The 8 Best Still Life Photographers in Boston
Curious to see who has made our list of the best Boston still-life photographers? Still-life photography is one of our favorite genres to explore. Most people immediately think of traditional fine art still life images, with fruit and dishes arranged on a tabletop.
Many of the top Boston still-life photographers work along these lines, yet many also have a broader idea of the genre, using products, food, and beverages as subjects. Their still-life images help advertisers sell services and products while still celebrating the colors, textures, and overall beauty of each subject!
Bruce Peterson is a product, studio, and Boston still-life photographer whose work can be found almost everywhere you look. Product packaging, magazines, billboards…Even many businesses and homes feature his images! Bruce also finds recognition at award shows, annuals, and trade shows.
As a specialist in the still life and fine art genre, Bruce’s portfolio explores just about everything this niche has to offer. Sometimes he takes on commissions for brands looking to showcase their products and services in an ideal manner. And other times he explores whimsy, beauty, high-speed images, and other subjects. Bruce works mostly in a studio, where he can control everything from light to color. All with the aim of evoking just the right mood in his viewers.
Like many of the best Boston still-life photographers, Nicholas Costopoulos is self-taught. As a Boston native, his work explores not only studio subjects but also outdoor elements, such as the towns along Cape Cod. Indoors, Nicholas captures still-life images that highlight the deceptively simple beauty found in fruit and tableside spreads.
These classic arrangements remind us of the earliest still-life paintings. They feature textures, subtle light, color transitions, and rich hues. And the more you examine them, the more you find to appreciate!
3. Nina Gallant
Nina Gallant’s still-life photography really does speak for itself! Focusing on the commercial food and product niches, her images are bright and savory. Colors pop in an eye-catching and celebratory way. We especially love her use of overhead compositions, like bringing a section of the table into focus so we can enjoy the play of shapes, lines, and colors from above.
Nina works out of Parachute Studios, her 2,000-square-foot artistic studio in Boston. Massive ceilings ensure she can fit any kind of still life and product subject within. She also works with a team of collaborators so each photoshoot brings your dream to life!
4. Josh Behan
Josh Behan’s product, lifestyle, editorial, and portrait photography sets him apart as a still-life photographer. Located in nearby Rhode Island, he constantly finds his way to Boston where his skills are in demand.
We enjoy his still-life food and beverage work because of the strong lifestyle elements contained therein. Josh uses natural light, backgrounds, and subjects that, when experienced together, tell a powerful narrative. We get a sense of what it’s like to be a person enjoying the product or service being presented. The flavor and smell of a culinary dish seem to be immediately present thanks to his intimate working distances and sensitivity to visual sensory cues.
5. Chuck Jones
No list of the top Boston still-life photographers would be complete without Chuck Jones! His work explores both product and fine art still-life images. While he majored in health science, Chuck’s love of photography blossomed over the years. It eventually encouraged him to make a career change and continue formal studies in advertising and fine art.
Chuck’s still-life images are sensitive to form in a unique way. He often gives us compositions that don’t reveal the entire subject. Instead, he guides our attention to elements that contain the most interesting aspects. His lighting choices can often hide as much as they reveal, encouraging an appreciation for shadows and contrast.
Still-life photography need not be stale or straightforward. As the work of Joel Benjamin demonstrates, a true artist can find amazement and a fresh perspective in any collaboration. As he puts it: “Creativity. Passion. Energy. Expression. When you see it in a photograph, you know immediately. I try to bring that feeling of wonder to my art, whether I’m shooting for a commercial project, editorial spread or photography exhibit.”
Joel is a favorite of clients looking for images that tell stories about fashion, business, e-commerce, and people. He counts dozens of brands and publications as partners of his, including Zipcar, Boston Globe Magazine, and Coldwell Banker. Joel’s still-life images explore ways of showcasing products from hero angles that best emphasize their proportions and lighting that emphasizes colors, textures, reflections, and more.
7. Dave Bradley
Dave Bradley’s still-life images demonstrate the very core of the genre: to see something extraordinary, no matter the subject matter. Even the simplest of subjects and arrangements take on new life when seen through Dave’s camera.
He has spent over 30 years honing his talents in his Boston studio, working for himself and for clients like New Balance, Timberland, and United Parcel Service.
Mitchell describes his work as strongly influenced by tenebrism, a painting style introduced by Caravaggio. It uses strong chiaroscuro elements; deep shadow that swallows up the background and revealing highlights that illuminate the subject.
As Mitchell explains: “The setting of subjects against his signature dark field creates a meditative atmosphere that suspends time and focuses the viewer on the quintessence of each subject, stripping the celebrity from the famous and the mundane from the ubiquitous.”
Paired with the powerful stillness of his subjects, the end result is captivating. Especially when Mitchell chooses macro working distances so we can enjoy the many subtle textures and colors each subject contains.