Her food imagery is beautiful; so good you just want to eat it. London-based photographer, Charlotte Kibbles, sits down with us to talk Instagram, professional techniques, and working with the likes of Deliciously Ella, Madeleine Shaw and Livia’s Kitchen.
Can you tell us a little bit about who you are and what you do?
I’ve spent the last ten years shooting beauty, hair and fashion. In mid-2015, I was photographing my lunch with my phone and found myself getting frustrated with the limitations of the phone camera. I said to myself – “I need my proper camera to do this food justice.” Then I had a light-bulb moment – “Why an earth have I never considered expanding in to food photography?” I absolutely adore cooking, healthy eating and learning about nutrition, so food photography seemed to meld all of my passions together.
From then on, I spent every spare moment I had building a food photography portfolio and eating a wide range of delicious foods! Serendipitously one of my hair clients recommended me to Olivia Wollenberg of Livia’s Kitchen, and from then onwards, I have been lucky enough to work with some very talented and inspiring ladies alongside Olivia, including Ella Woodward, Madeleine Shaw, Lizzie King and Tess Ward. Meeting all of these empowered, inspirational people, who are passionate about exactly what I am (food!), is one of my favourite things, and I couldn’t be happier or more enthused.
Many of my clients seem to comment on the difficulty of finding a photographer who specialises in portraits and food, which seems to be quickly becoming my USP!
I’m still continuing the beauty and fashion, but I must say that the added diversity of food photography seems to be the perfect balance. I am also really enjoying taking portraits of people. Many of my clients seem to comment on the difficulty of finding a photographer who specialises in portraits and food, which seems to be quickly becoming my USP! My knowledge of beauty lighting is extensive, so I know how to make people look their best.
Food photography has become hugely popular, especially with the rise of Instagram. What do you think makes an image look particularly beautiful, and how is this achieved?
I think complementary textures and colour harmonies are what really make atheistically pleasing images. For example, repeating similar colours throughout the composition using the props and the food.
Which foods would you say are the most beautiful to photograph?
Food can be one of the most beautiful subject matters to photograph. I love photographing fresh, colourful and alive food. We are so lucky that we live in an economic climate where such a wildly diverse range of fruit and vegetables are available to us.
How would you persuade someone to hire you to shoot their food imagery, as opposed to them trying to do it themselves?
I think its important for people to keep up daily Instagram feeds and have an element of candid, straightforward pictures. However, I would advise people to have several key professional images that really make the food look irresistible. These images should be used across their website/marketing/advertisements to help lift the brand.
Take one shot, then for the next one, try bouncing light in with a piece of white card, then try using a piece of black card. Compare the shot and notice the difference.
What is your greatest advice for budding food photographers?
Take one shot, then for the next one, try bouncing light in with a piece of white card, then try using a piece of black card. Compare the shot and notice the difference. You will then be well on your way to understanding how the lights and darks play a key role in building form and enhancing texture.