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The 7 Best Food Photographers in Detroit

Detroit is a lesser-known food hub in the nation’s Rust Belt. With Detroit-style pizza, cider and doughnuts, and pączki finally getting the recognition they deserve, local businesses are clamoring to find talented food photographers who can showcase their talent and brands in the best light possible. That’s why we at Peerspace have taken the time to find the top Detroit food photographers working today. Feel free to explore their work and let us know which dish you’ll try first!

1. Michelle Gerard

Covering food preparation, presentation, and lifestyle images, Michelle Gerard is one of the top food photographers in Detroit thanks to her full coverage of every element of her chosen project. She takes on a documentary angle that encompasses smiling chefs prepping vegetables and sauteing meat, as well as people enjoying the fruits of their labors! Michelle uses a bright, modern color palette ranging from slight moody to cheery outdoor natural lighting, whichever is best for the project. Spreads range from busy tabletops showing multi-course spreads to minimalistic vignettes of a section of a fine dining experience.

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2. Andy Greenwell

Award-winning commercial and advertising photographer Andy Greenwell works hard to not only capture fine-dining experiences through food, but he also runs workshops and private lessons on photography technique and lighting. We love his to-the-point portraiture take on food photography; instead of showing a chaotic spread of elements on a busy table or plate, we’re treated to the main course right off the bat: savory meats on a veggie pilaf, grilled chicken with a side of salad.

As such, there’s no need for distracting elements to take away from the simple message of each delightful dish. And the way he brings the viewer in close allows our other senses to be stimulated by cues such as texture, moisture, and even smell and taste.

3. Marvin Shaouni

Supremely talented photographer and videographer Marvin Shaouni covers editorial and advertising projects with a focus on portraits, food, and lifestyle surrounding these subjects. His work has been featured in publications including The New York Times, Wine Enthusiast Magazine, Food Network Magazine, just to name a few.

Marvin’s years of experience is obvious looking through his portfolio — we’re treated to compositions ranging from documentary takes on the preparation of a dish to harvesting fresh ingredients, the dishes themselves, and various aspects of the venue, such as wall art, outdoor seating, and the chefs and bartenders. His ease of transitioning between genres and perspectives in food photography makes him one of the best food photographers in Detroit in 2019.

4. Jennifer Arnett & Josiah McKane of Starloft Photo and Video

Jennifer Arnett is the president of Starloft Photo and Video. She and assistant/videographer Josiah McKane are the duo behind the photography outfit. Starloft provides commercial visual media for businesses across Michigan, including food images, drone photography, TV commercials, real estate photography, and much more. Starloft’s food style is consistently direct and thoughtful, using a tableside view that invites us to experience the dish as if we were ordering it for the first time. We especially love how clean the backgrounds appear; each image has a minimalistic flavor we enjoy. 

5. Joe Vaughn

If you’re a fan of shadows, deep earth tones, and classic takes on food photography, Joe Vaughn is one of the best food photographers in Detroit for your next project! He has collaborated with household names, such as Coca-Cola, Time Magazine, the Food Network, and many other noteworthy brands.

With nearly 20 years of experience in photography and cinematography, it’s clear just how well Joe can convey both the story and beauty of each dish he photographs. His work invites us to see the chefs at work, dicing fresh tomatoes for your salad and frying calamari for the appetizer. We get to see each aspect of the product as it comes together in a holistic, artistic fashion.

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6. Chuk Nowak

Chuk Nowak covers food, people, and entertainment in the Detroit area and nationwide. He uses a classic matte color tone to give a vintage take to his images. Much of his work also has a minimalist feel, though some of his portfolio has a distinct fine art approach. We especially enjoy how well he showcases contrasting textures and dishes; viewers are treated to the interplay between soft fruit, herbal textures, and stone countertops, each providing its own visual cues for the viewer. Chuk uses his photography as a way of masterfully telling stories about food, making him one of the best food photographers in Detroit right now.

8. Sarah Fennel of Broma Bakery

Founder of the Foodtography School and Broma Bakery blog, Sarah Fennel brings years of expertise to her food photography projects. From her college days spent making batches of baked delights for her housemates to graduating and working as a catering director for local restaurants, Sarah eventually realized she had what it takes to run the social media accounts for each, including food photography coverage. And from there, Sarah’s love of food photography only grew stronger. With over 1,500 successful students enrolled in her Foodtography School, Sarah Fennel is the real deal.

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