The Luupe Presents: Food Visions
Photograph by Siobhan Beasley
Food photography has a rich and constantly evolving history. From early still-life experiments to bird’s-eye trends and millennial obsessions with “what’s on my plate,” the possibilities and ways of seeing food are endless.
Food Visions, curated by The Luupe, continues these exciting directions with photographs from The Luupe’s community of women and non-binary photographers who are pushing the boundaries of how we visualize food. These include photographers with a background in food photography, as well as portrait, and even street photographers working outside their typical genre.
Some photographers, like Penny De Los Santos, who is known for her warm, storytelling approach, share experimental work. Others, like Jessica Pettway, recognized for her radical product photography, show food with a playfully absurdist eye. Wilding out even further, Sage Szkabarnicki-Stuart uses food as a playful ingredient in a series of self-portraits about the strange relationships we have with food, animals, and the natural world.
For these photographers, food can be nourishing, grotesque, delicious, or an imaginative prop that is somewhere in between. What brings these photographers together is a sense of fun and boundary-pushing experimentation.
Featuring: Birthe Piontek, Akilah Townsend, Blair J. Meadows, Julia Chesky, Poupay Jutharat, Jessica Pettway, Lauren Vied Allen, Siobhan Beasley, Sage Szkabarnicki-Stuart, Maggie Shannon, Nivi Shaham, Penny De Los Santos, Evi Abeler in collaboration with Anna Keville Joyce, Gerard + Belevender
About The Artists
Born and raised in Germany, Piontek moved to Canada in 2005 after receiving her MFA from the Folkwang University of the Arts in Essen, Germany. Her work has been exhibited internationally, in both solo and group shows, and is featured in many private and public collections such as the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago and the Museum of Applied Arts in Gera, Germany.
Piontek’s project “The Idea of North” won the Critical Mass Book Award 2009 and was published as a monograph in 2011. Her project Abendlied received the Edward Burtynsky Grant in 2018 and was nominated by Time Magazine as one of the best photo books in 2019. The most recent work, “Janus,” will be published by Gnomic Book in 2021.
Birthe is an Assistant Professor of Photography in the Audain Faculty of Art at Emily Carr University of Art and Design in Vancouver and a member of the Cake Collective.
Akilah Townsend is a photographer and art director based in Chicago, IL. Her clients include Nike, the New York Times, Square, Insider, Inc Magazine, Atavist Magazine, the Washington Post, Empire Records, Men’s Health Magazine, Chicago Magazine, Jon Basil Tequila, RedBull Media, The Bail Project, AU+AG, and Alexander Rolf.
Blair J. Meadows is a portrait photographer based in Nassau, Bahamas. She received a BFA from SCAD in 2013. Beyond portraiture, she works in both the commercial and fine art spaces. Clients and collaborators include Instagram, Armand de Brignac, and more.
Julia Chesky is a New York City-based photographer with extensive experience in shooting social media campaigns, creative/art direction, retouching, and digital strategy. She received her BFA from Parsons School of Design. Clients include Alexander McQueen, Anheuser Busch, Away, Chloé, Flamingo, Giambattista Valli, Givenchy, Harry’s, Hugo Boss, Louis Vuitton, Nars Cosmetics, Ralph Lauren, Samsung Mobile, Smirnoff, Snap Inc, and many more. Chesky’s fashion week reportage has appeared in Vogue Russia, Vogue Japan, Vogue Thailand, and Glamour Russia.
Born in Bangkok in 1992, Jutharat Pinyodoonyachet, A.K.A. Poupay, realized she had a passion for photography since childhood. She kept photographing from then on. She was known as a young and emerging Thai street photographer before going to New York, studying a one-year certificate program at the International Center of Photography (ICP). After graduating, she interned with Magnum Photos for a period of time. Her work regularly appears in New York Magazine, the New York Times, Buzzfeed and Wired.
Jessica Pettway is a New York City-based photographer that uses humor to create fun and provocative images. She specializes in creating playful compositions and surreal environments in still-life, portraiture, and product photography. Pettway loves playing with color, shapes, and textures in highly gratifying ways—composing vibrant still-lifes that burst with emotion and a sense of occasion, even when they’re promoting something as everyday as a beverage. She received a BFA in photography and video from the School of Visual Arts, and her work has been published in the New York Times, Businessweek, VICE, and the New Yorker. Additional clients include McCann, Publicis Sapient, Sagmeister & Walsh, Target, Chobani, and Apple.
Siobhan Beasley is a fine art, fashion, and commercial photographer. As a former human rights attorney (war crimes prosecution and anti-human trafficking) she’s seen firsthand some of the worst humanity has to offer. Through her photography, she celebrates the best of life—spreading joy, positivity, and creativity. Beasley studied fine art, art history, and commercial photography throughout her life—from Boston College, to Charles V, Paris VII L’Institute Catholique in Paris, France and the New England School of Photography.
Sage Szkabarnicki-Stuart is a photographer based in Canada. Her work is mostly self-portraiture that searches for meaning in the mundanity of daily life. A hermit by nature, she struggled with making human relationships, turning to herself and animals as subjects for her photographs. The end result is a series of short fairytales that are influenced and informed by the experiences of being a young adult in the present day. Her works have been exhibited at the Portrait Gallery of Canada as well as at CONTACT Photography Festival and abroad.
Maggie Shannon is a photographer specializing in portrait and documentary work. She received her MFA from the School of Visual Arts and is now based in Los Angeles, California. Shannon aims to tell stories of smaller communities and social rituals, with the goal of lifting edge voices and building a more inclusive world. Shannon was selected as a 2018 PDN Emerging Photographer, and has been recognized as part of Magnum’s 30 Under 30. She is a member of Women Photograph, The Luupe, and her work has appeared in American Photography 35 and 36. Clients include Vanity Fair, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Wedgewood, Rodarte, and more.
Nivi Shaham is a food and still-life photographer for modern brands, crafting products with personality. She works with brands to make visual assets that are story-driven and dreamed-up in a process of discovery. Clients include Fujifilm, Moment, Toto Foods, and more.
Lauren Vied Allen is a Durham, North Carolina-based, Mexican-American photographer, motion director, and stylist focused on food and travel as a means of gaining a larger understanding of cultural identities.
She is a 2019 National Winner of The Fence and a VSCO Voices Creator. Her project GRITO documents the impact of ballet folklórico as it empowers immigrant youth, preserves Mexican heritage, and educates local communities in rural North Carolina. Allen is the editor and co-founder of The World In A Pocket, where she is committed to exploring the world through the lens of a dumpling.
Penny De Los Santos is a visual storyteller, photographer and director, they have travelled the world photographing people, food and culture for publications including National Geographic, Bon Appetite, Saveur and Eating Well Magazines. From the historical all-male dining clubs of the Basque Country to the third-culture of the Mexican-American borderlands.
Penny’s unique perspective and creative style has been commissioned to create campaigns for Starbucks, Walmart, Target and Martini & Rossi.
Penny has been the recipient of numerous grants and fellowships including: The National Geographic Photography Grant, Eastman Kodak Photography Grant and Canon USA Photography Grant and The Parson’s School of Design Marty Forsher Fellowship. Penny is based in New York City.
Evi Abeler and Anna Keville Joyce’s series “Visualizing Chakras” celebrates the human body’s energy centers. Each chakra has a principal color and the individual centers run from the base of the spine to the top of the head. Different elements can be used to keep these energy lines free and flowing, including food, plants, essential oils, and crystals. We created a visual compositional blend for each chakra, highlighting its main color and several if its unique elements. We designed it with a posture of gratefulness towards Nature who provides us with abundant resources and beauty. With hope to send out vibrant, energetic health for all.
Michelle Gerard and Jenna Belevender are a photography and art direction team in Detroit. While they are based in Michigan, they work with brands all over the world. In 2020, they connected with brands via Instagram and found a new way of working, which allowed them to collaborate from afar. Clients and collaborators include Rose’s Fine Foods, Cookete, Jax Anderson, and more.
About The Organizations
The Luupe is the premier marketplace connecting women and non-binary photographers with brands to shape the future of commercial photography. Founded in 2019, we launched with a simple, yet far reaching goal: to help tell diverse and authentic stories by tapping into underrepresented voices. Our international community spans creators from over 42 countries. We welcome you to join us.