Last week acclaimed food photographer Brian Ferry wrote a post about honesty. He confessed: “I’m tired of taking photos of food, and I’m really tired of looking at photos of food online (perfect meals and those perfect table settings). It all looks the same. The faux-urban-rustic aesthetic, with mason jars for glasses and twine-wrapped napkins. The perfectly placed spoonful of brown sugar on the table (in a vintage/antique spoon, please), the sugar crystals artfully scattered around the spoon. You know what I’m talking about.”
He went on to say, “I want to shake it up, make it feel personal and real, make it really mean something to you. I’m not 100% sure how to do this, but I’m working on it.
Food, just like life, is not always perfect. And I want my photos to reflect that fact. There is a particular type of beauty in honesty.”
I share that here because a critical - and often overlooked - component of change is being willing to admit that it’s messy, we’re vulnerable and we don’t already know how to do it.
A woman named Ashley who commented on the post explained why she loved the pristine images. “I often find myself looking at those oh so beautiful food photographs and wishing I could take photos like that. But when I really think about it, the only reason I want to take those photos is because I want to trick myself into believing that my life is as beautiful, perfect and styled as the lives seem in those photos. My life may not be perfect, but it’s mine, and I’m coming to realize that if I spend to much time pining over what is beautiful in others lives, I won’t see what is beautiful in mine.
This post has encouraged me to continue to seek my own kind of beauty and art, and to push myself to discover things outside what is easy and what is often seen.”
Here’s to the beautiful, glorious, hidden, challenging mess…