The picture below has a strong meaning to my food photography, therefore, it has a very special place in my heart and mind; it represents the cornerstone of my style and my way of photographing food:


Plating at Silo


It was shot at Silo and it happened in an instant. Head chef and owner, Doug dressed the dish right in front of the lens and I thought that was an interesting composition, very artistic and aesthetically pleasing with some nice colours and textures and a decent background but the hand… The arm stretching, the thumb pressing the bottle, the tendons tightening… That’s what captivated me.

The picture was shot from the gut and it taught me that just like in art history, hands tell a story as well. Then I learned that the interaction of people with food can be much more powerful than food or people on their own and the link between these two has to be the hands. The first thing I spotted was how the composition fits perfectly with the Golden Spiral:

Being an art, history and design geek, I couldn’t help noticing how nicely the composition fits with the Golden Spiral:

food composition.jpg
Golden Spiral for composition

There’s even a website dedicated to the Golden Number

So I did some further research and noticed that hands have always been a big part of an artist’s storytelling. In fact, humans have had a fascination with hands for thousands of years:

So it was just a matter of common sense to take this fascination with hands and make it my own. I was particularly fascinated by Michael Angelo’s Creation Of Adam where both meet by nearly touching. I took this idea of creator and creation and adopted it as part of my style of storytelling through photography:

I took this idea of creator and creation and adopted it as part of my style of storytelling through photography. Pay attention to the natural beauty of hand gestures and poses:

Pinch of salt


Gentle touch


Dough rolling

Boxpark Croydon

Frozen yogurt

The Chilli Pickle

Line them up!

Just like that first picture, none of these food-with-hand shots have been staged, prepared nor styled. It’s a picture hunting game I like to play while shooting in kitchens and is has become a bit of an obsession.


Plating up at 64 Degrees

Boxpark Croydon

Fish Wings & Tings at Boxpark

The Chilli Pickle

Fish specialty at The Chilli Pickle

The Big Fig

Pulse of a surgeon

Boxpark Croydon

Sexy potato from The Potato Project

The Plough Inn

Final touches

All food and chef photographs are ©XDBPhotography and it’s total or partial reproduction is strictly prohibited. 

Like what you read and see? Let me know in the comments and share with your friends if you think it’s worth it.





  1. jeffsof

    Great set of shots Xavier. It’s amazing how, something we take for granted like our hands, can be so powerful in a photo. Well done mate!


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