Photo Finish

It is impossible to answer the question “Who is your favorite child?” It is far, far easier to respond to the question “Who is your favorite food photographer?”Elm Mushrooms

I have admired David Bishop’s work for a long time and though we have never met — or even spoken. I did ask him to answer the following questions. I’m sure you will admire his work with the same awed enthusiasm I feel for it. Check out his portfolio. It is sensitive, artistic and — well — simply awesome!

Q: How did you decide to become a food photographer?
A: I began my career shooting tabletop still life and hired food stylists to customize food props for the kitchen related shots.  I was soon impressed not only with their diverse cooking skills but also how they incorporated sculpting, painting, problem solving and model-making along with good communication skills.

I began testing with both the stylists and their assistants and found that shooting food offered me a unique opportunity to photograph a subject matter with an intrinsic sensuality and appetite appeal and one that speaks with a universal language. Eventually Food & Wine Magazine, Bon Appetit and many women’s magazines began hiring me.

Tomato Clones

Tomato Clones by David Bishop

Q: What do you most enjoy about your work?
A: Nothing is more exciting than continuing to evolve while broadening my mastery of light and composition. I enjoy pushing creative boundaries with elements such as dimension and sensuality, and when successful, greater tactile qualities emerge. I’ve learned how to successfully deliver the viewer’s eye to the most valuable elements within the composition and then control what the viewer looks at next. It’s a power trip.

Q: What is the hardest part?
A: When shooting personal work, searching for that universal message that speaks to the viewer sometimes requires digging deep inside myself. It leaves me vulnerable.

Delores Custer

Delores Custer

Q: What is the difference between being a photographer of food and one who photographs cars or houses?
A: Delores Custer put it succinctly many years ago. She explained that food is alive and begins it’s inevitable decline the moment it’s put under the lights.

Q: What training is required for anyone wanting to follow in your footsteps?
A: There are many talented cooks in the kitchen. Listen to them all but never fail to follow your personal vision. The alternative is mediocrity.