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