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The 7 Best Food Photographers in Richmond

Richmond, capital of Virginia, is home to all of the culinary delights of the Commonwealth. From Chesapeake Blue Crabs to Brunswick Stew, if you’re hankering for some old-fashioned Southeastern cooking, you’re definitely in the right place. The River City is also home to several of the top culinary artists in the nation, all looking to help local brands look their best in menus, websites, and on social media pages. So without further ado, let’s have a peek at the most talented Richmond food photographers you’ll find today!

1. Michael Grayson Photography

Richmond food photographer Michael Grayson is especially adept at telling the complete story of a dish. From kitchen to table, we get to see the work chefs put in, as well as the enjoyment customers feel as they take that first scrumptious bite! Michael also pulls from a wide variety of styles within the genre, including still-life food images, emphasizing form and simple compositions, and agricultural documentary images, such as a fruit still on the tree. 

Once a dish finds its way into his studio, Michael brings in a delightfully rich color palette without overdoing highlights or contrast. His style does often employ deep shadow for a moodier tone, but as a whole his work is well-balanced in terms of tonality. Plus, he introduces motion in several images, including the dusting of powdered sugar on a Bundt cake.

2. Tyler Darden Photography

One of the most noteworthy Richmond food photographers, Tyler Darden has produced stunning work recognized by several leading publications, including Creative Quarterly and the Society of Publication Design Annuals. Given his 15 years of experience working as a magazine art director and photographer, Tyler brings industry-leading knowledge to each collaboration he’s a part of. Among his lengthy roster of clients: brands like Richmond Magazine, Rappahannock River Oysters, and James River Distillery.

We appreciate both his food images, as well as his documentary-style shots of food and people together. From lifestyle angles of summer picnics and dogs begging at the table to blue crabs stuffed and ready for cooking, Tyler weaves stories and memories into the frame. Sensory elements are included as well, especially in his food portraits! Accompanying herbs tantalize us with suggestions of aromas while carefully controlled lighting alerts us to moisture, textures, and other subtle elements that have us tasting each dish straight through the screen.

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3. Kate & Anna Thompson of Palindrome Creative Co.

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Recent photo work for @heritagerva. ✨

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Kate and Anna Thompson are the two creative sisters behind Palindrome Creative Co. They offer a one stop shop for every visual solution your brand needs. From food photography and logo design to brand strategy Palindrome Creative Co.’s minimalistic, slightly earth toned style is attractive and well suited to a wide variety of projects.

The Thompsons have an especially refined eye for shapes and lines within the frame, using light and shadow in playful ways to emphasize and tell stories about the subject in question. Some of their satisfied clients include local and national brands like Sub Rosa Bakery, Shagbark Restaurant, and Hyatt. If you want to showcase your brand and need the lens of true artists for added focus, Kate and Anna are among the most talented food photographers in Richmond to partner with!

4. Kimie James of IYQ Photography

When not shooting heartfelt images of Richmond weddings, families, engagements, and newborns, Kimie James creates luscious food photography for local businesses. Her food images are high contrast and bring out deep colors that suggest flavor, moisture, and other notes in fruit and sweet desserts. Kim’s meticulous eye for backgrounds is also top-notch!

By choosing plain, deep-hued bases with minimal to no texture, she lets food sing solo without distracting additions in the frame. Her thoughtful incorporating of toppings like shaved fruit and sugar imbue a playful character with great contrasts in texture against both the dessert itself, as well as the smooth base and background.

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5. Ash Hobson Carr

Ash is the gardener behind Hazel Witch Farm, and we’re hardly surprised to find that she’s adept at finding artistic angles on farm produce. Ash’s food photography often falls in either the still-life or lifestyle subgenres. Arrangements include newly harvested leeks forming a comfortable nest for farm fresh eggs, and collard greens in monochrome that has us appreciating the intricate details of the leaf structures. 

When taking on more of a lifestyle approach, Ash uses the same color palette — strong in contrast with a love of deep shadow that brings out fine details in the frame. Her love of the outdoors is also apparent here — pizza is good, but pizza and wine outdoors is so much better! Ash is a stunning photographer with a strong personal signature to her art.

6. Fred & Elliott Photography

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Food stylist and chef Elliott and photographer Fred are the creative duo behind this top Richmond food photography studio! As specialists in the genre, they can cater to the visual needs of any business collaboration. To name just a few of their satisfied customers, Coca-Cola, Land O’ Lakes, and Virginia Living Magazine. From vibrant food portraits done in studio to full table spreads with abundant natural light, Fred and Elliott’s years of experience are unparalleled, which clearly shows in their work.

7. Brittany of Shenandoah Imagery

Covering Richmond and beyond from the nearby Shenandoah Valley (Staunton, VA, to be exact), Brittany is a stellar food fan and photographer who seeks out organic and healthy options, including those from her very own garden. As a food, event, and product photographer, she ties together these elements in such a way that your brand’s message instantly makes an impact on first contact. Her work is realistic and tasteful, with a heavy emphasis on delightful sweets like cakes and chocolates.

In her own words, “[It’s] my goal to help showcase what makes your business unique, fun, and delicious.” Brittany shoots both in studio and on location using a vibrant style capable of retaining incredible detail in the highlights and shadows. Straying from the strong color profiles of many contemporary food photographers, she chooses to control colors, lighting, and composition outside of the digital darkroom. Plus, macro-style, plate-level views work nicely with desserts, making the promise of sweet rewards that much more appealing!

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