Sofia Gomez Fonzo – Ibiza food photographer
Food is big business in Ibiza, with the island’s ever expanding gastronomic scene enticing more and more foodies to visit the white isle every summer. With an increase in trade, and thus competition, restaurants, chefs and private caterers need to step up the promotion of their venues and services via advertising campaigns, marketing and social media.
As they say, a picture tells a thousand words, and in this case, a mouth watering food photo could inspire a thousand table reservations! Here in Ibiza, professional photographer Sofia Gomez Fonzo is the culinary go-to-girl when it comes to shooting food, offering clients a variety of options through which to present their pride and joy.
“I see food as geometry on a plate,” says the Chilean-born, Ibiza-based photographer. “Food photography is actually quite conceptual, abstract and artistic. I love it because it’s a challenge. You’re given so many things on a plate, including colours and textures, and you have a very limited time frame to work with it while its presentation is at its peak. So much love and work goes into it from the kitchen, so I really strive to showcase the work of the chefs in the best way possible.”
Sofia’s fascination with food photography began by photographing her mother’s handmade chocolates at home in Chile. Born into a family full of chefs and passionate cooks, it was no surprise she was asked to snap pictures of their creations. “I cook a lot myself, but I’m not so skilled at making it look beautiful,” she admits. “That’s why when my clients bring me a really impressive dish to shoot, I’ll be like ‘Wow!” I appreciate how it looks and all the work it represents and really want to capture the beauty of it and share it with others.”
You’d never know it via the quality and beauty of her work, but Sofia is actually a staunch vegetarian. “Sometimes I think the fact I don’t eat so much of what I shoot makes me look at it from a more visual perspective. I’m not thinking about what it will taste like. I’m really focusing on the art of food presentation, and trying to work out what angle or lens will do it justice.” Over time, she has photographed a live crayfish, an enormous raw steak for two people and untold amounts of seafood, meat and poultry, however she never once lets her personal lifestyle choice get in the way of getting the perfect shot.
Working closely with her clients to understand their vision, Sofia is experienced in presenting food both in terms of content and context. If the focus is simply the dish, ultra-close ups can be styled. If the restaurant has a beautiful setting, a blurred focus can be used to give the viewer an authentic view into the dining experience, still allowing the food to shine. Crisp, clean restaurant images can be shot before diners arrive, or the action can be captured with waitstaff carrying trays, diners enjoying their meals or chefs working hard over a flaming grill. She can also style more conceptual still life images and loves showcasing the romance behind food preparation, service and indulgence.
Whatever image her clients desire, Sofia can make come to life. Her natural ability to capture the beauty of each dish means very little post-production work is required – in fact, she doesn’t believe in photshopping food, operating on a ‘what you see is what you get’ basis. Thankfully, what you get in Ibiza is always special, as are Sofia’s images.