The photo industry never ceases to surprise us. This week…
Each week we’ll feature one photographer from the PhotoShelter community, and share his or her story behind the shots that caught our eye.
- Photographer: Ricky Rhodes
- Specialty: Still life – food and product
- Current Location: Cleveland, OH
- Clients: Flourish Agency Inc., Arhaus Jewels
- PhotoShelter Website: rickyrhodes.photoshelter.com
Ricky Rhodes fell in love with shooting food for both his assignments and personal work while studying at Ohio University. He followed his passion from there and studied under food photographer T.J. Vissing of OMS Photo and Craig Brown & Clarissa Westmeyer of the Kalman & Pabst Photo Group. “Those two studios have taught me so much when it comes to making food look sexy, and I owe them a lot of credit,” Ricky says. “They have really inspired my passion for food photography.”
For the most part, Ricky enjoys shooting food for the challenge: “Getting food to look beautiful is not an easy task,” he says. “Keeping the food beautiful once it is on set is an even harder task, especially when using artificial light. Food starts to lose its shape, dry out, melt, etc. Good planning, preparation, and technical knowledge play a huge part in shooting food.” He also likes to keep the gear for his food shoots to a minimum. “I love shooting food in natural light and keeping my gear very simple with bounce cards and mirrors.”
For two of the images above (the carrot and ricotta shots) Ricky worked with food stylist Heidi Robb. “We both wanted some new work for our portfolios, so we traded our talents and came out with some beautiful images,” he recalls. The cupcake shot was for a personal project. “There are always cupcakes at my house, so I took a break from eating them one day and came out with this image. I actually ate the ‘hero’ cupcake before I was finished with the shot – I seriously could not deal with the cupcake taunting me anymore!” he jokes.
Of the three, the honey with ricotta shot was the most technically difficult. “We only had one chance to get the shot right with no backup ingredients, so once the honey started flowing there was no turning back. I composited three images to get the main shot of the ricotta and set, the pouring of the honey, and the honey running down the ricotta.” Most of the time, he keeps his post production to minimum. “I’ve always been taught to fix what you can in-camera. I always work this way to avoid as much post production as possible.”
Ricky recently moved to a new studio in Cleveland, OH and is working on a large scale personal project titled “The Collection.”
What caught our eye:
Who doesn’t love pictures of cupcakes? Especially perfectly white balanced ones. Most of Ricky’s food photography has a warm tone and feeling, and his incorporation of kitchen items gives us a sense of place and inspiration. It’s the exact kind of photography food blogs need to make their readers actually cook.