Argentina-based food stylist and illustrator Anna Keville Joyce has managed to take the art of food styling to a whole new level, for her recent creations are true culinary masterpieces (so what if they’re not made to eat?). While food photographer Agustín Nieto had quite the task of doing justice to these mouthwatering works, he managed to capture them perfectly, but as he readily admits, it didn’t come easy.
Due to the fact that “the product requires a lot of preparation and its lifetime is so short,” Nieto tells us, “teamwork and communication are of the utmost importance.” “As the photographer, I have to know how much prep time a product needs, have my lighting ready to go, and also now how long I can keep the product on set before it dies so I can plan ahead the number of shots I can take,” he further explains. And that’s the easy part. “The biggest challenge of working with Anna,” he confesses, "is be[ing] able take the picture before she enters her hand on set again. We have a folder of the images where her hand appears at the last minute to make a correction, which are hilarious — someday we’ll publish them.”
After chatting with Anna, it’s hard not to recognize her genuine love for what she does. “I think creativity thrives best within a framework, and food is mine,” Joyce explains. “It’s alive, dynamic, unpredictable, and always changing.” And this passion for her work seamlessly carries over into her creative process. “The specific details of the illustrations are inspired by the simple need to communicate a concept through form and color, like any design work, just with a shorter life span,” she explains. “With a lot of trial and error, and a bright imagination, you discover that egg whites really do make lovely puffy clouds.”
When asked if her parents ever told her not to play with her food when she was younger, Joyce replied to the contrary. “My mom let me take over her spice cabinet for my birthday tradition of making a ‘spice potion,’ in which I blended her (probably quite expensive) herbs and spices to create truly disgusting, discolored spice broths,” she confesses. “But it was an event I looked forward to every year.”
As far as Nieto, until just a few years ago he was working as a digital assistant for various commercial photographers from around the world. It wasn’t until he was hired to take photos for a local Argentinian food magazine that he realized his true calling. “I fell in love with how the light interacts with food and decided to pursue food photography,” which is what he’s been doing full-time for the past two years.
Through Agustín's talented ability to adapt to the ever-changing situations and Anna’s endless cache of creativity, the two have managed an impressive body of work together for clients ranging from Coca-Cola, Kraft, and Nestle, to Netflix, Proctor & Gamble, and Moet.
It looks like Anna can now restock her mom’s spice cabinet.
Images used with permission from Agustin Nieto & Anna Keville Joyce