Five minutes with Christopher Boffoli

I’m a Seattle, USA based photographer, writer, journalist and filmmaker. I started taking pictures as a hobby when I was a teenager and continued as a student journalist in high school and college.

Christopher Boffoli is a fine art, commercial and editorial photographer. He began making visual art at an early age but only began exploring the medium of photography in his teens after receiving a camera as a birthday gift.

Largely self-taught, Christopher worked as a student journalist in high school and college, eventually founding his own commercial photography company while he was still an undergraduate. His diverse body of work includes editorial and documentary travel photography.  But he is best known for his Big Appetites work which features tiny figures posed against real food landscapes.  In addition to his commercial and advertising work for brands large and small, his fine art photographs may be found in galleries and private collections in the United States, Canada, Europe and Asia. He currently lives and works in Seattle.

Christopher Boffoli 900px

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I’m a Seattle, USA based photographer, writer, journalist and filmmaker.  I started taking pictures as a hobby when I was a teenager and continued as a student journalist in high school and college. During my last year at university I founded my own commercial photography company.  But photography would continue to mostly be just a hobby for me over the course of about a decade as I worked in other fields. After a near-fatal mountaineering accident in 2004 I decided to leave my job to take a couple of years to travel and pursue creative endeavors.  I traveled the world and began to sell some images to magazines.  Then in 2011 an editor saw some of my Big Appetites photographs – a series I began in 2003 and worked on continuously – and syndicated them in Europe.  They went viral and now the work on this series is essentially a full time career.  The works has been published in more than 100 countries and fine art photographs from the series can be found in galleries and private collections around the world.

How did you get interested in photography?

When I was about 9 years old my parents went away on a vacation to the South Pacific.  My dad went out and bought an SLR before he left and came back with heaps of photos.  I grew up in New England where the winters were long.  So seeing all of those Ektachrome slides with vivid tropical colors made an impression.  When I was about 15 I was given a camera as a gift.  And that was at the official beginning of my learn-as-you-go photography education.

Do you artist/photographer inspired your art?

I can’t say that there were any specific artists or photographers that have inspired my work.  I have always been a creative person and photography is just one of many creative outlets for me.  Though there is no doubt that all of the media I consume (art, photography, cinema, architecture, design, etc.) nourishes my creative spirit in some way.

Iwo Cupcake 900px

Could you please tell us anything about your technique and creating process?

My Big Appetites fine art photographs feature tiny figures photographed against real food backgrounds.  There is a lot of cheating in commercial food photography so from the start I made a decision that I wanted the food in my images to be real.  This can present a bit of a challenge because while food offers beautiful color and texture as a perishable product it can also have a lot of flaws.  But I made a creative decision to work with only natural light on the whole series.  And where I live in Seattle we have very flat, even light that is really perfect for food photography.  I try to work with food that is fresh and in season (to eliminate having to do hours of digital clean-up afterwards).  After the food is selected I bring it back to my studio where it is cleaned, cut and styled.  I’ll look carefully at the geometry of the food, selecting the best angles.  From there it is a matter of determining the context of how my tiny figures will be interacting with the food.  This is an iterative process in which changes are made to the composition and often to the figures.  When I’m satisfied I’ll usually shoot through a range of f-stops so I’ll have different choices later in the editing process. Sometimes I’m dissatisfied and will go back to reshoot.  But most times I manage to find an image that I think is successful.

pancake production 900px

Describe your ideal photographic situation

I don’t think there is ever an “ideal” situation.  Working in the studio on my fine art images is certainly closer to ideal – versus the work I do as a photojournalist– as I obviously have more control of the situation, the light, the temperature, etc. than I do when shooting a rapidly unfolding breaking news story in which you need to compose images among the chaos.  But if you consider that some of the best things happen creatively when you are working with the unexpected, I think a photographer should always strive to keep away from “ideal” working situations.  Being out of your comfort zone, having to be innovative and being surprised usually creates something more interesting.

How much preparation do you put into taking a photograph?

This can vary according to the type of work I’m doing.  If I’m shooting images for a feature story I definitely invest time in doing research.  If shooting a breaking news story I have no time to prepare as that is a very dynamic, and rapidly moving situation.  With my fine art work I generally approach the composition fresh.  Sometimes I will get ideas in advance and will sketch out the composition.  Though most times I like to respond to doors of opportunity as they open.  I always think of that line from the book Out of Africa that reads:  The world was made round on purpose so that we can never see too far ahead over the horizon.  That’s not to dismiss the professional focus that I bring to my work and the way that nearly three decades behind the camera has prepared me for that next click of the shutter.  But one should also relish the happy accident.

What’s your useable-to-unusable ratio when you review images from a shoot?

An interesting question that I’d be curious to know about other photographers, but really difficult for me to quantify as it is not a number that I ever track (especially in a digital world where it costs me the same to shoot 20 frames as it does 2000).  If I’m shooting while traveling I might shoot 700 frames in an average day (with two cameras: one wide and one telephoto). From that I’d be happy to get 50-70 frames that are keepers.  As a journalist I might shoot 100 frames and send my editors 5-8.  Shooting fine art it sometimes can take as few as 20 frames or as many as 100 to get the image I’m looking for.  So widely variable.

green bean sawmill 900px

What quick advice do you have for someone who wants to improve his or her photography skills?

I’m sure you’ve heard theold axiom that there’s no such thing as a stupid question.  However there certainly are wrong questions.  Young photographers contact me all the time asking me A. what kind of gear I shoot with and B. how I was able to gain notoriety for my work and how they can become famous.  I always remind them that equipment brands don’t matter and than no piece of gear I have is ever as important than the subject standing at the end of my lens.  In fact, sometimes having less gear requires you to be more clever and innovative in getting a shot.  And in regard to notoriety, a photographer’s focus should always be making good images, not on becoming famous.  What really made the difference for me was that, despite taking many thousands of bad pictures in the beginning, I didn’t get discouraged and I didn’t stop.  Every time you hit that shutter button you’re becoming a more experienced photographer.

I also think you should try to be as diverse as possible with your photography.  Make an effort to get out of your comfort zone.  Stay away from the cliches (like photographing too many pets, flowers, sunsets, insects and hot air balloons, etc. ).  Get yourself a good collapsible reflector and learn how to make great portraits so you can document the people in your world with the natural light in which they exist.  Lastly, avoid wide angle lenses as much as possible.  They can produce a field of view that is wonderfully dramatic but they’re also the lenses that are easiest to screw up with.  Get yourself a good prime 35mm or 50mm lens instead and stick with it.  You’ll get much better results.  Other than that, avoid using a flash as much as possible and never shoot in the harsh light in the middle of the day.  Morning and afternoon light are best.

doughy footsteps 900px

From time to time many photographers find themselves in a creative rut or uninspired to shoot. Does this ever happen to you and if so how do you overcome these phases?

I can’t really say that I ever have uninspired periods.  More often my problem is that I simply don’t have the time to accomplish everything I want to do creatively.  With that said, creativity works different for everyone and you can’t turn it on and off like a faucet.  If your photography isn’t happening, then I’d recommend trying to be creative in another way.  Writing, drawing, playing music, cooking, chainsaw ice sculpting…whatever that might be.  You can also spend time feeding your creative engine going to local museums, art shows seeing movies.  Though it is important to be mindful of what you’re looking at and not just passively consuming content.  Finally, it is also important to have balance and  to be able to rest your mind and relax so that you can be open to new ideas and new inspirations.  The reason why so many of us think of good ideas in the shower is that it is a time when – bathed in hot water with our eyes closed – we’re more relaxed and our minds are more clear. As much as we’re driven to constantly record what we’re seeing with our cameras there is value in sometimes putting the camera aside and having experiences with both eyes open as opposed to always looking through the viewfinder.

What future plans do you have? What projects would you like to accomplish?

Again, I feel more comfortable being poised to respond to doors of opportunity as they open instead of trying to divine a future road map.  I’m in the very fortunate position to be receiving a steady stream of editorial and commercial commissions which are keeping me busy and my calendar full.  My Big Appetites work is continuing to sell well through my galleries so part of my focus will no doubt continue to be on fulfilling orders for fine art collectors.  After the holidays I’m looking forward to beginning work on an entirely new body of work. [Official Website][dodho magazine]

strawberry seed poachers 900px

More Stories

Gender identity; Lexi by Timothi Jane Graham

Gender identity; Lexi by Timothi Jane Graham

I first met Lexi at the beginning of her medical gender affirmation journey in December 2020. At 58 years old, she had identified and lived as a woman for decades behind closed doors. She was born and raised in Ecuador where the LGBTQ community faces intense discrimination which often ends in violence.
Metaversic world by Byoung Ho Rhee

Metaversic world by Byoung Ho Rhee

With the innovation of digital technologies such as artificial intelligence in the 21st century, the world of metaverse is being witnessed around our lives such as games and movies. The age of mixing virtual with reality. In the metaverse world, the cyberspace where virtual and reality are harmonized is called mixed reality MR.
Border without limits by Monika Ruiz-Bernal

Border without limits by Monika Ruiz-Bernal

As far as I remember, I have always questioned my own identity, and in fact, the mere notion of identity. I was born and grew up in Bogota, Colombia, a South-America high-altitude city, spreading north to south, ranging from the poorest to the wealthiest neighborhoods, where the notion of classes is very vivid.

Portrait Photography Awards

We invite you to participate in the first edition
of the Portrait Photography Awards. We are looking
for the best portrait for this year, 2023.

Our call is open to any artistic interpretation of portrait photography.

DEADLINE | FRIDAY, MARCH 31, 2023

PHOTO BY © JOSE GIRL
Mapusa Road Washermen by Henri Kartmann

Mapusa Road Washermen by Henri Kartmann

At daybreak, the light is splendid on the plain of Mapusa road. The laundry seems to float in the void. The laundry team is already hard at work. They are low caste people, none of them speak English, but after exchanging tea and cigarettes contact is established and I spend the morning with them.
Snow Journey by Mitsuharu Maeda

Snow Journey by Mitsuharu Maeda

Mitsuharu Maeda creates works based on the concept of journey. It's a more evocative landscape, with snow as a motif. This is because I believe that the severe yet beautiful snowy scenery, which has lost its color to the extreme due to monochrome,
Journey into the depths of Chad by Elena Molina

Journey into the depths of Chad by Elena Molina

We are in the Borkou desert, in the Sahel; that torrid plain burned by an implacable sun and a wind that roars until exhaustion. However, this is where the Tubus, since ancient times, decided to live.

Featured Stories

Infrared Silence Series by Nathan Wirth

Infrared Silence Series by Nathan Wirth

Within the folds of any subject, an imperceptible silence resides, even resonates -a silence unheard within the nooks and crannies of the ruffles of noise that blanket the world we all live in- such matters hinting that, camera in hand
Street Stories by Castro Frank

Street Stories by Castro Frank

Contemporary Street Photographer, Castro Frank was born on August 28th, 1983. This Los Angeles native’s style of photography fuses together a journalistic approach with an artistic eye to create imagery.
Photochemistry : Pears in the afternoon by Karoline Schneider

Photochemistry : Pears in the afternoon by Karoline Schneider

Originally a fine artist, I swapped my brushes for a camera and my colours for photochemistry. That’s how the ‘paintings’ that I never painted emerged.
Black World by Erberto Zani

Black World by Erberto Zani

It is a dark world that millions of people are forced to work in, made of mines, dust and fear. Characterized by oppression, violence and trampled human rights; where the presence of enormous deposits of minerals transform into a curse for the people through the illegality caused by games of power and corrupt economies.
Growing in Darkness by Mário Macilau

Growing in Darkness by Mário Macilau

Mário Macilau is a photographer who works with “the ghosts of society” – socially isolated groups and subcultures – activating subjects and their stories though his psychologically sensitive yet loaded photographic lens.
Grabarka by Xavier Ferrer Chust

Grabarka by Xavier Ferrer Chust

This is the most important location of Orthodox worship in Poland. Every year Grabarka is visited by more than 10,000 pilgrims. The Holy Mount Grabarka is an important place for pilgrimages by Orthodox believers in Poland
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/01/bannerpr.jpg

We invite you to participate in the first edition of the Portrait Photography Awards. Our call is open to any artistic interpretation of portrait photography.

https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/BAnImage.jpg

ImageRights provides intelligent image search and copyright enforcement services to photo agencies and professional photographers worldwide.

https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/mono2022.jpg

The best 100 images along with the winning images published in the yearly book “Monochromatic – Best Photographers of 2022”

https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/12/banner24.jpg

Call For Entries #24 | After 23 editions and more than 100 published photographers, our print edition has proven to be a simply effective promotional channel.

Community Swing by Stephanie Gengotti

Community Swing by Stephanie Gengotti

They walk among us, but they are not like us. They live among us, but they don’t live like we do. They have chosen to “live” in the legendary dual decade of the 1940s and 1950s, the years of gospel, R&B, swing, be bop and rock n’ roll.
Olympe Tits : Visual Artist

Olympe Tits : Visual Artist

Olympe Tits is a self-taught photographer. Born in Marseille, 3rd April 1992, she has now settled in Antwerp, Belgium. She combines this with a life as a contemporary dancer, teaching at the Royal Ballet school of Antwerp and choreographing for dance-theatre pieces.
Japanese Aquariums by George Nobechi

Japanese Aquariums by George Nobechi

Japanese Aquariums is a journey into some of my oldest, most treasured childhood memories. Whenever I visited my grandparents in the small, northern Japanese city of Otaru, my grandfather, a high school teacher and an enormous influence in my life, would take me to the aquarium.
Rohingya refugees by Joxe Inazio Kuesta

Rohingya refugees by Joxe Inazio Kuesta

We arrived at Teknaf, in the district of Cox's Bazar (Bangladesh) at noon, and that same afternoon we left for the refugee camps. It was raining, and the moto-rickshaw carrying us broke down halfway
Los tatuadores de Cuba by Allison Dinner

Los tatuadores de Cuba by Allison Dinner

Amongst all the changes happening in Cuba right now one thing is staying the same, owning a tattoo shop and giving tattoos are prohibited. They are the only art form in Cuba that is still highly illegal.
Fine art photographs; Big Appetites by Christopher Boffoli

Fine art photographs; Big Appetites by Christopher Boffoli

Big Appetites (2003-present) is a a series of fine art photographs that features tiny, meticulously hand-painted figures photographed against real food environments.

Trending Stories

Dazeley discovers London’s Theatres

Dazeley discovers London’s Theatres

As a born and bred Londoner and regular theatre goer, Dazeley had been intrigued to investigate and learn more about the history and what goes on behind the scenes in London’s amazing theatre buildings. 
Poetry of silence IX by Roland Blum

Poetry of silence IX by Roland Blum

“More and more, abstract aerial desert photography is becoming my lifetime project”, says the Liechtenstein-based photographer Roland Blum. His ongoing work “Poetry of Silence” was created in the Namib Desert. The Namib Desert is often referred to as the world’s oldest desert
Vevchanski Carnival- Synonym for culture and tradition by Biljana Jurukovski

Vevchanski Carnival- Synonym for culture and tradition by Biljana Jurukovski

Here it is how the story of pride, resilience, rebellion, culture and tradition are intertwined in the small village of Vevchani in Republic of Macedonia.
Mountains of fire by Justyna Mikina

Mountains of fire by Justyna Mikina

This series of images, 'Montañas del Fuego' (Mountains of Fire) were taken in December 2019 from various locations around the volcanic island of Lanzarote. 
Five minutes with Barbara Diener

Five minutes with Barbara Diener

Since I was young I obsessively wanted to capture most moments of my life.
Interview with Stefanie Minzenmay; Published in our print edition #01

Interview with Stefanie Minzenmay; Published in our print edition #01

Stefanie Minzenmay was born in 1970 and lives in Neuss and Oldenburg, Germany; she studied and graduated in law at the University of Münster.
Journey of the indian woman by Lopamudra Talukdar

Journey of the indian woman by Lopamudra Talukdar

India is a country in a hurry, a country everyone is waking up to and taking notice of. While our scientists are reaching out to the moon our industrialists are taking the world by storm with major acquisitions.
The other side of Santorini by Petros Koublis

The other side of Santorini by Petros Koublis

The project was commissioned by Vedema, a Luxury Collection Resort, one of Santorini's most unique and prestigious hotels, built around a 400 year old winery made of dark volcanic stones.
Discarded by Steve Geer

Discarded by Steve Geer

In Chicago, behind the shops and restaurants, there are service alleys. These narrow canyons are lined with dumpsters which are filled each day and emptied each night.

Other Stories

stay in touch
Join our mailing list and we'll keep you up to date with all the latest stories, opportunities, calls and more.
We use Sendinblue as our marketing platform. By Clicking below to submit this form, you acknowledge that the information you provided will be transferred to Sendinblue for processing in accordance with their terms of use
We’d love to
Thank you for subscribing!
Submission
Dodho Magazine accepts submissions from emerging and professional photographers from around the world.
Their projects can be published among the best photographers and be viewed by the best professionals in the industry and thousands of photography enthusiasts. Dodho magazine reserves the right to accept or reject any submitted project. Due to the large number of presentations received daily and the need to treat them with the greatest respect and the time necessary for a correct interpretation our average response time is around 5/10 business days in the case of being accepted.
- Between 10/30 images of your best images, in case your project contains a greater number of images which are part of the same indivisible body of work will also be accepted. You must send the images in jpg format to 1200px and 72dpi and quality 9. (No borders or watermarks)
- A short biography along with your photograph. (It must be written in the third person)
- Title and full text of the project with a minimum length of 300 words. (Texts with lesser number of words will not be accepted)
This is the information you need to start preparing your project for its presentation
To send it, you must compress the folder in .ZIP format and use our Wetransfer channel specially dedicated to the reception of works. Links or projects in PDF format will not be accepted. All presentations are carefully reviewed based on their content and final quality of the project or portfolio. If your work is selected for publication in the online version, it will be communicated to you via email and subsequently it will be published.
Contact
How can we help? Got an idea or something you'd like share? Please use the adjacent form, or contact contact@dodho.com
Thank You. We will contact you as soon as possible.
Submission
Dodho Magazine accepts submissions from emerging and professional photographers from around the world.
Their projects can be published among the best photographers and be viewed by the best professionals in the industry and thousands of photography enthusiasts. Dodho magazine reserves the right to accept or reject any submitted project. Due to the large number of presentations received daily and the need to treat them with the greatest respect and the time necessary for a correct interpretation our average response time is around 5/10 business days in the case of being accepted. This is the information you need to start preparing your project for its presentation.
To send it, you must compress the folder in .ZIP format and use our Wetransfer channel specially dedicated to the reception of works. Links or projects in PDF format will not be accepted. All presentations are carefully reviewed based on their content and final quality of the project or portfolio. If your work is selected for publication in the online version, it will be communicated to you via email and subsequently it will be published.
Get in Touch
How can we help? Got an idea or something you'd like share? Please use the adjacent form, or contact contact@dodho.com
Thank You. We will contact you as soon as possible.