“I never wanted a food career,” admits Los Angeles–based food photographer Erica M. Allen (BFA ’15). “I was always into photography. Even as a toddler I’d line my toys up and take pictures of them with my mom’s film camera.”
Food did play an important bonding role in her family growing up—“we were food-centric,” she says. She found herself gravitating toward food themes midway through her time at BYU, and food became the focus of her BFA and early freelancing.
Today, for restaurants, food companies, and magazines, Allen works with prop and food stylists to create vibrant still lifes, plated masterpieces, and whimsical stop-motion videos of food. She researches food and photo trends and works with color, texture, and light to tell food stories.
Although food photography wasn’t where Allen expected to land, now she’s all in. “I’ve loved it and have never looked back,” she says. After all, “food is a universal subject of photography,” Allen notes. “Not everyone uses lipstick, but everybody eats!”