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My Favorite Food Photographs of 2017

By the end of 2017, I will have photographed 74 restaurants, most of them for the fine folks over at The Infatuation. These are some of my favorite images sorted by aesthetic appeal. As someone that has spent many evenings editing these photos and then sadly looking at the pitiful selection of snacks in my refrigerator (hello hummus & baby carrots!), I highly recommend not looking through this post on an empty stomach.

If you'd like to see the Chicago restaurants I've photographed organized by deliciousness, head over to The Infatuation

Table for two

This year, I spent a lot of time thinking about food and more specifically meals. How do people arrange their dishes on a table? Where do the utensils go? What about napkins and decorative knick knacks?

chicago food photography // mi tocaya // sandy noto
chicago food photography // won fun // sandy noto
chicago food photography // burt's pizza // sandy noto
chicago food photography // dox greek quality // sandy noto
chicago food photography // jp graziano // sandy noto-28.jpg
chicago food photography // coda di volpe // sandy noto
chicago food photography // ronero // sandy noto

Can I get a hand? 

Shout out to all the folks that were game to hand model for me this year. It is strangely more difficult than it looks. 

chicago food photography // sandy noto
chicago food photography // won fun chinese // sandy noto
chicago food photography // chicago cut // sandy noto
chicago food photography // d'agostino's pizza // sandy noto
chicago food photography // jp graziano // sandy noto

I got this

Every now and again, I found myself at a restaurant with 6 plates of food and not a soul in sight. My little sausage fingers graced numerous photos. Thankfully the food was always the obvious star. 

chicago food photography // income tax // sandy noto
chicago food photography // little bad wolf // sandy noto
chicago food photography // mi tocaya // sandy noto
chicago food photography // mott street // sandy noto
chicago food photography // flamingo rum club // sandy noto

Pizza, pizza, pizza

Chicago is serious about pizza. Not surprisingly, I ended up photographing a lot of pizza spots. Deep dish, thin crust, square cut pieces, I’m pretty sure I saw it all this year. 

chicago pizza photography // piece pizza // sandy noto
chicago food photography // union squared // sandy noto
chicago food photography // burt's place // sandy noto

Life is Magic

Of the 74 restaurants and 8,000 food photos I’ve taken this year, these are the ones that made me pause and appreciate that I get to call this my work. 

chicago food photography // portsmith // sandy noto
chicago food photography // entente // sandy noto
chicago food photography // la sardine // sandy noto
chicago food photography // won fun chinese // sandy noto
chicago food photography // entente // sandy noto
chicago food photography // coda di volpe // sandy noto
chicago food photography // cafe marie jeanne // sandy noto
chicago food photography // strings ramen // sandy noto

Final Thoughts

Throughout 2017, I probably spent as much looking at food photography as I did creating it. For me, it was important to take images that were appetizing but still rooted in reality. I think of the food photos I take as the middle ground between stylized editorial and social media catnip. It's important to me that viewers are enticed by the images but not disappointed when they go get the real thing.