Food photography is a passion for Andrew Scrivani because he’s passionate about food. The photographer and director grew up with food as a way of connecting with his family, from cooking together to eating together, and the childhood memories play a part in his work today. His goal is to connect people to their feelings, to bring back a memory, when they see a great food photo. In this episode of B&H’s Prospectives, Scrivani talks about his photography process and where he finds inspiration:
For Scrivani, the most important thing when it comes to food photography is the connection people have to the way it makes them feel.
“From something as basic as how it makes you feel hungry to something that triggers memories, things that make you feel happy or even nostalgic. I think all of that is the goal I have in mind when I’m taking a picture is that I want to connect people to their feelings.”
Scrivani basically taught himself food photography. In his early years, he says he was inspired by museum work, painting, and particularly architecture.
“I’m really inspired by architecture and I find that shapes and color that are used in architecture translate into my work in a lot of ways. I like to use shape as a technique and as a tool, and I think it’s a fun way to look at it from an artistic perspective and forget about the fact that it’s food on the plate and think about it as a piece of art and think about it as you want to portray it as a piece of art.”
As for how painting inspires him, Scrivani says he fell in love with the look of the Dutch painters—the sort of side-lit, rich color against black.
“I find it really romantic and emotional and I think that it’s something that is how I’ve been able to kind of transmit my feelings towards food.”
The two main lighting techniques he uses are backlighting and sidelighting. Scrivani has definitely had his share of not-so-perfect shots, whether he wasn’t lighting properly, exposing properly, or he made mistakes in post-production. It took him some time to craft his style, but he believes that without the mistakes, you don’t grow.
That’s his best advice—learn from your mistakes, build off the mistakes because if you don’t make them, you don’t know.
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