Anthony Tahlier considers himself the channel that connects a story, idea, or subject to a visual piece of art. Regardless of the subject matter he is dealing with, he applies his personal techniques to capture something that will hold anyone’s gaze, not just a brief glance. Take a peek at why this humble Chicago photographer’s work is impossible to ignore, and find out where he is taking his talent next.
Anthony Tahlier’s photography portfolio covers everything from food, to interior design, and portraits. He has collaborated with chefs such as Graham Elliot and Daniel Wright to help create and publish three top-selling and award-winning cookbooks thus far in his career. Whatever the project or assignment may be, his personal style is consistent in producing striking photos that are clean and utterly vivid.
You may think he’s a man of few words, however, his photos say so much that it’s easy to understand why photography is Anthony Tahlier’s way of telling us a story.
Where are you from and what influenced your career path?
I’m from Green Bay, Wisconsin. I was influenced by drawing and painting throughout childhood. I always wanted to create, and I actually stumbled across photography as a medium when wasting time at a local school – completely undecided [on my] major. I needed to fill a class requirement and was instantly hooked.
Can you describe your professional style/aesthetic?
I tend to lean towards color and contrast.
What do like about working with different subjects? What are the challenges?
I love working with the chefs in the editorial world.
In commercial life, the technical challenges are my attraction. Typically the client requires a laundry list of specifics from serving size, to layout restraints. It’s fun to watch it come together.
From your experience, what travel destination is a “photographer’s dream?”
In my very modest travels, Venice, Italy had a visual story around every tiny, twisty corner. So many great photo opportunities.
Now that I am married and [am] a dad, my family has been doing a reoccurring vacation to the Grand Cayman Islands. There are wonderful lifestyle and portrait opportunities there. With that being said, I bring gear – but rum, sun, and amazing fish dishes get the best of me…so I realize that not everything needs to be documented.
What are the most rewarding aspects of your career?
Collaborating and creating something out of nothing. Making pictures that, hopefully, stir up a feeling in the viewer. Be it hunger or lust or happiness or curiosity.
Favorite spots in Chicago?
Lincoln Square – favorite neighborhood
The Chipp Inn – my all time favorite drinking joint
Museum of Science and Industry – I could go here every week with my kids. We all love it. I have 3 boys. 6, 4, and 4 months
5 things you can’t live without?
I could live without anything except my family. But for this question, I also would like give a shout out to cameras, movies (all kinds), music (most kinds), and super ice cold beer is pretty nice too.
What’s next for you?
In my food shooting life – we just completed master chef Graham Elliot’s first cookbook, which is selling like crazy. I would love to shoot many more cookbooks, as I feel there is a more elevated personal connection in these projects. The chef is more invested and wants things to be the best they can. This isn’t a marketing piece of a menu item that will come and go with the season, this is something that will hopefully make it into a lot of homes and have people returning to the pages over and over for many years to come. Hopefully people will make these dishes with family and friends time and again, and I think these recipe inventors consider these books a part of their legacy. I am super excited to get to be a part of it.
This is my third book to date. Senate Cookbook with Cincinnati chef Daniel Wright and a high level baking textbook with Andy Chlebana who is American Culinary Federation’s National Pastry Chef of the Year (2008) and one of Dessert Professional’s Top Ten Pastry Chefs in America.
I also have very little focus on one specific subject matter. I try to shoot everything. Much of my work turns to portrait, architecture, and lifestyle imaging – in addition to food.
I have been dealing with a new agent this year and hopefully the client base continues to grow and the assignments continue to be interesting and intriguing.
Not enough? Check out more of Anthony’s work here!