Great Food Photos: Peter Bagi

One of the reasons why I wanted to start this project was to meet other food photogs and hopefully ask questions other than what lens they use. At first I imagined it would just be me searching the interweb for photogs. And I guess through the powers of the interweb, sometimes they find me. I've only been in the northeast twice (two times in Seattle and once in Vancouver). I wouldn't mind moving there and now after checking out Peter Bagi's photos, I definitely want to move there. Peter Bagi is a photographer, a food enthusiast and a web designer from Victoria, BC. I didn't get a chance to visit Victoria when I last visited that area but hopefully next year I'll make the trek out. I guess in the mean I'll just have to settle with looking at his beautiful captured moments and just daydream. Thank you Peter for finding me!

Q. Can you tell me what you’re trying to capture when you take your food photos? A. I'm trying to capture a feeling rather than specific elements within a dish. I cook and eat because I love where it transports me. I can make a beautiful, rustic Italian dish and for me it puts me at a long table with friends in a small square in Italy. I want to transport the viewer with my photographs.

Q. Where do you find your inspirations? A. I find my inspirations from all over. It might be a cool tumblr blog showcasing lifestyle images, a wicked movie based around food, my own food experiences and of course other photographers. I have a few photographers I follow who I just totally aspire to be like. Not in their style but in what they have achieved.

Q. Have you always been interested in photography? A. Yes! Ever since I got my hands on a Polaroid camera as a kid. For me photography was always what allowed to me transport somewhere else. This might sound like escapism and I'm ok with that. Sometimes you look out your window and all you see is grey skies. Any shimmer of positive inspiration is welcomed. The world becomes a better place when more of us find the beauty in it. For me photography allows me to capture this beauty and share it with others.

Q. Do you approach photography and web design the same? A. Yes, both are based on feelings. What story are we trying to tell is the first question I ask. For photography this will come right down to what kind of lighting, colour cast, props and angles I'm going to use. I will almost always know what I'm going to do when I start out. I have a vision and I just simply follow through. I try to engage my right brain and not allow the left side come in with logic. Finding solutions and ideas that aren't always on people's minds is my favourite!

Q. What in the food scene of Victoria makes you excited/happy to live in Victoria? A. I feel that there are some really passionate foodies here in Victoria and this is giving Victoria a food vibe. This has lead to more young artisans producing fresh breads, roasting coffee, making beer and growing beautiful vegetables. I would say that it is relatively easy to find great food in Victoria.

Q. Any food photography heroes? If not any photography heroes? A. Ditte Isager. I just love her style. There's a sense of ease, sophistication and care in her photographs without coming across pretentious or stuffy.

Q. Best meal so far in 2011? A. My best meal so far this year was eating fresh tacos with my girlfriend and finishing it with a waffle topped with ice cream while people watching in one of our squares.

All photos courtesy of Peter Bagi from The Closet Chef