Affectionately nicknamed “America’s First Region,” Virginia Beach, Hampton Roads, Chesapeake, and Norfolk are a collection of warm coastal cities fond of seafood, good wine, and warm summer nights spent by the water. Such environments call for not only good eats but brilliant creatives to help businesses showcase what their brands have to offer. From plates of fresh seafood (blue crab, anyone?) to regional favorites like fried deviled eggs, these Virginia Beach food photographers know exactly how to showcase the best dishes of their region.
1. Glenn Bashaw
When not photographing fine food and beverages for clients in Norfolk, Virginia Beach, and beyond, Glenn Bashaw also covers architecture, editorial, portraits, and even drone photography. Yet his culinary images are what caught our attention as his bright and punchy images communicate so much more than the beauty of a dish.
Story elements can be found in tablecloths, blurred backgrounds, and even in the composition and arrangement of dishes. In addition, people in the background invoke an evening party, and what could possibly pair better with ceviche than the beach? His bright, cheery style reminds us of contemporary editorials in some ways, with glowing whites and colors that call out from the screen. If you’re looking for food images with an occasional lifestyle angle, Glenn should be one of the first photographers to call!
2. Mike of Dragon Studio
The creative mastermind of Dragon Studio, Mike Dragon mixes in food portraits with venue images to tell the story of dishes and businesses in Virginia Beach. He brings us up close and personal with his culinary images in a way that has you tasting and smelling the dish right off the bat.
Mike is also a master of finding the hero angle — the best angle for displaying the full breadth of a dish or ingredient. If you love Mike’s food photography and are in need of an event or wedding photographer, then he should be at the very top of your list. His enchanting, vibrant style carries over into other photography genres. Shallow depth of field with brilliant bokeh and a punchy high contrast style are a winning formula.
Glenn Fajota has a very unusual range of coverage in his portfolio: food, landscapes, products, and portraits. Despite working across some diverse genres, he’s an expert in all four, and his food images lack nothing in terms of creativity or composition. The diversity of his expertise has him traveling on editorial assignments worldwide, from California to Lisbon. And unsurprisingly, many esteemd publications have featured his work, including O, The Oprah Magazine, Coastal Virginia Magazine, and tourism guides worldwide.
Glenn’s food images are often shot in studio using perfectly controlled lighting and styling well-suited to a given subject. Hamburgers might be grouped for a suggestion of an incoming party while letting the greens of lettuce and reds of tomatoes contrast with brilliant white plates. And in another scene, we’re treated to almost still-life presentations of coffee that pair the essential elements with modest backgrounds.
4. Paige Mangus
As one of the most noteworthy Virginia Beach food photographers, Paige Mangus collaborates regularly with businesses and restaurants in the area in order to create impactful media for websites, marketing, and social media accounts. As a one-stop shop for all branding and design needs, Paige also helps structure menus, logos, merchandise designs, and promotional flyers.
A self-employed creative, it’s no surprise Paige enjoys seeing the brands of business owners flourish. Photography is an essential skill and, by pairing it with her love of cuisine and her instinct for collaboration, she helps Virginia Beach clients find new ways to reach customers. In her own words, “For the love of food, a passion for creativity, and being an inspiration to do more than exist, this is all about encouraging others to pursue their dreams and making my life a work of art along the way.”
After graduating with a BFA in digital photography from the Art Institute of Virginia Beach, Christina Cherie opted to make a career for herself in the food and beverage photography world. By collaborating with local chefs, bar owners, and small biz owners, she finds ways to best represent their brand through photography, creating images that have immediate impact and appeal to viewers. However, the artistic aspect appeals to Christina just as much as the advertising and business angles.
According to her, “I found myself being drawn to working with real food on location rather than working in a studio setting. I enjoy working with real food because I love the challenges it brings during the shoot.” Looking through her portfolio, we’re impressed by how well she controls lighting and composition on location to create gorgeously illuminated images full of the emotional and sensory elements of masterful food photography.
6. Katy Galvin of Free Range Katy
A Virginia Beach food photographer, former chef, present-day foodie, and aspiring restaurateur, Katy Galvin understands that food plays a central role in her life. Her food blog, Free Range Katy, is an exploration of not only recipes both everyday and exotic like her carrot and raisin chicken salad, but also the finer points of the culinary arts; how to store ingredients and designing the perfect balsamic vinaigrette are just a few topics Katy explores here.
And with good food comes good photos! Her style is chipper and bright, with overhead compositions that allow viewers to fully appreciate the textures, colors, and consistency of the dish she’s presenting. We especially love the diverse backgrounds Katy brings into her work. Wicker, wood, stone, and more add emphasis and contrast to ingredients like pasta, fruit, and salads.