Nikita Zhurnakov Uses Color in Food Photography in the Funnest Way

All photos by Nikita Zhurnakov. Used with Creative Commons permission.

Looking for some cool food photography inspiration? This is precisely what we have on spotlight for today: a fine example of an out of the box approach to the mouthwatering genre. None of those flat lays by Instagram influencers here — only colorful and clever ways to see food! Russian photographer Nikita Zhurnakov shot a bunch of fun food for a commercial promo campaign by company Cherkashin. While he named his collection FOOD PORN, the photos aren’t your usual snaps of drool-worthy dishes or Instagram-worthy lifestyle content. Instead, they are clever captures that encourage us to see food items and ingredients as elements that we can use to play with colors, shapes, and textures.

Food items like sausages, pepperoni, and cheese slices stand for something else or are crafted as different non-food objects with the help of digital art. Other show these food items in many different quirky presentations to highlight or complement textures, patterns, and colors. Some of our favorites? CMYK hotdog sandwiches, pepperoni slices as cassette tape magnetic strips, pepperoni ice cream scoops, ham bicycle wheels, full moon ham,  sausage telephone, sausage dynamites, and potsticker flying saucers! Actually, there are too many to mention.

The concept and execution are certainly the standout elements of the entire series. They show us how bright ideas and imagination pave the way for more creative approaches to food photography. While this style may not be applicable to all kinds of food photography projects, it’s certainly worth considering for editorials and campaigns that call for something more playful, different, and imaginative.

Don’t forget to check out Nikita Zhurnakov’s Behance portfolio and website for more of his fun FOOD PORN snaps!

Want more clever food photography inspiration? Gabriella Marks used a similar ingredients-oriented, fashion-forward approach to food in her Form • Function • Food series, treating food items as objet d’art to be celebrated.