Charlotte is famous for its coastal charm, as well as being home to the NASCAR Hall of Fame. When it comes to the culinary arts, the city boasts an impressive dining scene, and Charlotte food photographers know that the real magic happens in the kitchen. And while we love a good vinegar-based barbecue sauce as much as the next Charlottean, we’re even more excited about the vast array of tempting flavors captured beautifully by these talented photographers.
Using vivid colors and strong shadows, Ashley Lester creates bold, highly stylized images that make food look like art. Her colorful photos that are full of life and inventive compositions have earned positive remarks by Canon USA. In addition, numerous media outlets have published her work, including Coastal Living, The Knot, Virginia Living, and Restaurant News. Whether it’s an icy cocktail, a sun-soaked ice cream cone, or a simple bundle of carrots, Lester knows how to capture the fun side of any food. And with a background in digital marketing and social advertising, it’s no wonder she’s become one of the most sought-after Charlotte food photographers.
2. Laura Sumrak
Laura Sumrak’s food photography is inviting and sophisticated. With diffused lighting and soft shadows, she has been able to elegantly capture crisp details and textures. Her bright, minimalist style showcases cohesive color schemes of subdued earth tones and silvery whites. Sunrak’s light and airy style has been used by many brands, such as Shake Shack, Harmons Grocery, Hilton Hotels, and Lowe’s Home Improvement. Publications and media outlets like Domino Magazine, HGTV, and Thrillist have published her photography.
Cindy Nonnenmann’s whimsical food product photography will put a smile on your face. Her light and festive images bring out the temperatures and mouth feel of foods and beverages –– whether it’s a sweaty bottle of Mexican soda or a teaspoon of dried coriander. Nonnenmann runs her own photography business on top of her role as lead wedding photographer for Waterhouse Studios Photography.
While her main focus is on weddings and portraits, Nonnenmann’s exceptional work shows that she can photograph anything with inventiveness and skill. When she’s not on location or in the studio, you can find the shutterbug gardening, cooking, or simply spending time with her family and dog.
Michael Harrison’s dark and moody food photography uses deep blacks and warm highlights to achieve the appearance of fine art. Smooth bokeh, heavy vignettes, and center-weighted compositions add to the effect. Throughout his work, Harrison strives to capture hidden moments –– those brief seconds when light, form, and design come together to bring out the flavors and textures of the food in front of him. His remarkable work has been featured by Le Creuset, StockFood, Cato, Rubbermaid, and Laura Ashley.
5. Peter Taylor
Using wide apertures, bright side lighting, and the rule of thirds, Peter Taylor crafts eye-catching photos that bring the flavors of North Carolina to life. His bold framing and use of 45-degree and tabletop angles gives the viewer a peek into the eating experience. Boasting an impressive list of clients including the Food Network, The New York Times, Charlotte Barbecue, Garden & Gun, and the Ritz Carlton, Taylor can say his work speaks for itself. His passion for creating honest and fun images shines throughout his portfolio of clean, mouthwatering work.
As a food stylist and makeup artist, Monique Floyd is well-acquainted with beauty –– and it shows. Her light, colorful images manage to capture tricky foods, including glazed noodles and fatty soups, without making them appear slimy and unappetizing. With diffused and reflective lighting, rustic tabletops, and a can-do spirit, Floyd brings the viewer into a world of delicate flavors and positivity. Her desire to experience different cultures and continue to grow personally and creatively is reflected throughout her body of stunning work. When she’s not shooting, you can find Floyd doing hot yoga, meditating, or listening to her favorite music.
With a bachelor’s degree in food and nutrition from Meredith College, Ginny Williams uses her signature style to compose striking images that highlight the beauty of healthy ingredients. Her inspiring work has appeared in Cary Living Magazine and Midtown Magazine. The Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh has also displayed her photography. Williams’ use of macro lenses, matte shadows, and sharp foregrounds allows her to showcase the culinary experiences before her while maintaining visual interest and balance. Her recipe blog offers up creative, plant-based recipes –– all artfully captured with her unique aesthetic.
8. Kevin Chelko
Kevin Chelko’s food photography combines elements of product photography and pop art. With unobtrusive backgrounds, bright jewel tones, and expert light metering, Chelko is able to create images that are intriguing and satisfying to look at. His ability to capture fine details along with large spreads makes him one of our favorite Charlotte food photographers. From sliced fruit to flame-grilled steaks, Chelko has a knack for making food appear irresistible.