When you think of Phoenix, what might come to mind are painted desert skies, majestic saguaros, and sprawling vistas of red rock. However, this scenic southwestern wonderland also boasts a vibrant food scene, and there are a lot of talented individuals who are passionate about capturing it on film. Therefore, without further ado, we’ve curated a list of some of the best food photographers in Phoenix (in no particular order) — we just can’t guarantee that their work won’t make your mouth water.
1. Debby Wolvos
Debby Wolvos covers food and travel photography in the Phoenix metro area, with several distinguished clients, including IHOP, Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts, Southwest Airlines Magazine, and other household brand names. Debbie’s photography style uses a bold, bright character perfectly suited to capturing Southwestern dishes like chilaquiles and nachos! vivid reds and vibrant yellows have a saturated pop thanks to her bright overhead lights and pristine white plates.
Debby shows us each dish as a completed arrangement, allowing us to savor the final product as it would be if ordered from the menu. She also photographs the chef and other restaurant crew hard at work, giving us a documentary angle on each dish as well! Her combination of food features and documentation of its preparation makes Debby one of the best food photographers in Phoenix!
2. Jenelle of Food and Lifestyles
Jenelle covers a unique angle as a photographer. As she describes it, “I have found a niche in vineyard photography. There is nothing I love more than to be in the vineyard exploring the unique clusters of grapes and finding the best natural light. Early morning light is the best to capture the brilliant colors, illuminated by the sun.”
Also covering food and lifestyle photography in Arizona, Jenelle combines her love of food and drink with a style ranging from food images to documentary takes on vineyard and wine culture and cultivation. Her work is a celebration in the finesse of alcoholic beverages; herbs, fruits, and flowers coming together in the photo with drinks in a glass to tell the story of each ingredient. With backdrops of Arizona sunsets, stone balconies, and fine dining establishments we’re also treated to a lifestyle take that helps us appreciate each image that much more!
Patrick’s philosophy on food photography really opens a new window for us on the experience of looking at great images. As he describes it, “I love photographing food. It’s beautiful and temporary and therefore the perfect subject matter for the camera. It sustains life and is impermanent art that as a commercial photographer, I feel a sense of responsibility to capture.”
In his work, Patrick brings together the collaborations of hundreds of of people, from the farmers and field hands to distributors, chefs, and waiters for the final product that we may enjoy over a few hours… Or a few minutes. With such an inspired take, it’s no surprise that Patrick’s food images are some of the best we’ve seen. His style covers preparation and cooking as well as the final product and often employs a moody ambient lighting that helps bring out textures and color hues in vibrant ways.
4. Drew Wright
Drew’s clients include Ghirardelli, Del Monte, Smuckers, and other familiar name brands; there’s little doubt you’ve already seen his work at one time or another! His work combines color and artistic arrangements where everything from chopsticks to sauces are carefully considered for maximum impact on our senses. Our view from above gives us the sense of having a plate in front of us and the visual cues stimulate each of the other senses as well. Drew expertly uses light to convey smooth textures, crisp vegetables, and sleek sauces, as we’d expect from one of the best food photographers in Phoenix!
5. Jennifer Tatum of J Tatum Studios
Covering food and product photography across Arizona, Jennifer Tatum mixes on location and in studio photography to create stunning works of food art! Her style uses a mixture of minimalist takes on both ingredients like seasonings and final products as well as tidy complete arrangements that invoke memories such as childhood at the fairgrounds when viewing a popcorn maker! Jennifer’s images have a rich, savory character that has us tasting and smelling as much as viewing her work. And she chooses great backgrounds such as wood cutting boards for images featuring fresh farm produce. Each element of her photography is considered and enhances the appeal of the food in question.
6. Rob Ballard
Rob Ballard is an expert in using even studio lighting and dark backgrounds to make food and drinks pop in ways that invite you to dig in! Rob is also great at showcasing the venue as much as the dish, allowing us to appreciate the architecture of a fine dining establishment and helping future customers see how much value they’re getting from eating there! We especially enjoy how much detail he brings to his mixed drink images; orange sections, mint leaves, and salty rims all have distinct characters that make his work artistic as much as documentary. Rob also recognizes his love for exploring the artistic side of taking food photos. As he describes it, “Being a creative photographer feels like being a magician, to see something in the mind’s eye to then turn into reality is real magic.”
7. Ana Frias
Portrait shooter turned food photographer Ana Frias finds she’s captivated by the challenges in composition, lighting, style, and improvisation that comes with the art. And she succeeds marvelously, creating images well suited for cookbooks, branding, and restaurant menus. They range from features of a completed dish to arrangements showing of an artistic nature; popsicles on ice over a stone countertop with perfectly considered colors and textures that accent the attention-grabbing reds, for example!
Ana also uses a documentary style that takes us into the kitchen cutting onions, stirring stews, and cutting cakes. Her work is a total appreciation of culinary arts and the main reason we chose her as one of the best food photographers in Phoenix! When she’s not behind the camera, you can find her blogging on Muy Delish.