The 10 Best Food Photographers in London
- Date: March 22, 2023
- Topic: Photography
- By: Peerspace
Isn’t taking photographs of food easy? There’s no shortage of folks posting smartphone shots of their meals on social media, after all. However, if you want great, truly mouthwatering images, then the answer is no, it’s not easy. You need the skills, the right partners, great equipment, and the perfect setting. Just look through the portfolios of these top London food photographers to see what we mean. They have spent years honing their craft and dedicating their services to helping food and drink brands stand out from the crowded pack.
And if you’re a photographer looking for new spaces to shoot foot in London, check out Peerspace. As the largest online marketplace for hourly venue rentals, you can find hundreds of one-of-a-kind spaces that help bring your artistic vision to life. Plus, all spaces are owned and operated by local creatives like yourself. They specially curate their spaces and list them on the Peerspace platform for other people to hire and enjoy. These dedicated pros can source and deliver anything you need, be it catering or A/V gear.
Now, let’s get back to the topic at hand: London’s best food photographers. Just a word of advice: If you’re already hungry, browse these scrumptious shots at your own risk!
1. Kimberly Espinel of the Little Plantation
For several years now, Kimberly Espinel has worked a full-time career in food photography, a fairly quick progression stemming from a hobby blog she started just a few short years prior while working as an adoption social worker! That her skills and career commitment have set her apart from other London food photographers would be an understatement.
She’s the author of Creative Food Photography, a best-selling book about the intricacies of food styling. She teaches and holds workshops for other creatives on food photography and styling; and, of course, she continues to take photos for cafes, restaurants, and food brands. Keep blazing the trail, Kimberly!
Kimberly also shares who her ideal client match is. “If you love food photography that focuses on vibrant, rich colours, lots of textures and story telling, I’d love the opportunity to work with you!”
2. Gareth Morgans
With an impressive list of big-name clients and an expansive collection of food photography awards, Gareth Morgans clearly has game. And he keeps it simple, aiming to “make you want to eat his food photography off the page and screen”. Plus, he takes advantage of simple lighting. He uses daylight or “studio daylight” to create the mouthwatering images that shamelessly tempt us in his portfolio. Check out his work, but don’t be hungry when you do so, or you may be sorry.
Check out one of his many glowing reviews from his professional clients. “Gareth Morgans’ professionalism ensured all the shots were stylish, contemporary, and mouth-watering. He really captured the indulgent quality of each slice. I have worked with many food photographers but can honestly say Gareth is the icing on the cake!”
3. Kris Kirkham
There’s a good chance you have already seen Kris Kirkham’s work. After all, he has over a decade of experience as a commercial food and drink photographer. He may also have an interesting edge over other London food photographers: Before segueing into his photography career, he was an award-winning chef. He has intimate knowledge of the sensory experiences a dish has to offer. And therefore, likely knows how to visually bring that to life. Sounds like a professionally invaluable combination to us! And it’s one that helps make his portfolio the dazzling collection of food and drink images it is.
4. Ryan Ball Photography
Food photographer Ryan Ball has taken award-winning images for advertising, packaging, signage, and magazines for over 13 years. His website details the intricate elements that come together to produce what laypeople see as “simple food shots”. It gives a whole new perspective as you scroll through his portfolio of really slick food images. Oh, and while you’re there, don’t miss the fascinating “conceptual” for-ad-use images he’s got mixed in!
What we love about Ryan’s images is their vivacity. In fact, as he himself puts it: “As a London Food & Drinks Photographer, I help food brands elevate their products with colourful, bold and conceptual photos of food. Whether that’s creating graphic photos to help your products standout amongst the crowd or capturing the very best food moments.”
5. Donna Crous
The work of blogger and food photographer Donna Crous makes her a consistent finalist in the Pink Lady Food Photographer of the Year competition. Her style gives off a “well-done homemade” vibe influenced by her usual rustic kitchen settings and props. Yet, they’re too perfect to be anything but the work of a top pro.
Backgrounds are rendered practically invisible with a shallow depth-of-field and are often heavily darkened. This brings your eye directly to the food. However, it all looks perfectly natural, unprepped, and absolutely divine. Her mastery of natural light and continuous lighting equipment are clearly in play. In short, her images are just gorgeous. In fact, Donna is a Nikon Europe Ambassador and a RotolightMasters of Light member. Additionally, her own book, “A Healthier Family for Life” came out in 2021 and is available to purchase on Amazon.
6. Andre Ainsworth
With over two decades as a professional food and drink photographer, Andre Ainsworth’s experience shows in his commercially slick images. There is a heavier lean towards product-dominant studio shots in his portfolio (he takes a lot of drink pictures). However, there are also a good number of location shots, each showing off his skill at creating brilliant images, whatever style or location it may be. Among London food photographers, we think Ainsworth is a truly solid performer.
Check out his blog on his website. It’s chock full of handy information for professional and aspiring photographers alike!
7. Carla Barber Photography
Formerly the in-house photographer of the Gordon Ramsay Group, Carla Barber is no stranger to working with some of the biggest names in food photography clientele. Overhead straight down appears to be her preferred food shooting angle. In fact, her simple and direct results are fantastic, especially with her superb lighting and composition skills. From that angle, everything is clearly in focus, so there’s no need to play around with depths of field and fuzzy backgrounds, and Barber is in full command of that approach. That her work has been seen all over the place — in advertising, print, and social media — should come as no surprise to anyone.
If you’re wondering more about this talented lady, she shares the following on her website. “I’m fascinated with form and shape, the colour of the harvest, the simplicity in styling. And love the way chefs combine and develop all ingredients into small plated works of art. I’m happiest being in kitchens – being around the passionate dynamics, bustle, laughter.”
8. Simon Smith Photography
Simon Smith gives his big-name advertising, editorial, packaging, and PR clients pretty much a one-stop-shop for all their food photography needs. In fact, he works from his two large studios in West London, each with a fully-equipped kitchen and an inventory of cooking and dining props Hollywood would envy. With his decades in the industry and a portfolio of brilliant food, product, and commercial images, Smith’s ability to “get the shot” is a foregone conclusion.
Curious about his impressive client list? It includes Asda, Batchelors, BBC, Bisto, Danone, Diageo, Dolmio, Heinz, Hellmann’s, Hovis, KFC, Kingsmill, Knorr, Marks & Spencer, McDonald’s, McVities, Nestle, Old El Paso, Roadchef, Ryvita, Sainsbury’s, Schwartz, Sharwood’s, Tate & Lyle, and Tesco.
9. Michael Michaels
Michael Michaels’ website slogan perfectly encapsulates in two words exactly what he does: delicious photography. “For me, food photography is about capturing the essence of appetite appeal,” says Michaels, “to have someone look at a good food shot and feel their senses working immediately”. And those senses do kick in quickly scrolling through the images he captures and creates! Most are taken from the front, naturally composed, and lit in a way that makes it perfectly plausible that that is exactly what a diner will be looking at and enjoying. The man sure knows how to work those senses.
Just check out what one of his clients, Hop House Design, shared about their experience with him. “Michael’s photography never fails to impress. I have worked with him on a number of design and advertising projects for Schwartz (spices) and the images he provides my company with are an absolute joy to use, making our job almost easy! He is thoroughly recommended.”
10. Laura Jalbert of Jaja Food Studio
For a different look-and-feel take on food photography, check out Laura Jalbert’s work. Edgier. More contemporary, with a steely grey cast and texture. An editorial style that verges on documentary. No warm fuzzy comfort here; the mood in Jalbert’s photographs scream, “This isn’t your mama’s cookbook!” Real-life color accuracy isn’t high on the list of priorities in her images; appealing to a very specific segment of the marketplace would likely be on top of that list. Judging from her large following, it does look like her vision clicks with a heck of a lot of people.
We also love Laura’s artistic background and commitment to showcasing sustainable foods and brands. “Born in the South of France, I’ve studied contemporary art for years before focusing on my one true love: food. Since then, my work is to highlight the beautiful work of hard-working people sharing the same values of producing sustainable, handmade, natural food and drinks.”
Bonus: Jason Spoor Photography
Jason Spoor is one of the top London food photographers who also happens to have a very interesting background. He’s originally from Los Angeles and move to London two decades ago. With a background in industrial design, Jason has the type of eye that masterfully captures creative and technical vision to a tee. He has even worked as a retail designer for such high-end brands as Harrods, John Lewis, and Nike. It’s unsurprising, then, that having a pro with experience like Jason’s can benefit any brand looking for well-composed and elegant food and drink images.
So what exactly is it like working with him? Let’s let him share in his own words: “With an easy-going Californian demeanour and professional attitude, I am sure I can help you. My style has been described as harmoniously balanced with colourful highlights of rustic sophistication. I generally work with a food stylist and an experienced designer on my shoots.”
London food photographers rely on Peerspace
That using professionally captured and created food photographs is critical for restaurants, food product marketers, book publishers, etc., is no surprise. What is surprising is discovering not only how many good food photographers there are in London, but seeing how many of them are totally brilliant at it! If you’re in the area and in the culinary trade, this is good news. You do have a dilemma, however: Which of these great photographers to choose?
Creatives across London also have the superb dilemma of which Peerspace to hunker down in for a few hours to shoot their masterpieces! Luckily, since all spaces are available by the hour, you don’t have to feel tied down. You can experience as many truly distinct and inspiring spaces as you like, all without breaking the bank.
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