With a vibrant, constantly changing food scene, Columbus is home to not only talented chefs but skilled photographers looking to showcase their creations. Branding and marketing are just as important as knowing how to whip up savory wings or a crispy pizza. If you’re a local eatery or big-name brand, consider collaborating with one of the specialists we’ve curated in our list below. Check out the top Columbus food photographers and what they have to offer.
We love how Ryan Phillips brings us in close for his work. Most of his food photos are intimate vignettes of a dish or arrangement where the viewer feels as if their nose is nearly in the dish! This gives the viewer a better appreciation for the sensory cues good food photography relies on. Visual elements, such as an open jar of mustard or scattered salt, translate into textures, smells, flavor sensations, and more, thanks to Ryan’s lighting and composition choices.
Most importantly, Ryan brings his vision while also seeing the necessity of collaboration in each and every photography project of his. In his own words: “I take what I do very seriously, while at the same time realizing people are most creative in a comfortable environment. I have been lucky to collaborate with wonderful people. Together, we have produced work that is better because each person’s talents are respected in the process.”
2. Ryan Benyi
Bringing over 15 years of experience working on location and in studio on projects nation and worldwide, Ryan Benyi is one of our top choices for best food photographer in Columbus. A native to the city, he earned his spurs in New York City, assisting top photographers on food, still-life, fashion, beauty, and interior design projects before striking out on his own and starting his photography business.
Back in Columbus, he employs a bright studio style that showcases food’s colors and form in a vivid way. We love that Ryan mixes in overhead table top shots with closeups where the plate is the canvas. He also regularly uses elements to suggest storylines — such as notebooks and pencils for students or newspapers for a breakfast take — giving some of his work a lighthearted documentary flavor!
An editorial and commercial photographer specializing in food and product photography, Maria Siriano is the real deal. Her work fuses her love of baking and photography to illustrate the story behind each and every dish. Her distinguished clients include Bath & Body Works, Burger King, Smuckers, and other household name brands. Maria uses several styles to best suit her client’s needs — including moody, contemporary, and studio lighting and color grading — to excellent effect.
Her viewing angles vary as well — for example, sometimes we’re given tableside views that put us in the mind of a diner. Other times we get expansive views from above that let us appreciate the artistry and variety that goes into a spread. Maria uses contrasting elements as well: colors, textures, and flavors that grab the viewer’s attention.
4. Henry Leiter
Henry Leiter’s work graces packages, advertisements, social media pages, restaurant websites, and much more nationwide. One aspect of Henry’s work we love is how he incorporates shadows and deep, dark colors into his style. Bright white highlights are more common to food photography; Henry’s style brings out textures, deep colors, and background elements like slate and wood without washing out any aspect of the photo.
Instead of food floating in space, we can see how carefully Henry arranges every aspect for impact. Not one part of his images is wasted. He’s also one of the very few food photographers willing to shoot monochrome as well, allowing recognizable herbs carry the story thanks to their forms, patterns, and suggestions of scents they impart. His unique vision and creativity make him one of the best food photographers in Columbus!
5. Tommy Feisel
Commercial photographer Tommy Feisel fuses his love of variety with digital darkroom experience to create some of the finest food photographs we’ve seen. His images often emphasize closeups taken from an angle that give us a small portion of the dish. Instead of seeing an entire pizza from above, it’s more than enough to get a portion of the dish, and the higher resolution lets us appreciate fine details like seasoning, crust consistency, and oil-brushed crusts.
Tommy’s body of work has a definite artistic take ranging from minimalistic to editorial, depending on the brand and desires of each client. Tommy’s mixture of studio and on-location work makes him a versatile creative and one of the most thoughtful Columbus food photographers.
6. Jenny Beck
Knowing how potential customers rely on first impressions to make their final food selections, Jenny Beck creates food photography that impacts you the moment you lay eyes on the dish. She does this by using a minimalistic take that guides the viewer directly to the subject and leaves no distracting elements within the frame. Her work is clean and to the point; flattering, complementary backgrounds and the subject are mostly isolated. Jenny’s work could easily grace any cookbook, restaurant website, or fine dining advertisement.
7. Sean Howard of Le FinePrint
Sean’s team of commercial and corporate photographers and videographers run Le FinePrint, based in Columbus. Together, they capture excellent food photography, using a tableside, intimate view that uses strong visual cues thanks to well-chosen lighting and macro distances to invoke other senses, including taste, texture, and even crispy notes! Le FinePrint’s style shows us dishes in isolation — all the better to peruse the photo and fully appreciate the time and artistry that goes into each portion.
Chef Nicky Morse brings his love of culinary arts, perfection in style, and photography together in his food styling portfolio. He truly embodies the best of food photography by employing several styles: he sometimes uses overhead shots with artistically shot seasonings, fine dining ware, and textured backgrounds that tell stories of preparation or lifestyle. Other times, we’re treated to macro angles that let us take in fine details of a dessert, such as fresh fruit and finely spread powdered sugar. His versatility is captivating and why we’ve chosen him as one of the best Columbus food photographers.