One of my favorite question to ask photographers is “Any food photography heroes?” It’s a great way to see where some of their influences come from and also it gives me the chance to find more talented photographers. So thanks to Tara O’Brady for pointing me towards the great works of Dax Henry and Anais Wade aka Young & Hungry. When I first looked at their photos, I was hit in the face with the freshness of their photos. They’re so simply done and natural, it’s very refreshing to look at. Check out their photos and the interview and find out what they have to say about working together as a team.
Q. Can you tell me what you’re trying to capture when you take your food photos?
A. We want to turn people on! By looking at the photograph they should be able to taste the food. We like for the food to look natural, fresh and not too contrived. The idea is to tell an honest story.
Q. How long have you guys worked as a team? How has that relationship changed since then and has it affected the way you guys capture photos?
A. We have been working together for 1 year. The relationship has been constantly growing ever since. We learn a lot from each other, whether it is creatively or technically. It’s nice to have a partner to bounce off ideas with. We feel lucky to be working together. We can definitely see the photos evolve and improve thanks to our combined skills and hard work.
Q. What inspires you?
A. Inspired people; The ones who follow their dream and passion without hesitation! They’re the ones we like to photograph. And fresh ingredients, subtle flavors, no chichi’s!
Q. Any food photography heroes? If not any photography heroes?
A. The NOMA book with Ditte Isager’s photos is definitely our favorite reference. Natural light, delicate food, and a closeness to nature. We also like Christopher Hirsheimer; she’s a lot in Saveur, and has done photos for great cook books such as “A Platter of Figs and Other Recipes” by David Tanis (former chef of Chez Panisse).
Before we started shooting food, we both came from different photo backgrounds. One (Dax) was in the fashion and editorial world, while the other (Anais) was in the fine art business and eventually editorial. For that reason we have a broad spectrum of photo references. Here are some of our favorites: Bruce Davidson, Richard Avedon, Sally Mann, Irving Penn, Peter Lindbergh, Rinko Kawauchi, Daido Moriyama, etc.
Q. Best meal you had in 2011?
A. Frenchie in Paris. Gregory Marchand has cooked in New York and London, and opened this restaurant in Paris almost 2 years ago, and it was an instant success. Fixed menu, based on local and fresh ingredients, and an extraordinary sense of imagination. Each plate was a slice of heaven for our palate. From the foie gras with drunken cherries to the smoked mackerel with spring asparagus, everything was amazing. Just talking about it makes us want to hop on a flight to Paris for dinner!
All photos courtesy of Dax Henry and Anais Wade from Young & Hungry