Culinary Optics: Andrew Scrivani in the Studio
Andrew Scrivani needs no introduction, he is well-known in photography circles. He is not only a photographer, but also a collector of some of the most amazing props and a skilled cook as well, learning from his grandmother. He has extensive experience in all three arenas of food and lifestyle photography — editorial, publishing, and advertising. You can see his signature style, magical light with perfect composition, in all his images. In one of his workshops he calls himself a “light chaser” and you can clearly see that in his images.
Advertisers have long been on the prowl for Scrivani's premier food photography and film. Scrivani is now taking his talents to the small-screen, as he just joined bi-coastal production company, The Artists Company.
“Food styling is composition within a composition,” Scrivani says about composition. “You have an overall composition and then you have to also compose your plate….you are making two different pieces of art and putting them together.”
Andrew's work can be seen regularly in The New York Times as he is a weekly contributor to the Dining in, Dining Out, Health and Nutrition sections and Tara Parker Pope's WELL column. He was the featured photographer for the launch of the Gilt Taste website, has had images published and syndicated in newspapers and magazines such as Newsweek, Edible Manhattan, La Cucina Italiana, Eating Well, The Wall Street Journal, Woman's Day and others around the world. His work can also be seen in the cookbooks of Melissa Clark, ABC Television's The Chew, CrazySexyWellness' Kris Carr, Martha Rose Shulman and others.
His words of advice: “Pull all the skills that you are collecting now and have been throughout your life and put them into something that you really love.“
The Daily Meal: Andrew, tell us a little about yourself. How did you get into photography? Are you self-taught or did you go to school to get a degree in photography?
Andrew Scrivani: I do not have a degree in photography but I wouldn’t exactly call myself “self-taught.” I spent a good amount of time in photo classes and studios at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. The only catch was that I was not enrolled as a student there. I was enrolled across the street at Baruch College, studying English Literature. I would drift across the street to hang out with my friend at SVA and I gleaned an awful lot about photography during those years. In subsequent years, I took some formal classes in photography at Pratt Institute.
Food & Lifestyle
TDM: Why food and lifestyle photography? How do you think food and lifestyle photography is different from the other genres of photography?
AS: I think food in particular and the lifestyles and cultures that surround foods are a glimpse into who we are as people. Our likes and desires, our customs and history all revolve around the foods we eat and gather with. Food offers me an opportunity to be an artist and an anthropologist and a psychologist among other things with each picture. I think a lot. I like to tell stories about people and food offers me so much history to draw from that I find it an inexhaustible source of inspiration.
This post was originally published on March 29, 2014.