Many years ago I decided that I wanted to become a food photographer, but being gainfully employed as a construction professional and travelling worldwide meant that it took a while to realise my dream. It was only last year, in 2011, that I decided I would change career paths and become a photographer, although I had been taking photographs in most locations I visited.
I am totally self-taught. In the beginning Ihad a certain amount of capital to keep me going. I started making a living from photography by shooting informal portraits of children, usually playing and thus I was able to capture those decisive moments and their emotions which parents love and treasure.
I don’t have a studio, so all my work is done on location. I’m adding to my collection of food photography all the time and much comes from shooting in wonderful fresh food markets and street food locations in South East Asia, the food and usually candid portraits of the people preparing and cooking food.
Having been a professional gypsy for most of my life, I’m used to being away from home for extended periods. And I still have “itchy-feet”. I’m based in Thailand which I enjoy and I also love travelling through the rest of South East Asia.
Sourcing food is not necessary as food in South East Asia comes to you! Fresh and cooked food is available in all the fresh markets and the streets often seem more like busy restaurant corridors than thoroughfares for traffic. I don’t grow anything but I do cook which I enjoy very much. I usually buy Thai food already cooked and other recipes from France, Italy, Spain, Greece, the Arab world, I cook at home.
I much prefer the relaxed and what I call the “honest” approach to food photography which includes all aspects of food, farming and production of fresh ingredients, combined with images of dishes, simply cooked and presented with simple but refined styling. I am definitely not impressed with Chefs who paint around the dishes on the plates with all sorts of squiggles and silly garnishes!
In my travel photography I have been inspired by the work of Jay Maisel, Steve McCurry, Michael Yamashita, Seth Resnick and food photography-wise I admire the work of Tim Clinch, David Loftus, Alistair Hendy, James Murphy, Martin Poole and Alan Benson, to name a few.
For the future, I would really like to make contact and collaborate with food and foodie-travel writers with a view to getting more of my work commissioned and published. I have only just started, so I am conscious of getting my name known.
John Marmon: http://johnmarmonphotography.viewbook.com/album/food