How Matt Armendariz Became a Food Photographer (and His Food Photography Tips for Great Food Photos) – Interview with Matt Armendariz

Matt Armendariz and Chicken SaladThere are some people that inspire you and teach you a lot even in very few moments you spend with them. I had a wonderful opportunity to interview one such person. This interview is not to be missed. About 40 minutes of pure food photography talk with one of the great food photographer.

Let’s Welcome Matt Armendariz

Times Online calls 7th best food blog in the world. His blog has been recognized by several publications, editors and writers. His blog is selected by editors of Martha Stewart Living and is one of the charter members of Martha’s Circle.

Matt is also writing a cookbook that is set to release in Spring 2011. Matt has received a lot of accolades and recognitions from many magazines and newspapers including Times Online UK, CNET and others. Matt is also featuring in August 2010 issue of Bon Appetit.

This is a very special interview go on press the play button to listen to this interview.

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How Matt Became a Food Photographer

Matt has been in the food industry for more than 20 years. Before becoming a food photographer, Matt was a graphic artist and art director. In the interview Matt tells an interesting story about how he became a food photographer.

Role of Art Director in Food Photography

Role of art director varies greatly from shoot to shoot. Depending on the size of the photography shoot, art director may only provide creative input or may be very involved in a photo shoot. Art director is the person who communicates the idea and works with photographers and stylists to make sure idea comes out in the photo or video. In some cases, art director may also hire food photographers and stylists. Listen more at 7:52

How Can One Start Learning Food Photography

Technical knowledge are the basics of photography. Learn that. And before doing anything else, answer the most important photography question. Understanding the answer and then you work with those

How To Take Better Photos for Your Food Blog

Matt gives a great example on how food bloggers can improve food photography. Matt talks about asking yourself what are your passionate about, what is your blog about? What are you writing about. So then you take that idea and incorporating some kind of prop or element in the photograph. Listen more at 15:12.

Listen this Food Photography Interview to learn:

  • How Matt takes photos…
  • How Matt plans his photo shoots…
  • How is shooting for blogs different from commercial photography…
  • How Matt shoots photos for his food blogs…
  • How Matt learned food photography on his own…


Thank you

Thank you for sparing some time for this interview. You can view Matt’s food photography portfolio by visiting Matt can be found on twitter @mattarmendariz go say Hello to Matt.

What did you think about this interview? Tell us what can we improve. Who should we interview next? Speak your mind in the comments section below.

If you are visiting here for the first time, don’t forget to read/listen our interviews with Matt Wright, Aran Goyoaga, Adriana Mullen, Editor of Tastespotting, Clare Barboza, Liz Vidyarthi, Meeta Khurana and Mowie Kay.

For listening to upcoming Food Photography interviews, subscribe to the RSS feed or by subscribe to email updates.

Photos used in this interview are copyright property of Matt Armendariz.

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  • Great interview…I love his comment on picture taking/styling “If I am not pleasing myself it is not gonna work,” so true, I love Matt (swoon, fellow Texan) love his style, down to earth nature and his writing is very personal. Great Job!!


    • Hi Bonnie, thank you for your comment. I liked that advice too… and very well said… if you are not satisfied with your own work, how will your customer like your work.

      Very deep thought it is.
      Thanks for your observation and comment.

  • I love the “family prop” statement, talking about your family (or where your food/recipe came from) gives so much more context to your blog posts. Some great advice here. Well done Neel, you are awesome!

    • That is a great example that Matt gave. I also liked how he explained the vision and visual communication aspect of photography.

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  • I’m a big fan of Matt’s work! Cool interview!

  • What a great interview….very down to earth guy…. approachable! His passion is evident in his photos as well what he had to tell us in the interview. Thanks for bringing more of his world to us!

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  • Hi there,

    I’m friends with Matt as I work as a food blogger and photographer ( / and this was a fantastic window into who he is. Super generous and really passionate. Even though I know Matt I really really enjoyed listening to this!



  • With 20 years of rich experience in the food industry, matt is undoubtedly the successful food blogger. This interview gives an opportunity for people like us to learn the basics of food photography and how creative spark can makes things work in a proper direction.

    This website is a great place to know the secrets behind successful professionals and learning these techniques and implementing them in a proper manner is what carves your success.

  • What a very enlightening interview. That was really helpful especially to a budding photographer like me. It really is important to work with things you really enjoy with and knowing the basics of photography. Thank you man! I sure will keep these tips by heart.

  • Philippe

    Hi. Since you interviewed Matt. Why not try interviewing Adam Pearson (food stylist). Although he is not a photographer he always work with Matt. Probably dwell on a topic of the relation of food styling with food photography as I think this goes hand in hand.

    Thank you for your site. Very helpful.

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  • Nice interview!
    The lessons that i learnt from the interview are
    Great Photo = Story+ Creative Vision+Technical Knowledge+Practice Practice Practice
    Learn to photograph all kinds of food.

  • I enjoyed listening to this interview today. Overall impression is that Matt seems very approachable and passionate about his work, and that Neel is good at guiding the interview along.

    I liked hearing that sometimes the photo is just a photo, and also to photograph something you don’t like to eat–neat ideas and good to hear.

  • Enjoyed listening to Matt, my lessons today :
    1) have a vision
    2) sometimes a food photograph is not about the food but the emotion – love that !
    3) practice and all kinds of subject, just not food
    4) need to take pictures of foods that I do not connect with…that’s a challenge !

    loved your questions ! Thxs neel

  • Julie Gale

    I’m just in the process of creating a food blog myself, so hearing Matts journey and advice on how to approach all aspects has been very beneficial for me. I have a vision in my head as they talked about, but was unsure how to turn this vision into a reality. From listening to this interview it has given me the courage to take that next step! My images will support my writing and that is definately going to drive how I photograph!

    Thanks again Neel.

  • Great interview from a very sincere guy.
    Couple of pint I picked up,
    Keep taking photographs – more you practice the better you will get.
    Stretch your comfort zone – take pictures of subjects that you don’t necessarily enjoy.

    Thanks for a great resource Neel 😉

  • Fascinating to hear about how he came into his love of food photography and his artistic development. It’s all about passion, as well as pushing yourself on a daily basis to shoot subjects you might not necessarily be comfortable with. And, of course, there is an element of risk when you are entering a field such as this as your livelihood, as that is so much different than shooting for your own pleasure. Lots of pressure to deliver the vision… which he does so well!

    Thanks for the great interview!

  • Ruth

    I had never thought about the importance of learning about different types of food and photographing them. All a part of learning to “see the world differently.”

  • Cheryl Balara

    I like how Matt reiterates the point to develop a story; to slow down and ask yourself what do you want to say in this photograph before you press the shutter. And his tip about practicing all the time on all different types of food. I need to get out of my comfort zone and try to take a photograph of food I don’t normally eat.
    I’ve tried to take a picture of raw fish and I couldn’t get past the smell. Unfortunately I rushed through the shoot and didn’t get a good picture.

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  • The best I got in terms of food photography. I love the part when he said practice and he got all the subject and photograph it. love you Matt! And thank you, Neel.

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    Well done! All the best..