Show Me Your Food Porn: Jennifer May

The cookbook photographer takes us behind-the-scenes on shoots with the Joe Beef guys, Michael Symon, and some really cute ducks.

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Proust had his madeleines, Cézanne his apples. For photographer Jennifer May, everything goes back to the bounty of the sea. May grew up in the ocean-side town of Bowser on Vancouver Island in Canada, eating oysters snatched up from the beach, shucked, and deep-fried, as well as fresh fish pulled right off the back of her grandfather’s boat.

May fancied herself the future Susan Orlean of food writing, until she caught the shutterbug. While trailing a mushroom forager deep into the Catskills for a magazine assignment, she brought along her camera and never looked back, soon becoming obsessed with the visual side of storytelling and showcasing ingredients—fresh, humble, and beautiful like the ones she recalled from back home.

Since then, the Woodstock resident has snapped swoonworthy food photos for cookbooks like The Art of Living According to Joe Beef, The Butcher’s Guide to Well-Raised Meat, and, more recently, Michael Symon’s Carnivore. Though she has a degree in painting and a background in reporting, it’s clear that photography is May’s passion. For her top ten favorite photos, she takes us from a frozen Minnesota lake to the inside of a foie gras factory, offering insightful commentary on her subjects and explaining how she finds intrigue in the seemingly mundane.

Follow Jennifer May on Instagram (@jenmayphoto), and check out her website: jennifermay.com.

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