How Women Are Shaping The Future of Food Photography

Using storytelling, bold colors, motion, and even animated GIFS, women are infusing new energy into food photography – one of the oldest photographic traditions. 

Perhaps our love for pictures of food stems from the age-old desire to have our cake and eat it too. The image becomes a memento rapt with the possibility of good things to come while stoking our memory for the sensual experience of taste, smell, and touch. The sight of food evokes a longing, not unlike that of seeing our beloved looking their best.

With the stratospheric rise of Instagram, food photography has become one of the most popular genres and the industry has taken note. A new generation of women photographers are working to create dynamic new styles that resonate with today’s consumers. 

Karen Mulligan: 23 Years Inside the Annie Leibovitz Studio

When Karen Mulligan moved to New York City in 1991, she never imagined standing inside the White House on the last day of Barack Obama’s presidency, working with Annie Leibovitz to commemorate the moment in American history. “How lucky am I that I get to do a job that I love and this is something that’s part of it?” Mulligan says.

Mulligan’s path could not have been foretold. After studying English literature and art history at Sophie Newcomb at Tulane University, Mulligan came to New York, worked as an editorial assistant at Zagat Survey, and pictured herself as an English Professor in a cozy rural town. Upon receiving her Masters in English Literature from NYU, she was less romanticized by the academy and needed a job. A good friend, who was working for Annie Leibovitz at the time, told her the legendary portrait photographer was working on Women and needed someone to do research for the book.

How to Balance Editorial, Commercial and Personal Photography: A Conversation with Gabriela Herman

Brooklyn-based Gabriela Herman’s vibrant energy hits everything she shoots – from editorial projects for The New York Times, Wired, The Guardian and The Atlantic to commercial clients like Airbnb, Nikon, and Jenny Craig.

She’s also highly productive on her own work. Her 2017 photobook The Kids, a series of photographs documenting children with at least one LGBTQ parent received critical acclaim and has been recognized for her work by The Magenta Foundation, Critical Mass, and American Photography.

Fellow Luupe photographer Leah Fasten speaks with Herman about what got her started, the importance of photographic peers, and how to balance editorial and commercial work.

Meet Facebook’s Creative Director Toby Kaufmann

2019 was a busy year for Toby Kaufmann. A born and bred New Yorker, she started her career in the mid-2000s as director of photography for magazines like GQ, Maxim and Men’s Fitness, and later became the Executive Director of Photography for Refinery29.
Last year, she was hired by Facebook as Creative Director, packed her bags and moved to the West Coast.

Luupe photographer and Rocket Science Magazine founder Pauline Magnenat spoke with Kaufmann to learn more about her career, how she partners with photographers and why you should always bite more than you can chew. We’re including photos from some of Toby’s favorite commissions throughout this interview. 

Dana Scruggs and The New Black Vanguard: Transforming the Language of Fashion Photography

A new photography book and traveling exhibition highlights Black artists changing the language of fashion photography. The Luupe speaks with one of its most innovative photographers, Dana Scruggs. 

In every generation, a photography book comes along and captures the zeitgeist with perfect aplomb.  The New Black Vanguard: Photography Between Art and Fashion (Aperture) is just that. Independent writer, curator, and critic Antwaun Sargent brings together 15 contemporary Black artists including Arielle Bobb-Willis, Nadine Ijewere, Namsa Leuba, Renell Medrano, Ruth Ossai, Adrienne Raquel, and Dana Scruggs, who are transforming the language of fashion photography by centering the aesthetics of the African diaspora in their work.