Spotlight on the students of FOOD AS ART with Anna Larson

Why is food photography important? Although the photographs can easily stand on their own, in Food as Art, we also explore our personal history and how food is woven into our daily lives….it can carry both positive and negative experiences. No matter what our culture, food most likely plays a big role in shaping it.

Online courses are unique in that we gather from all over the world. We’re able to share stories from our own culture, as though we’re sitting around one big table. Here’s what one student shared and the reason why photographs are so important…

“Food was such an integral part of me and my brother's upbringing. Being Syrian, it was everywhere….Recipes were almost never written down, but passed on verbally, and everyone loved to talk about how each household (or region) made certain dishes differently. Food was in the air we breathed.…

When we would go to Syria in the summers, we were always greeted by an insane meal and a gigantic table filled with my grandparents, my mom's six sisters, one brother and all of my cousins (well us young'ins would usually get booted to the other table). And every day after that first day, everyone would stop what they were doing to come have lunch at my grandmother's and take their post-lunch naps (common practice). Lunch was just that important culturally. In Syria vegetables, fruits and meats only came locally, and things were only consumed seasonally or after they were preserved or frozen if off season. These were things I very much came to appreciate later in life.

Now, there is no more Syria (or the Syria we knew). There is no more grandmother's house (my grandmother lives in Jordan with my aunt in a 3 BR flat). The siblings are all scattered throughout the world, most likely never able to gather around at a single table ever again, and some of them, never able to see my grandmother again. Food is a legacy. It's a story. And I've realized in the past few years how important it is to preserve that story, for it might forever be lost. I love that photography can preserve that story in a visual way. And I want to somehow bring that story to light.”

- Omayah Atassi

During the two weeks together, we explore everything from backgrounds and surfaces, to props, lighting, editing, styling and photographing food off the table. Here is some of the beautiful work that was turned in by students during the fall run of Food as Art…


Anna Larson | Instructor of FOOD AS ART

If this resonates with you and you’d like to tell your own food story, FOOD AS ART opens for registration on November 29th at 9:00 am EST.