The Daily Meal: We know a lot about LFP, but tell us a little about the man behind the blog. How did you get into food photography?
Neel Chaudhary: As I was growing up I remember there was this cabinet in our house that had an old Russian SLR camera. My dad bought it when we were kids. It sat there year after year. And my fascination with holding it and clicking away grew every year. It was in 10th grade when I first started exploring it. It was heavy like a brick. That’s when my journey started.
Growing up in India there was always a lot to photograph everywhere. In early days I was more inclined to photographing people and landscapes. In India I come from a city known for its street food and passion for food. The food streets there are massively crowded until 3 to 4 a.m. every day. Some say people of Indore don’t have blood in their body but sev, pohe and jalebi — a typical Indori breakfast that you can get in every street corner of the city. That’s how food came into my life — through my blood veins.
I didn’t start photographing food until 2005 when I moved to the US and a good friend asked me to shoot for her Thai restaurant. At that point I was taking some decent photos of other subjects, but food seemed rather tough. Very tough.
The thought of food photography stuck with me since then. The challenge in those days, about 10 years ago, was that there was not much written about food photography. There were hardly any books.
That’s when the itch to document my experiments started. Then in 2009, we — my better half and I just decided to take the plunge. LearnFoodPhotography.com started in 2009 as a result of this undying voice to share whatever little I was learning about food photography with a wider audience.
My better half has been big part of this journey and when I am taking food photos at home, she is usually styling them. She has created several props and backgrounds that I’ve used in photos as well.