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The Art of Food Photography: A Delectable Take on European Capitals

By Hanssie on August 1st 2014

It’s commonplace these days to pause before diving into our dinners to take a quick photo and post it to Instagram or Facebook. So common, in fact, that I read the other day about a restaurant who did a study on why service was so slow in their restaurant, inciting negative Yelp reviews. The outcome showed that it was the patrons that doubled the time of their restaurant experience due to playing on their cell phones, taking photos of the group and photographing their food, then posting it onto social media sites..

But this series, commissioned by travel site, Foodie Backpacker, is food photography as you have never seen before – well, unless you’ve been to the European capitals. Food stylist Anna Keville Joyce and photographer Agustín Nieto teamed up to create four Eastern European capitals using food.


A plate as her canvas and fresh ingredients her medium, Joyce painstakingly worked to recreate the feel of each city. Joyce told Mashable,

Each pieces has different challenges. For example, transmit the feeling of fog amidst the light of Prague; give the sensation of water in the Danube river in Budapest; show the colors and designs of Bucharest; and create the idea of height and sky in Warsaw.

Another challenge the pair faced is something that all food photographers have to contend with: wilting, perishable food. Joyce has to work backwards from the food item that will last the longest and works backwards. Nieto sometimes only has minutes to capture the final product. “It’s only short moment when everything comes together. A moment before or a moment after just isn’t quite right. It’s the 5 minutes you have with raw, transparent cucumber flesh before it dries out or turns brown to see if you can get it to express streaky, wispy clouds.”


Joyce and Nieto have worked on another project before, A Tribute to the Budgie was focused on images of various birds using food.

budapest warsaw



Perhaps what I love most about this series is the meticulous work that went into each image, the details of the cities and the texture. It reminds me of my little Japanese grandmother who had the tiniest hands crafting a miniature carrot flowers and cucumber blades of grass on my favorite steamed egg soup to go with dinner. Food never looked so good.

Make sure you visit Anna Keville Joyce and Agustín Nieto‘s websites to see more of their work!

To learn more about food photography and how to do it well, check out Pinch of Yum’s e-book, Tasty Food Photography.

[Via Mashable]

CREDITS: All photographs shared by Anna Keville Joyce and Agustín Nieto are copyrighted and have been used with permission for SLR Lounge. Do not copy, modify or re-post this article or images without express permission from SLR Lounge and the artist.

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Hanssie is a Southern California-based writer and sometimes portrait and wedding photographer. In her free time, she homeschools, works out, rescues dogs and works in marketing for SLR Lounge. She also blogs about her adventures and about fitness when she’s not sick of writing so much. Check out her work and her blog at Follow her on Instagram

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Graham Curran

    Amazing craftsmanship.

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  2. Mark Iuzzolino

    Now that’s taking the art of food to a whole new level. Very cool!

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  3. Brandon Dewey

    Thats a interesting approach to food photography and like Steven said its a lot harder then i looks.

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  4. Greg Faulkner

    Really clever, they are all good but the first one is really cool

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  5. Phil Bautista

    I’m not ashamed of being one of those people who takes pics of the food they eat and shares it on social media. If the restaurant has an issue with that, I just take my business elsewhere.

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  6. Steven Pellegrino

    When I started doing photography full time, food photography was where I started. I quickly realized it was much harder than it looks and you really need a lot of imagination or a great food stylist. I didn’t have either and became very cynical of the whole genre because it’s rare to see anything new or anything that moves the art forward. Then, occasionally, something like this comes up and I’m amazed. It’s nice to see food photography taken well beyond snapping a photo of your lunch at a restaurant.

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