The 9 Best Austin Food Photographers
Austin has a lot going for it: a vibrant community, great music, and amazing food. As a city that values its thriving art scene, it’s no surprise that there are some amazing photographers working in Austin, too. With well-developed styles and a keen eye for detail, the food photographers on this list will leave you stunned — and most likely hungry. Enjoy the work of some of the best food photographers in Austin; get ready to be inspired.
Ashleigh Amoroso’s accomplishments in the photography industry are impressive, and she’s worked with a number of high-profile clients, including Target, Mashable, and McCormick. Her food photography in particular is some of the best in the business.
In addition, her use of high-contrast lighting calls attention to the details of the intricate dishes she’s photographing, and many of her images feature elements of motion — dripping syrup, juice squeezed from a lime, sifted sugar powdering a meal. Her even color toning shows the vibrancy of the dishes without ever overwhelming the viewer. The images evoke a sense of comfort and familiarity, and easily make Ashleigh one of the best food photographers in Austin.
Richard Casteel is a passionate food photographer who has been featured in renowned publications like Food & Wine, Southern Living, and Oprah Magazine. His artistic approach to food photography results in warm, homey images that highlight the intricacies of a dish while still making it feel familiar.
By establishing a strong sense of place with his sets, Richard’s work draws us in and makes perfectly presented dishes feel more accessible. His use of color complements his warm, contrasted lighting and helps to show off the individual details of the food.
Like many of the best Austin food photographers, Shelby Tsika’s work emphasizes composition that creates a connection between viewer and food. Bright, neutral backgrounds and strong lighting emphasize the intricacies of a dish and put its colors on full display.
Her macro work, in particular, reveals the beautiful details of the food spreads, zeroing in on the most aesthetically interesting parts of the dish. This balance between wide, middle, and macro shots gives her portfolio versatility.
Karli Isiyel offers a number of design services for restaurants, but a central component of her package is food photography. Her work pays close attention to organization and compositional balance.
Bright colors and complementary textures create images that are pleasing to look at, and Karli is also able to incorporate printed material, like a restaurant’s menu, organically into her images. Her ability to combine great images of food with branded material makes her one of the best Austin food photographers.
Kimberly Davis earned her BFA in photography and has worked professionally since 2006. Between Kimberly’s talent as a photographer and love of cooking, food photography seems like a natural fit for her. Many food photographers focus on making images that use neutral backgrounds to best show off the dishes, and Kimberly has many images in this style. But, she also isn’t afraid to add some color to her work.
She boasts a fantastic gallery of images that use bright teals, pinks, yellows, and greens for the backdrop. These colorful images are immediately attention-grabbing and would be completely at home on a social media feed or in a magazine.
Jody Horton is an accomplished photographer with a long list of clients, including Bon Appétit, Food & Wine, and Garden & Gun, so you know he’s got the experience to do amazing work. He operates a studio in Austin that even has a full kitchen for his food work.
His work often focuses on the rustic elements of dishes — meat or oysters over a fire, or raw ingredients presented on stained hardwood. In his body of work, we don’t only see the finished dish — we also explore how the dish is made. Rich colors and high-contrast lighting make all of the dishes pop. Tight shots focusing on arrays of vegetables or the Maillard reaction on a seared steak make sure no detail is missed when documenting a dish.
Jessica Attie’s talent for photography is well-developed, going back to her first darkroom class when she was a teenager. Since then, she’s built an impressive body of work and a comprehensive client list, including Bon Appétit and Food & Wine. Her images are expertly lit, often with bright backgrounds that emphasize the vibrant colors of a dish.
Furthermore, her top-down shots are composed with meticulous attention to detail, and her food layouts are well-balanced. In addition to these images, Jessica also captures motion in her images — hands reaching across a table to take a plate, or the cover of a serving platter being lifted. These dynamic moments keep her images engaging.
SCAD graduate Dennis Burnett has recently moved to Austin and is at the top of his game photographically. Taking strong cues from documentary photography, Dennis’s work doesn’t simply display a dish — it tells a story about how the food is prepared and the people preparing it.
His images are perfectly lit, often featuring large spreads of multiple dishes. Juxtaposed with these wider shots, Dennis does plenty of close-distance work that focuses on the textures of food — the smoothness of a crab shell or the roughness of handmade pastas. Images of the cooking process and the chefs behind it complete the story.
Eric Coleman understands the marketing importance of good food photography. High-quality images hold people’s attention and tell the story of a business, and Eric’s food photography is intended to help get people seated in restaurants. His food displays focus completely on the dish in frame, with strong side lighting to highlight every texture of the plated food.
By focusing less on details of setting and entirely on the food in the frame, Eric’s images create a strong sense of brand. Details are important in this kind of imagery, and Eric captures it all. If you’re a restaurant and need images that will promote your company image, as well as make people hungry, then Eric is one of the best Austin food photographers that you could work with.
The best Austin food photographers have an eye for fine details. It’s an especially tricky business when you consider that their mission is to convey one sense-based experience through another — that is, to make you see how the food tastes.
By focusing on all the pieces of the whole — the colors of the fresh ingredients, the process by which it’s prepared, or the texture of each item, for example — we’re able to take one look and think “Oh man, that looks delicious.” As if we didn’t already know that Austin’s a great food town, right?