Exploring the aesthetics of food photography with instagram star patrick janelle – the shutterstock blog

“Food is the newest frontier in photography,” says Patrick Janelle, a designer for clients including Bon Appetit and co-creator of New York City-based Spring Street Social Society with former Top Chef contestant Camille Becerra.

Janelle’s vivid Instagram account ( @aguynamedpatrick) — featuring a diary of his daily cortado coffee, shout-outs to his favorite restaurants through inventive food photographs, and his New York slice-of-life imagery — enabled him to quickly amass a following of more than 100,000. Baked apple pie recipe paula deen We caught up with the artist to get his view on why food has become central to photography today. Baked apple pie recipe Instagram photo © Patrick Janelle

Shutterstock: There’s been an uprise in beautifully designed niche publications about food.

Apple oat crumble pie recipe What do you attribute this to?

Patrick Janelle: There’s a much stronger focus on food in general in our culture. Apple pie with crumb topping recipe food network People are very interested in understanding where their food is coming from and eating seasonally. Apple crumb cake recipe food network And just as interior and architectural photography were trending earlier in the century, there’s been an upswing and interest in food photography over the last several years. Apple crumble cake recipe uk We now want to connect with the origin or our food — perhaps in reaction to the less interpersonal aspects of a digitized world. Apple crumb cake recipes with fresh apples Instagram photo © Patrick Janelle Instagram photo © Patrick Janelle

Just like the decades following the 1950s epitomized packaged foods and industrialized food for the sake of convenience, today’s food culture is concerned with eating conscientiously. Apple crumb cake recipe easy (Similar to the Farm-to-Table movement that chef Alice Waters propagated in the 1970s at her Berkeley, California restaurant Chez Panisse.) Instagram photo © Patrick Janelle

What trends are you seeing in the styling and aesthetics of contemporary food photography?

The styling tends to be organic and loose, and maybe slightly askew. Apple crumb pie topping Publications are veering away from everything being perfect, toward everything having more texture and composition — even a little more clutter, so the aesthetic is a little more lived-in.

That being said, it’s all very styled; it’s not haphazard in any way. Apple crumb pie topping with oatmeal For instance, with food, sometimes the better photo is not one of a perfectly composed dish — it’s of someone who’s just launched into a dish with a fork. Easy apple pie crust recipe from scratch The attempt is to give the imagery more context. Easy homemade apple pie recipe from scratch Instagram photo © Patrick Janelle

How would you describe your own visual aesthetic, and how does this correspond with your design work?

I shoot very clear, sharp images in which there’s a specific subject I’m trying to capture; the aesthetic tends to be editorial. Apple pie ingredients from scratch I like to have elements of personal objects in the photos. Best easy apple pie recipe from scratch If I’m taking a photo of coffee, you might see a glove or my wallet in the photo — it gives it some context and makes it really specific to the environment (and the client).

My photos describe my personal aesthetic. Easy apple pie filling recipe from scratch The images are beautiful (and hopefully not too precious) and representative of a heightened aspirational lifestyle. Apple pie recipe using brown sugar I think it’s really important in any of my line of work — whether for Instagram or designing for a client or doing work for a magazine — to understand who the audience is, what the context is, and therefore what the best use of the medium is. Apple pie recipe brown sugar cinnamon Every medium has its own context and constraint. Apple pie recipe without brown sugar What I shoot works well for Instagram; it wouldn’t necessarily work in a gallery setting. Apple pie recipe brown sugar crumb topping Instagram photo © Patrick Janelle

How does the work on your Instagram account tie into the rest of your life?

My interest in photography and the editorial world extends beyond styling for photography. Healthy apple pie filling recipe easy Instead, I’m interested in how that mode of lifestyle can be extended into our real lives. Apple crisp recipe with pie filling and oatmeal That’s why I’ve felt the need to create these dinner parties and gatherings surrounding food. Easy apple pie recipe with puff pastry It’s important to me to not let this creation only be digital and social — I’m interested in making these connections in a very tangible way. Easy cooked apple pie filling recipe I don’t want this to exist only in the ether. Easy apple pie recipe shortcrust pastry I want my feed to be a story I’m telling, where people can get to know me through little details of my life in a chronological narrative. Easy apple pie recipe with homemade crust I enjoy finding the new spots in the city and giving them exposure. Easy apple pie recipe from scratch Instagram photo © Patrick Janelle

Hungry for more edible inspiration? Explore our curated “ Earthly Delights” lightbox for some of the best food photography in the Shutterstock collection.

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