommended bottles.



  6. Kirsten says:

    Leigh is as articulate with words as she is with her camera.
    Thanks for giving me some words of wisdom to ponder today!

  7. Amazing photo! Sometimes we can learn so much by asking the right question, thanks for sharing.

  8. Loved this post Jameson. Such beautiful sentiment about food and food photography by Leigh Beisch. When you work with food long enough and study it, and I mean really study it like Leigh obviously does, you can see the life within. It is alive and vibrant. It has an energy all it’s own. That is so apparent in plant food (especially before it is cooked). Working with the camera to capture that is where art is born. Thanks for sharing this!

  9. I try my best to shoot the food quickly as well. Great points here!!

  10. Nutmeg Nanny says:

    During a food shoot it’s a mix of emotion. I work quickly to keep the color and look of the food fresh but I’m also studying each shoot to make sure it captures the beauty of the dish. Great tips in this post, thank you!

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