The world’s a big place and no matter how much you travel to foreign places, you will never get to see every corner…every small town there is. And that is why I love reading other food photographer’s blog especially if they’re living any place that isn’t Brooklyn or New York. I learn so much about the culture and the food scene just by what the person is blogging. And also the simple act of making soup on a rainy day sound so magical, when it is happening in the countryside of France. Roger Stowell and his wife traded their London life for one in Vendée. I like to do that someday also, well maybe not Vendée but somewhere less hectic than New York City. Though for now I’ll just admire Roger’s food photos and beautiful description of his life in the French countryside.
Q. Can you tell me what you’re trying to capture when you take your food photos?
A. I try to capture the feeling of the moment. Sometimes it’s cool and structured, as in a white egg on white background, another time it may be the grime of the farmer’s hand against the perfection of a bunch of freshly picked grapes or the immediacy of a saucepan of milk boiling over. I’m happy around food and the look of it makes me take pictures.
Q. Has moving from London to the Vendee changed your way of viewing the subject through the camera lens?
A. My way of seeing images has completely changed as I’m no longer looking at them to please a client. For the first time in a long while I’m taking pictures for me, and I think they are better for it.
Q. What inspires you?
A. The stuff of every day inspires me. Lighting the fire, the morning mist, shadows on a curtain, an eyelash, a beautiful bunch of pink radishes, seeing other photographers’ work, reading a book……it’s endless. There’s not enough time to shoot all the pictures. That has been the joy of not having to think of conceptual ideas for delightfully rich, but annoying clients.
Q. Any food photography heroes? If not, any photography heroes?
A. There are so many good photographers around that it’s hard to choose. Jean-Louis Bloch Laine’s food pictures in “Marie Claire” in the 80’s certainly influenced me to specialise in food photography. Food photography is a victim of its own success, and is now primarily fashion driven. The great Americans such as Irving Penn and Richard Avedon still have a great influence on me, as do the great Hungarian photographers. I served a short assistantship with the London fashion photographer, Clive Arrowsmith, who taught me more about light than anyone else.
Q. Best meal so far in 2011?
A. Today’s lunch. My favourite meal up to then would have to be yesterday’s lunch.
All photos courtesy of Roger Stowell