About London Food photographer, Michael Michaels
Since about the age of about 12 and probably younger, I have always had a love of food. Always keen to help mum in the kitchen and often preparing full family meals; in fact, not just for family but also friends and relatives. Chinese and other Asian food has generally always been a favourite of mine as I loved aromas and spicy flavours.
Later, I developed a love for technology and it wasn’t long before I got involved in photography. First, it was cine with super 8 and later, stills photography.
How I started
Initially excited about the technical side of the equipment but soon this transferred to love of the final image as an art form. It seemed only natural that I should combine my two passions, food and photography which is what I did when I studied photography at Salisbury. A place that brought me up to speed with the technicalities of the camera and gave me an understanding of lighting.
I grew to admire the work of Robert Golden and Bryce Atwell in the 80’s. They were top London food photographers at the time and I was fortunate enough to spend some time at their studios in London. Of course being a food photographer has moved on a long way since then. The advent of digital photography being the biggest change and a change that couldn’t happen quickly enough for me.
In the early days, digital food photography was met with quite a lot of resistance, however, it was just a change that was going to happen, whether you liked it or not. Those that embraced it from an early stage quickly grew very conversant with the process and systems. I was one of them. I loved it then and still do today. The versatility and flexibility that it gives the photographer is brilliant and allows them to take their creativity so much further, without spending hours in the darkroom and fiddling around with film.
As an established London food photographer, I realised at the same time, that digital cameras meant many would jump on the bandwagon, thinking it was an easy business. However, few of those people survived, only the truly dedicated ones have managed to make a successful career of it, realizing that it takes more than equipment and machinery, to take a mouthwatering food shot.
Over the years I have worked with a huge range of clients. From editorial to advertising, from start-up to blue chip. The bigger names including clients such as Coca-Cola, Uncle Bens, Walls, Heinz, Dolmio, Pimms, Perfect Pizza, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Harrods and many more; some national and some international.
For me, food photography is about capturing the essence of appetite appeal. To have someone look at a good food shot and feel their senses working immediately. Doing this in its simplest form, with minimal complication is what I aim to achieve.