Foto&Food: Antonella Bozzini (part II)

2018-01-25 According to the definition of Spanish writer and gourmet Manuel Vásquez Montalbán, Antonella Bozzini is a person you can trust, because she’s not indifferent about food. In fact, she really loves it and has been photographing it for twenty years!
Antonella is from Milan and works with the world’s best-known chefs, the new rock stars of food, and works on a number of research projects. In both cases, she demonstrates that she is one of the most important food photographers around at the moment.
Antonella, are there similarities between photography and cooking?
Yes, there are similarities. They’re both creative activities which revolve around experimentation. They’re both basically crazy! And in both photography and cooking, you need to love what you do. That’s the only way you can give it your best.”
What do you think food photography should convey to people?
First of all, a passion for food, the curiosity to go and taste what you are photographing, whether it’s a dish or a food product, and the desire to get into the mood and the world of the chef who came up with it. And a food photograph can call up emotions, just as cuisine can. I tie everything in with emotions: this brings me challenges rather than discoveries.”
Which of your photographic features best represents you, and why?
Sincerely, because of my Acquarian spirit, I tend to start all over again from scratch when I start each job. It’s something new every time, a new challenge, new enthusiasm. I always think of the future. I tend to give up the past, because I’m hypercritical of myself, and I often find something to criticise in my photo features”.
How are your food photos created?
“em>If the photo is of a chef’s recipe, I talk to the chef himself and try to understand what he wants to get out of the image, not only in terms of the ingredients he uses, but the composition of the dish. All I do is cast the right light on it and capture the right perspective. The chef guides me toward the final result. If I need to produce different features, I am guided by my inner vision. For example, a magazine recently asked me to produce a portrait of a bunch of chicory, a walnut and a mandarin orange. At the moment, I like to use a Nordic winter light and dark colours, sort of Caravaggio style. In short, I seem to be more interested in shadows than in light. And so I put the chicory against a black background!.”
Do you draw your vision before you photograph it?
I always take a little notepad with me, and I often set things down during the day. Or I make notes on post-its or whatever other bits of paper I find around. Written notes help me recall my inner vision. I have a really messy work table, where I keep everything at hand and within view, including all these thousands of notes. I can’t always find them, when I’m looking for them, but I like to know they’re somewhere around.”
What is your biggest difficulty photographing food as a subject?
Simply a technical difficulty: the perishability of the product, if it takes me too long to photograph it. The dishes I photograph are all real. Nothing is fake.”

Mariagrazia Villa

Photographs: Antonella Bozzini

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