Travel Photography Series Part 1 – Travel Means Food
Dried beans for sale in the central market Athens copyright Carla Coulson
I spent the first 10 years of my photography career taking travel pics and loved every minute of it.
I know many of you adore travel photography and it truly is a wonderful path to choose. You get to travel to amazing places, meet people you wouldn’t normally cross paths with and you get to EAT incredible food! And you all know how I lurve to eat…
Travel photography encompasses so many aspects of photography including landscape, still life, portraiture, food and there is never a dull moment.
Travel images need to tell a story, this is vital. I thought in this series of posts I would pass on some tips I have learnt working in the magazine industry, one tip at a time and today’s tips is the importance of food images in your story.
Copyright Carla Coulson for Feast Magazine
TRAVEL MEANS FOOD
I have heard this over and over again from art directors that any travel story you plan on shooting must have food content.
When shooting a travel story you are trying to tell a story of a culture and one of the essential parts of any culture is their food. How they sell it, buy it, make it, present it, prepare it, conserve it, where and how they eat it.
You can consider including all sorts of images around food including the following:
St Honore at Laduree Paris Copyright Carla Coulson
Details: Include details shots of food like this St Honore from Laduree in Paris and images from markets, in restaurants, being prepared, on a plate, almost eaten, in shops. For example in the second image from the top for Feast magazine I shot this story in Puglia and it was important to include images of home bottled olives and the taralli biscuits which are typical of the area.
Local Produce and Typical dishes: Each country, region or village have dishes or local produce that is particular to that place. The local produce and dishes are an essential part of telling the story. In the above story of Puglia a photo of the soft white Burrata cheese was essential.
Food Preparation and where and how it is eaten– Shoot all types of images in all stages of food preparation, in someone’s home, in a restaurant, outside like the pic below where the guy is drying octopus in the sun and try and include people eating.
Drying Octopus in the sun Paros Greece Copyright Carla Coulson
How Food is Sold: Every country has a different way of selling food, some countries have organised markets, others have spontaneous small stalls or sell goods off the back of trucks and many in supermarkets. Try and capture the atmosphere and the way food is sold.
Sidewalk market Puglia Italy Copyright Carla Coulson
Labels: I love labels, signs and food packaging and this is another great way to include food images in your stories. Concentrate on products that are part of the culture like honey in the picture below in a market in Athens. Greece is a huge producer of honey and being the nostaligic girl I am I adored the old Greek portraits hanging next to the stacked honey. Oh and I go wild for the the Greek tavern signs.
Iconic Bars and Drinks: Often countries like Italy are distinguished as much by their coffee and their Bellini’s as they are by their food. I shot the picture below of the barman at Harry’s Bar in Venice for Gourmet Traveller making Bellini’s, a Venetian invention that was an essential part of that story. Think about what drinks are part of a culture like Ouzo in Greece or beer in Australia!
I hope this gives you some inspiration for your travel pics and in the coming weeks I will discuss the importance of people in your shots, architecture, interiors, exteriors and a whole lot more.
“If you really want to make a friend, go to someone’s house and eat with him… the people who give you their food give you their heart.” Cesar Chavez
PS: If you know any photographer starting out who this may help please feel free to share the love.. xx