Kim Lightbody CPayen

I met Kim Lightbody, culinary photographer

I met Kim to my last londoner travel and i wanted to interview her to my blog. She is a talented Culinary Photographer and she lives in London.

I wanted to understand her professional career and how she did some choice in her life about her job, about passion.

Could you tell me about yourself, and your story ?
I originally studied fashion photography at London college of fashion. The few years following this I started to build up a portfolio of work alongside working in a couple of art galleries. After a trip to Japan I fell in love with the country & decided to move there for a year. I taught English in Tokyo & then spent a few months farming. It was during this time I decided I would prefer to get involved in food photography rather than fashion. So when I returned to the UK I set about assisting other food photographers until I had enough experience to step out on my own.

What was the key moment when you decided to become a photographer ? What made you want to become ?
It was towards the end of my art foundation course in Brighton where I specialised in fashion & textiles & realised that it was the fashion photographs rather the garments that inspired me more. It felt a very natural choice & as it was still connected with fashion it seemed a continual line of progression.

What is your approach to photography, your vision of your work ?
There are two approaches, one is coming up with an idea or narrative you or whoever is commissioning you want to translate into a set of images. You work with a team to find props, create recipes & discuss the mood you want to get across. You are inventing a scene. The other approach is working with what is there – being inspired by what is around you & through the camera capturing an edit of that. I enjoy both approaches – having the control to create an imagined story & the other often creating surprises far beyond the original idea.

What do you prefer in your life as a photographer ?
I enjoy the idea of story telling through images of food. I think food holds a lot of nostalgia for me & also is such a big part of travel. I love capturing this into images.

Why are you a photographer and not something else ?
It is always photographs that inspire me the most & I guess it is wanting to be part of that. I love cooking & eating!! So it is this that has become my main creative area. That said, I love having the opportunity to take travel shots & more recently craft. I try & take inspiration from all around.

What is the project that you are most proud of ?
One of my first books A year in cheese, partly because it was my first recipe book that I was commissioned to shoot, it was such a great team & it all seemed to come together into something that really felt ours. And also one of more recent commissions Sri Lanka: the cookbook where I had the opportunity to travel round the country & then again, it was a fab team back in London where we translated that mood into all the recipe shots.

What other subjects would you like to explore in photography ?
I would like to do more portraits and also the dream would be to encorporate more travel shoots. I always enjoy the variety my work offers & find it really helpful in keeping me constantly inspired.

Great THANKS to Kim to share with us her some secrets !

See her website :


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