Acclaimed food photographer Aubrie Pick has died at the age of 42 after a brief battle with an aggressive form of cancer.
Pick, who photographed numerous high-profile cookbooks and covers for top food magazines, was diagnosed with stage four lymphoma in March.
She passed away in hospital in San Francisco on October 2 and her death was confirmed by her husband Erik Newton on Instagram. Pick is survived by her husband Erik and their two-year-old daughter Romy.
According to an in-depth report by the San Francisco Chronicle, Pick shot images for best-selling cookbooks including celebrity chef Chrissy Teigen’s Cravings, Kristin Cavillari’s Truly Simple, Tanya’s Holland’s California Soul, and Andrea Nguyen’s Vietnamese Food Any Day.
Pick’s photographs were also featured on the covers of Bon Appetit and Food & Wine magazines.
An Influential and Unmistakeable Photographer
Pick’s collaborators, who are among some of the best-known chefs and restaurant owners in the U.S., say that the photographer’s vibrant images left an indelible mark on the national food scene.
San Francisco Chronicle reports that Pick, who was born in 1981 in Los Angeles, first picked up a camera in junior high school and went on to study photography at the San Francisco Art Institute.
Pick met her husband Newton at an event in San Francisco in the mid-2000s and told him about her ambitions as a food photographer on an early trip together as a couple.
“She said, ‘I would know I’m a success if I got to shoot one cookbook and I got to be in Bon Appetit,’” Newton tells the publication.
“By the end of the year, her work had appeared in the magazine and she had photographed three cookbooks. As soon as she declared it, it just cascaded.”
Pick’s images for Chrissy Teigen’s first New York Times bestselling 2016 cookbook Cravings marked a pivotal moment in her career.
According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Pick’s aesthetic — which “was marked by by revealing personal portraits and dishes saturated with light but never washed out” — had a significant impact on other photographers. Food photographer Emma K. Morris told the publication that she could pick up a cookbook and know that Pick shot the images without even seeing her name.
Top Chef alumna and restaurateur Tanya Holland and others reportedly hoped to work with Pick on their future projects. Food and dining editor of the Washington Post Joe Yonan says he delayed the shoot for his new cookbook by six months, in the hope that Pick would make a full recovery in time.
Pick’s husband tells the San Francisco Chronicle that Pick was about to start chemotherapy when she was offered the dream opportunity to shoot country singer Dolly Parton’s upcoming cookbook.
Nonetheless, Pick embraced the opportunity and she and her family flew to Nashville after eight weeks of chemo. Her husband described how she worked through exhaustion and excruciating pain shooting the cookbook.
Pick’s death has sparked an outpouring of tributes from photographers, chefs, and restaurant owners across the country — including bestselling food author Danielle Walker who said she was “utterly devastated” by her passing.
Image credits: Header photo via Instagram/@aubriepick.