You eat with your eyes first.
Capturing flavours so well you can literally taste them. It’s a fine art. One that MASHer Charlie has been crafting for 8 years as a food, drink and lifestyle photographer in London.
Whether it’s been shooting Australian Rose on the rocks of Sardinia or flashed out studio-set booze ads, he always makes sure the product, and brand are the star of the shot- “There’s no point in having a killer set for your cocktail shoot if the ice has melted”
So along with serving these 3 favourite shots, we spoke to Charlie about those ‘is this glamorous? moments behind the lens, chasing endless summers, and his dream of shooting a vintage motorbike trip through Puglia for Aperol.
CC: @aperol – because we should absolutely make this happen.
What makes a great food/bev photograph?
For me it has to be an image that makes you want to be there, or evokes some sort of nostalgic response. If you look at the image and say to yourself “Why am I not in that place eating that thing or drinking that drink, why is that ice cream not melting and running down my hand.” I also think it’s about finding an intersection between the shot being stylistically interesting and staying true to how delicious the food or drink is. While it’s nice to think of an interesting composition that shows the context of the food and highlights beautiful furniture and surroundings, the primary concern is that the food or drink looks great. There’s no point in having a killer set for your cocktail shoot if the ice has melted and the garnish has flopped into the glass
What’s been a ‘pinch me I can’t believe I’m here, doing this’ shoot?
I don’t know if was a pinch me this is my dream situation but more of a “whoa, how did I get here” moment, but being on that Palm Tree island in Dubai in 43C heat, hanging above a charcoal grill full of Lobsters and prawns while shooting for a UK restaurant group out there. It was super smoky and far too hot and I’d have to run inside every 10 mins or so and stand next to the aircon for a bit. I remember thinking “wow this is really glamorous… Oh wait a second, is it?” But the money was decent and I got to travel and eat loads of nice stuff, so although it was sort of uncomfortable some of the time, it was worth doing.
What is your dream client and shoot location?
I’m massively into riding motorbikes, so my dream would be to shoot some sort of motorbike food and lifestyle road trip that’s sponsored by a food or beverage brand… For example if say Aperol decided they wanted to shoot a road trip through Puglia on vintage Italian motorbikes with a bunch of cool riders, stopping off and camping each night, cooking and making Aperol Spritzes, that’d be RIGHT up my street. I love the outdoors, petrol, salty ocean and tasty food and drink… But you know… Any food and drink travel work is fun too!
What is your ideal work/life setup?
We’re fortunate enough to own our apartment/ studio in London as well as having an old building in New Zealand that I bought when I was barely out of high school for next to nothing, so the current dream is to try and spend six months of the year working and shooting in the UK and Europe, then when the weather goes bad, head back to New Zealand and shoot for Southern Hemisphere clients as well as some UK clients remotely. Endless Summer would be nice. We’re trying it for the first time this December, so fingers crossed it works!