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Our new food & design research collection. Here we will feature articles about design thinking and processes, food (of course), but more specifically food culture, cook book reviews, food and design trends and much more...

Table Talks: meet food photographer Aphra Adkins

Updated: Feb 25, 2020

Photo credit is Allegra Guinan (@all_nan)

Hi! So first of all who are you, what do you do, how did you end up doing this and where are you based?

Hello! My name is Aphra Adkins and I live in Takoma Park, Maryland. I owned a restaurant for a few years and used to bake cakes for our guests. I eventually realized I enjoyed the process of baking/photographing/eating more than actually selling the cake. I kept photographing and it lead me here. Who knows where it will go next!

What's the message you are communicating through your photography?

If I had to choose one, it would be "don't be afraid". Don't be afraid of color, of messiness, of accidents, or noise. Don't wait for other people's opinions before forming your own; don't be afraid of what you're drawn to, and that goes for food and art alike. It's a lesson I'm constantly trying to teach myself.

What's your favourite food or material to work with?

Right now I'm very drawn to milk and eggs. They're universally recognizable foods, which makes them fun to manipulate. They also have underlying implications of motherhood and femininity, which is a theme I'm interested in exploring.

Who would be your dream brand to collab on a shoot with?

I don't get particularly excited about shooting non-food items, but there are stylists and photographers I admire and fantasize about working with; Doan Ly, Orly Anan, Carl Ostberg, Louise Hagger, Noah Fecks.

Favourite dish?

That's a tough one. I don't think I could ever choose just one, but breakfast is definitely my favorite meal, especially breakfast for dinner.

Favourite cookbook?

I forget the title, I think it's something like Comida Italiana. It's from the 60's and is about 450 pages long. The print is tiny and each page has at least 10 recipes on it (although recipe is a generous word because really they're each a list of ingredients and then about 5 instructions that basically equate to "cook the food, serve the food"). It's almost like someone went around the Italian countryside and recorded verbatim every grandma's favorite thing to cook. Each time I open it there's a new idea or ingredient that inspires me.

Thank you to Aphra for answering these little questions for Crème zine and sharing with us some insight into her adventurous food photography!

Follow her adventures over on Instagram @stilllifewithcake

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