What do you get when you combine studio art, baking and photography together? You get delicious recipes and beautifully constructed images by Ashley E. Rodriguez of Not Without Salt. I wonder if there are art classes at culinary schools because it should be a required course. Everyone says we eat with our eyes so plating for a chef is quite important. And what better way to learn about plating than taking art classes right? Composition, contrast, balance, the aesthetics are all related to art and food.
Q. Can you tell me what you’re trying to capture when you take your food photos?
A. Food is stunning. Before we open our mouths to enjoy a bite we eat the plate with our eyes. With my photos I hope to honor my food by capturing their natural beauty and to cause its onlookers to drool profusely. If you’re stomach begins to growl as a direct result of looking at one of my photos I’ve done my job.
Q. Do you think having a baking/pastry background helps with your photography?
A. I got into baking and pastry because of my background in visual arts. Pastry marries art and flavor in a way that I fell in love with. So my interest in photography came before I dipped my hands in flour.
I like to challenge myself to create a food image that is worthy of being hung in a museum. This is especially visible in some of my raw ingredient shots. Looking at food from different angles gives an entirely new appreciation for its natural beauty.
Q. Have you always been interested in photography? If not when did you decide to start taking photos?
A. My husband is a professional photographer so initially I had him take my images. It was a combination of his increasingly busy schedule and my need for complete control that caused me to take over the photography on the site. I fall more in love with it each time I take a shot. It’s both rewarding and maddening which keeps it exciting.
Q. Do you feel that Seattle has any influence on you as a baker or photographer?
A. There is such an incredible community here of fellow food lovers. We learn from and inspire one another. There is never a shortage of amazing meals to be enjoyed in this city.
Q. Any photography heroes?
A. My husband. He’s always inspiring me and teaching me.
Q. Best meal so far in 2010?
A. I’m pretty happy with the little breakfast I’m eating right now. A perfectly flaky Pear danish from Honore bakery and a double shot latte with coffee freshly roasted from Lighthouse.