A Taste of Poetry from Leigh Beisch
The visual poetry in photographer Leigh Beisch’s work should come as no surprise: Her mother was a poet.
And let’s be clear, there is poetry here - beautiful verse that turns simple food shots into a songwriter’s notebook or a painter’s canvas: a complete story. Beisch’s award-winning work has been featured in numerous cookbooks and magazines. Her flavorful client list is filled with high-end favorites from Williams-Sonoma to Applebee’s, and every shot in every portfolio is a sonnet, an homage to the edible.
Consider the testimonial on her website from the McDonald’s creative director, praising “the most beautiful McD food I have ever seen!” Believe it: Turning a Big Mac into art is no mean feat.
The work and the awards are nice—the above plum shot won a 2012 PDN Object of Desire award in the Food and Still Life category—but what really fire-roasts Leigh’s creative spirit is the challenge. That’s precisely what she found at the end of 2011, when acclaimed wine blogger Alder Yarrow came knocking.
“He was creating a new series on his blog titled ‘Essences of Wine,’ and he wanted to partner with a photographer to create some imagery that wasn’t so illustrative, but more captured the ‘essence of the essence,’ so to speak,” Leigh says.
As Alder’s writing is “rather poetic,” she aimed for imagery with “a similar sensitivity” and in putting together her shoots she called upon lessons she’d learned from her mother’s verse. “Poetic sensibilities are something I embrace working with,” Leigh notes.
Over a year later, the ongoing collaboration with Alder has proven “very fulfilling,” she adds, “especially when we see the imagery paired with Alder’s prose.”
“Flavor is an abstract idea and has always been a challenge to capture,” Leigh says. “It’s a challenge I love to embrace!”