James Peterson Studios is a full-service photographic studio that provides everything necessary for a successful food shoot. Many shoots become too expensive because of the need for hiring an outside stylist, a prop stylist, various assistants, props, deliveries, etc. At JPS, none of this is necessary as the styling, propping, and post-production are all done in house. Because JPS has an extensive collection of props, obtaining props from the outside or through the help of a prop stylist is rarely necessary.
James Peterson Studios is in a 4-story brownstone in Brooklyn's Boerum Hill neighborhood. One floor is used as a prep kitchen and general staging area while another floor is used as the studio proper. Typically, three of us work on a shoot--one is in the kitchen prepping while two of us work out the shots. The ambiance is hard-working yet light-hearted.
While Jim typically shoots with available (natural) light, the studio is also equipped with a full line of strobe equipment and hot lights.
JPS is also equipped with an up-to-date digital "light room" capable of processing and preparing images during post-production. Files can be delivered in RGB or CMYK format with CMYK preferred.
James Peterson has been a professional food photographer for close to 20 years and has photographed for numerous publishers and magazines (see client list). The photographs shown in his current portfolio are for a new edition of his award-winning book, Vegetables.
James Peterson grew up in northern California and pursued a degree in Chemistry at UC Berkeley. After his studies, he traveled around the world, working his way from Japan to Hong Kong, to Bangkok, to India and eventually, by land, to Europe. It was in France that he found his calling, inspired by the French attitude toward food and drink.
Eventually, Jim settled in France and worked at two of what were among France's greatest restaurants at the time, George Blanc in the Bresse district, and Vivarois in Paris. It was largely his experiences in these restaurants that shaped his style of cooking and his pursuit of cuisine as a career.
By a series of serendipitous events, James found himself a partner in a small restaurant in Greenwich Village, called Le Petit Robert. It was at this small French restaurant where he experimented and invented and shaped his own style of cooking. It was no doubt in part because of his extravagant use of truffles and foie gras, that the restaurant was closed in 1984. When the restaurant closed Jim started teaching cooking at the French Culinary Institute and later, at Peter Kump's New York Cooking School, now ICE.
It was after translating a series of French pastry books from English to French, that Jim established a relationship with a publisher who encouraged him to write his own book. His first book, Sauces, was published in 1991 and continues to sell as well now as it did the first year after publication. It won the James Beard Cookbook of the Year award and put James Peterson on the map as a serious writer and cook. Other books soon followed: Splendid Soups, nominated for both a James Beard and IACP award, Fish and Shellfish, again nominated for both awards and a winner of an IACP award, Vegetables, winner of a James Beard award, The Essentials of Cooking, nominated for both awards.
It was while working on Fish and Shellfish that James Peterson took up photography and started photographing the images for his own books. Jim is now a professional photographer in his own right and not only photographs the images for his own books but photographs for both commercial and editorial clients.
After the publication of Essentials of Cooking, James wrote and photographed a series of small full-color books about single foods and subjects. These include Simply Salmon, The Duck Cookbook, Sweet Wines, and Simply Shrimp. His most recent books include What’s a Cook to Do?, a collection of kitchen tips, and a full-color general cookbook meant for beginning and moderate-level cooks, the definitive Cooking. He also published Baking, winner of a James Beard award and also Meat, again, a winner of a James Beard award. His latest book, Kitchen Simple, is a collection of easy recipes for busy weeknights. James Peterson has won a total of 7 James Beard awards.