Talented French Photogs Create Miniature Worlds Using Figurines and Food


Sorry, Mom, but playing with your food rocks. Especially if you do it with the imagination and exacting detail that French photographers Akiko Ida and Pierre Javelle have poured into their series MINIMIAM.

Commercial food photographers by day, in their spare time the pair specializes in winsome tableaux that use food to tell a story. Their typical method is to have tiny plastic figurines used in model railroading interact with various foodstuffs in creative ways — a suburban husband mowing the hairy surface of a kiwi fruit, for example, or Alpinists scaling a puffy pastry.

“This scale is really interesting as it allows you to work in the very small,” Javelle tells Wired. “The size of the figurines is perfect for creating surprising scenes with very ordinary elements.”





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Ida and Javelle have been working on the MINIMIAM series off-and-on since 2002. The project has presented in gallery exhibits, publications and an online gallery that follows their preferred presentation format: Images are presented in pairs, with the first showing a close-up shot of plastic peons at work and the second panning out to reveal the wider scene.

The series started as a way to combine their interests in photography and storytelling in miniature — Javelle was obsessed with comics as a boy, while Ida created elaborate food journals full of tiny drawings.

Since then, it’s also become a welcome outlet to retain a spirit of fun and adventure in the exacting world of professional food photography. “The purpose of these images is, above all, to please people,” explained Javelle.

(via Wired)

Image credits: Photographs by Akiko Ida and Pierre Javelle and used by permission.

  • MarvinB7

    So much fun!

  • Tarek Cahier De Texte

    wow much fun.
    over colors.
    so food.
    very little.

  • Azety

    DAT COLORS ! Very nice job. Bravo à vous et cocorico

  • Sid Ceaser

    Totally awesome. I want prints!

  • Oj0

    Much Doge.

    These are really really cool, I’m at work at the moment and the only reason for this message is so I can quickly find the post once I’m home :P

  • pokeken

    great compositions…terrible website layout

  • Guest

    Meh, this is now the second superficial Slinkachu copy that gets featured at PetaPixel.

  • Tyler Magee

    the peanut one was a real winner for me haha

  • Omar Salgado

    I like it, but I don’t deem it memorable. I mean, the only thing I take with my is how he plays with appearances, proportions and textures.

  • Pierre Javelle

    Minimiam since 2002.

  • viki reed

    Christopher Boffoli would and should have big issue with these images. They’re styled and shot so similarly to his work….I’m sure his team is on it.

  • dan110024

    I had a look at Slinkachu’s little people series… Yeah, they’re good, but I think these food ones are much funnier. I laughed out loud at a few of these and I was barely raising an eyebrow at Slinkachu’s. If someone wants to copy another persons style and they can do it better, then that’s great. If they don’t turn out as well, then I’m sure they still had fun doing it.

  • dan110024

    I’m sure his team isn’t. Clearly many people have done this style of photography before. With that attitude, I might as well just stop taking photos of everything all together.

  • dan110024

    I sat there for a good 10 seconds waiting for something before randomly moving my mouse around and clicking. And I find myself tech-savvy. God help an elderly person who stumbles across the site :-/

  • viki reed

    i interviewed him. Boffoli has a team of lawyers who are constantly on it. He’s one of the biggest takedown notice filers in the biz and he’s won some battles. He admits he’s not the first person to do this concept but there are European photogs who are not only replicating his style and lighting but copying the subject matter and the action in his photographs. Check out the story and you’ll see the side by side comparisons on the story i did at anewdomain and on my blog, ‘viki reed photography’. no lie.

  • Jules Jones

    WILLY ROJAS started his photo serie with little figures on food way back in 1997. His work is on permanent display in an art gallery in the center of Barcelona with hundreds of visitors each day, and also shown on numerous art-fairs around the globe. Sorry to say but Minimiam got “their” idea right there, in Barcelona. The Avocado and skater image is stolen, and so is the idea. And Slinkachu, well, he has lived in Barcelona for a while and has certainly came by this gallery too…