Skilled French Photographers Use Figures and Food to Build Miniature Worlds


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I’m sorry, Mom, but teasing your food is so much fun. Particularly when you approach it with the creativity and meticulous attention to detail that French photographers Akiko Ida and Pierre Javelle have devoted to their MINIMIAM series.

By day, the couple works as commercial food photographers, but in their free time, they create charming tableaux that employ food to convey a narrative. Typically, they employ the imaginative interaction of miniature plastic model railroad figurines with different delicacies, such as a suburban husband slicing the fuzzy surface of a kiwi fruit or Alpinists ascending a fluffy pastry.

Javelle tells Wired, “This scale is really interesting because it allows you to work in the very small.” “The figurines’ size is ideal for assembling unexpected scenes with seemingly commonplace components.”

Since 2002, Ida and Javelle have intermittently worked on the MINIMIAM series. The project has been displayed in publications, gallery shows, and an online gallery that adheres to their desired method for presentation: Pairs of images are displayed, the first of which shows a close-up of plastic peons in action, and the second of which pans out to show the larger scene.

The collection began as a means of fusing their passions for micro narrative and photography. Ida kept intricate food journals filled with small drawings, while Javelle was a comic book fan as a child.

Since then, in the demanding realm of professional food photography, it has also developed into a welcome outlet for maintaining a sense of exploration and enjoyment. “Above all, the aim of these pictures is to please people,” explained Javelle.

Images credited to Pierre Javelle and Akiko Ida, used with permission.


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