Intro by Chamira Young
We've featured professional photographer Derrick Zellmann on the blog before in our Tamron Recipes series, and for good reason. His ability to interact with his subjects - both food and human - and create great images is downright inspiring. As you'll see in the post excerpt below, Derrick is meticulous in his philosophy on capturing the individual personality and appeal of his subjects. It's no surprise his services are in such high demand in the Boston area! His client list is robust, as is his willingness to share lessons from his experiences with his fellow photographers.
Check out the post below to see Derricks' work. Also, be sure to check out the lenses below, which Derrick often uses for food photography. We love the dedication of the Tamron team as they support the photography industry by bringing amazing lenses and content!
Capturing the Crave
Images by Derrick Zellmann
Derrick Zellmann gets viewers' mouths watering with the tasty dishes—and the culinary masters who create them—in front of his Tamron SP 85mm F/1.8 VC and SP 90mm F/2.8 Macro VC lenses.
Derrick Zellmann has become an in-demand portrait photographer in Boston, capturing everyone from newborns, families, and engaged couples to athletes and local firefighters. Seven years ago, he added food photography into the mix, and he's been documenting the region's delectable dishes and the personalities who create them ever since. "Just like with my other portraits, whether I'm taking a picture of an executive chef, a farmer, or a pastry chef, I'm trying to pull out the character of that person, both by forging an intimate connection between the viewer and the subject, and also by taking an environmental portrait that shows enough of their background to paint a more complete picture," he says.
When he shoots the food itself, Derrick's main goal is to make his subject irresistible. "I want to create a craving for the viewer," he says. "I think the biggest compliment I ever got was when a vegetarian who'd seen a photo I'd taken of a steak said they were tempted to break from their vegetarianism."
Derrick—who typically uses the Tamron SP 85mm F/1.8 VC lens for his portraits and the Tamron SP 90mm F/2.8 Macro VC lens for his food photos—has also forged a unique photographic path with what he calls his "what if" photos. "I go into a shoot knowing the specific pictures I'm expected to come out with, but the whole time I'm thinking about an image that might be a little more unconventional," he says. "I'll save these 'what if we tried this' photos till the end, when the subject and I are really comfortable with each other."
That approach paid off when he photographed Matt King, the executive chef for Boston's Smith & Wollensky steakhouse. "I'd seen the restaurant's famous tomahawk rib-eye steaks when I'd come in, so at the end of our shoot, I had the idea to put Matt in front of the wood walls in one of the restaurant's banquet rooms, train a dramatic one-light blast on him, and have him simply smile and swing that tomahawk steak over his shoulder like he was going to work. He looked at me, grabbed the rib-eye—which was bleeding all over the place—and said, "Let's do it."
Check out "Why?" one of the most popular features on the SCU Blog. It's a very simple concept - one image, one artist and one short sound bite. Each artist shares what makes the image one of their most favorite. We're over 100 artists featured since the project started. Click on the link above and you can scroll through all of the episodes to date.