There’s a well-known saying that you eat with your eyes first, which is why when it comes to food, presentation is certainly a key factor. But as a lot of us know through social media, taking a visually appealing photo of our food is not quite as simple as pointing and shooting.
This week, Fab Food Chicago teamed up with one of our favorite food photographers in Chicago, to highlight food you can enjoy with both your eyes and mouth.
Meet Christina Slaton.
Christina is a photographer (residing in Chicago) who specializes in food photography. Her work has been featured on The Infatuation and New York Magazine’s Grub Street, as well as many other publications.
Christina found a great appreciation for food, having traveled to over 15 countries as well as growing up with parents who are great cooks. She has always known she was going to be a photographer ever since she was little…food, photography, and food photography is her life. Her uncommon and captivating perspective on food has landed her in some of the top restaurants in Chicago.
With her own #CARBIEBARBIE hashtag on Instagram, Christina’s simple and colorful food photos are sure to grab your attention. Read on below to see #CARBIEBARBIE’s rundown of her top 10 favorites foods, to photograph…and to eat!
10. Meatball Panino from Eataly.
“I’m gonna throw the MEATBALL SUB from Eataly’s Rotisserie counter. There is nothing like some QUALITY meats and QUALITY breads.”
FAB PHOTO TIP: Adding hands to your photos help to show scale and adds a nice visual element which is often more appealing and real to viewers.
9. The Ragu Alla Nepolitana at Monteverde
“This place…I love it. The Ragu Alla Nepolitana specifically is a HUGE deal…It’s BEAUTIFUL.”
8. Wyler Road
“Yes, I am naming a restaurant specifically, but they deserve it. Wyler Road has spectacular presentation. From their cheese curds to their sandwiches, it’s all amazing.”
7. Smoque BBQ.
“It’s sexy, it’s simple. There’s nothing more photogenic than some fantastically prepared meat…if you eat meat that is. Smoque BBQ has great presentation, and their brisket is a winner.”
“Specifically, the Paella at Bernie’s Lunch and Supper Club stands out. I’m into it…the presentation is spectacular. My husband lived in Spain for a sec, and we both have had our fair share of Paella, so it’s important. My other favorite Paellas are at Cafe Ba Ba Reeba and Black Bull.”
“TOAST…you know everybody loves toast, or maybe not, but I sure AF love toast. I have two favorite toasts in the Chicago area as of this month. They are the avocado toast from Baker Miller and the whitefish tartine from Green River.”
4. Sweet Things
From DONUTS to Halo Halo…sweets set off my photogenic food trigger. I love the look of an old fashioned APPLE FRITTER (Do-Rite has my favorite). But on a deeper level…the chocolate drizzled profiteroles from Mon Ami Gabi…and the Halo Halo dessert from Lula Café are GOOD LOOKING. Also, honorable mention to Cone for their Lucky Charms ice cream, which I have not had, nor have I photographed. Anyone want to go? I think the recent winner has been the Gelato stuffed Pizzelle dipped in Chocolate.”
Streeterville || 233 E Erie St, Chicago, IL || P: (312) 344-1374
The Loop || 50 W Randolph St, Chicago, IL || P: (312) 488-2483
“The next thing that comes into mind is PIZZA…CHIC. You don’t have to try too hard to make pizza look good…pretty much everyone already loves pizza. My favorite pizzas to photograph are Lou Malnati’s, Happy Camper, and Piece Pizza…Like I said, CHIC.”
Lou Malnati’s (Chicago Locations)
Gold Coast || 1120 N State St, Chicago, IL || P: (312) 725-7777
Lincoln Park || 958 W Wrightwood Ave, Chicago, IL || P: (773) 832-4030
River North || 439 N Wells St, Chicago, IL || P: (312) 828-9800
South Loop || 805 S State St, Chicago, IL || P: (312) 786-1000
2 & 1. Burgers and Hot Dogs
“Alright, DAWG, so the first two things that come to mind when thinking of photogenic foods are the BURG and the DAWG. I love a good burger. I love to photograph a good burger. My favorite burgers to photograph have been from Au Cheval, The Cotton Duck, Bernies Lunch & Supper Club, Bar Siena, and Presidio. I also love to photograph a good ol’ Vienna Beef Chicago Dog. My favorite one is at Edzo’s in Evanston, IL. If you haven’t been there, go…preferably in the summer.”
FAB PHOTO TIP: Lighting from behind allows to keep the details and show the glistening of hot food. Steam is also more prominent when lighting the food from behind.
We definitely can’t be the only ones drooling by now. Christina’s top food photo picks definitely leave us craving all these delicious and gorgeous food. We’re confident that the food and restaurants Christina has picked are sure to satisfy your camera as it does your stomach. Make sure to check out Christina on Instagram and her website for more amazing food for your eyes!
What are you favorite foods to photograph? Let us know below!