I’m sad to say that I have yet to visit Portland and if you’re a food lover, especially a street food lover, than Portland is your town. Of course there are so many choices which makes it hard to know where to start. Good thing I stumbled upon Behind the Food Carts, a blog by Kim+Phil. They’re dedicating their blog to showcasing, not just the best food carts in Portland but also the people behind the food. So check them out and get hungry!
Q. Can you tell me what you’re trying to capture when you take your food photos?
A. We’re going for an authentic look. We want to capture the food the way it is and how it’s presented when someone goes to eat that food. Messy is ok. But we of course love to make people feel hungry and want to jump in a car and go eat that food right away.
Q. Do you approach a food photo differently than non-food photo?
A. When we started taking food photos professionally, we consciously talked about approaching it the same way we approach, say our portraits. The same technical concepts as if we were shooting a head shot with good natural light, the right amount of bokeh, and the right background choice are all there. It can be a lot easier sometimes since the subject can’t move.
Q. What inspires you?
A. Good food and travel. We’ve chosen travel destinations simply because we wanted to eat food there. It’s been a fun year of travel and food for us. We went to Japan and got to eat at Jiro and then went to Spain a couple of months ago to eat the most amazing tapas ever. We also got to eat food carts around India. A lot of our life revolves around food. Food is one of those things in life that you have to do everyday so you might as well enjoy the heck out of it.
Q. What is one of the best things about photographing food carts and trucks?
A. It’s the opportunity to show people how amazing the food can be coming from a cart. A lot of the time it is high end food at a great value. It’s a much more intimate experience since it’s usually 1 chef and his cart. They’re so accessible. The kitchen is right there and it’s usually out in the open which means lots of natural light!
Q. Both of you are from Southern California (LA?) and currently living in the Bay Area. So why did you start a blog featuring Portland food carts and trucks?
A. We’re actually about to move back to California in the new year and heading to the Bay Area this time. We’ve been in Portland for almost 4 years now and have loved documenting the amazing food cart scene out here. We hope to continue our blog down in the Bay Area and worldwide as we travel more. There have been talks of maybe a road trip food cart tour around the US.
Q. Any food photography heroes? If not any photography heroes?
A. We’ve always been inspired by Saveur magazine and their food photography. Their food stories are always great and focus not just on the food itself, but the people that make the food and their stories as well. I think that’s what has fueled our Behind the Food Carts blog. We wanted to also capture portraits of the people that make the beautiful food and get a sense of how they came to be.
Q. Best meal in 2012?
A. Hands down Beast. It’s such an amazing experience eating there. We told ourselves we would only eat there once a year since it’s a hefty sum, but we’ve had it 3 times this year already. And we don’t regret it one bit. Their charcuterie plate is something we would eat everyday if we could. The steak tartare with quail egg and foie gras bon bon are out of this world.
All photos courtesy of Kim+Phil from Behind the Food Carts.