It Begins …

My position at the start of module four …

The title of my project is The Photographic Art of Food.

Contemporary food photography, in my view, is overly concerned with the promotion of commodities. Its singular goal has become to make someone eat or drink whatever the subject of the photograph may be. Arguably, it is the art of persuasion.

Food photographer and historian Helen Grace Ventura Thompson identifies with this, stating: ‘images are no longer works of art, but promoters of consumer goods’.

I think contemporary food photography results in a very formulaic output, and in an audience expecting a certain type of image.

Consequently, I believe the principle which underpins my photography is this: images of food can be art – existing as objects which entertain and are visually appealing whilst fulfilling a practical purpose.

Putting this another way, portraying the ordinary in an extraordinary way is a principle which underpins my photographic practice.

Beauty should not be the price for documenting, recording and educating.

That even the banal can be beautiful is a view held in common with the Czech photographer Josef Sudek, whose work has also been a significant influence.

Summarising the work of modules 1 to 3,  module one saw me begin to explore the following:

The knowledge, technology and methods employed by the old Dutch masters to control light, and how the atmosphere and aesthetics of food images are influenced by light and various lighting styles

The knowledge of the elements of design that was available to the masters

Rationalising the symbolism used by the masters, evaluating their reasons for its use as well as the sources of their information.

Module two saw this exploration continue but with two project themes: Ten (recording the meals consumed by ten school children on the same March evening) and Junk Food, it began to take on an aspect of visual anthropology

Module three saw a strong focus on the visual narrative – examining the process of story-telling.

Unfortunately, a house move, injury, illness and a period without internet provision delayed my submission of the assignments for module three. My intention, then was to catch up: completing and submitting the assignments before the commencement of module four. This objective has been achieved.

Cravings is a series of images, produced as a portfolio submission for module three, which depict the choices facing a particular individual, and the compromises which need to be made if specific goals are to be reached.

The intention is for these images to document the struggle for an athlete in preparation for competition to maintain a strict ‘clean’ diet, and the resultant desire to consume ‘comfort’ foods as the body depletes stores of fat to fuel the training.

The subjects are items craved by the athlete, and consumed as a weekly treat, or as part of a ‘cheat’ meal.


Morris, 2017. Untitled # 9

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