Credit: Morgan & Owens
Mobile: +31 6 2276 6085 (NL) | +1 917 412-0813 (USA)
Whatsapp: +01 9174120813
Currently based in South Holland, The Netherlands
James Owens is a commercial and editorial photographer gravitating toward the kitchen, the hearth, the table, the plate, and the delectable dance inside a bustling restaurant. He honors the makers, values the craft, the subtle details of elevating our most basic need of nosh to its creative and intellectual human form.
Over the last two decades traveling the world shooting for magazines -- the likes of Travel + Leisure, Conde Nast Traveller, AFAR, Budget Travel, Destinasian Magazine, and others -- James has had a propensity to wander into any kitchen of any establishment to see what's cooking. The curiosity to find the people/ingredients beyond any table setting has developed a deep appreciation for the makers of food. Sometimes, it's the Auntie and Uncle running a noodle shop out of the back of their Malay home in Melaka, the Michelin star chef making forests and stones out of potatoes and mushrooms, the entrepreneur turning an old donut shack into a soul food lunch counter or the baker of bread and young advocate for heirloom, organic grains. The understanding of food and its relation to human need has shifted. It's beautiful. It's expressive, and it communicates something different every time it's turned, kneaded, whipped, battered-and-fried, sliced, diced, slow-and-low'ed, simmered, stewed, shaken, stirred, and made into a photographable moment.
He owes these experiences to his collaborations with life partner Jessie Morgan-Owens, shooting together under "Morgan & Owens," and to her willingness to let him "always stay too long." He also owes it to humble beginnings as an understudy to the industry and some of the creatives of New York City during a magazine print boom. Self-taught is not the right word for it. Picking up a camera and shooting - lemonade for TONY in Greenpoint or Italian bakeries and frog legs on 125th. He also understudied an admirable cohort of photographers and photo editors, learned what was offered, and valued the friendships made. Within a few years and after establishing a collaborative style and workflow, James and Jessie (Morgan & Owens) were named among Photo District New's 30 Emerging Photographers to Watch (2008). While the images here represent some of James' solo work on location for food clients, they are all informed, illuminated by, and beholden to these ongoing collaborations.
If you've read this far, I hope you want to meet up -- Invite me to your table, include me in your kitchen, share the work we might produce together. James is available for commercial and editorial commission. He is also deeply committed to working directly with chefs and restaurants around him, to shoot and collaborate in the promotion of fantastic food.