How did you become the phenomena that is DeadHungry?
Initially, I started working in restaurants, then I realised I wanted to do something more creative. I always had a passion for photography and wanted to combine the two together. My background is broad – I’ve gone from bartending to private chef-ing, food styling to menu development, image creation and more. Having tapped into so many different areas of the food industry, I realised that I not only had my own influences and aesthetic, but I also had the tools to execute the work myself.
Food photography has traditionally been a field that’s one of agonising perfection and fakery. How do you steer clear of these clichés?
I think, because I started in a kitchen and still cook a lot today, food photography is a product of my work, rather than the main attraction. I set up a studio in my kitchen and photograph things quite randomly, when something looks cool or interesting enough to be documented. Eventually, I was asked to create still-life imagery involving food, and I started looking more at fashion imagery and mixed the two together. That’s where the whole dreamy, surreal-yet-quite-dynamic aesthetic really started.
How do you balance and find harmony between aesthetics and flavour? Does one overrule the other?
It took me a long time to come to the conclusion that both are equally important to me – they just simply need to be approached from two different angles. When it comes to creating a dish, flavour comes first and the aesthetic is usually a product of how it naturally looks, whereas a project like still-life photography clearly relies more on aesthetic. And then some projects are the perfect balance of both, like designing and shooting a recipe that will be published, or creating a menu for a series of events. That’s when things get super-exciting.