See those tastebud tingling dishes on menus and food catalogues? There’s a reason they make you want to devour everything on the plate. It’s called food styling and photography. Here, we are rounding up the best of Delhi-based photographers and stylists that are behind that growing cake belly {indirectly atleast}. Take a look; we’re sure you’ll be bowled over.

Arjun Kartha

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Who: Based in G-Town, Arjun wields magic with a camera and some. With a background in advertising and computer science, this food photographer realised that he didn’t want to sit behind a computer all day {ironically, that’s what he ends up doing}.

What he’s known for: Running a photography studio called Thoda Strong with his wife and partner Praerna Kartha, Arjun creates food imagery that makes one just want to dig in to that food. His background in advertising and communication is the reason he is able to visualise what clients are looking for, and how images are going to be used. He is known for making food look good, even though some of the tricks used to style it can render that plate inedible.

How to contact him: You can email him at arjun@thoda-strong.com.

You can also find him on his website here and on Facebook here.

Praerna Kartha

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Who: A food stylist and blogger, she is the other half of Thoda Strong. A fan of baking, and devouring cookbooks and shows as a teenager, her now running a photography studio has been a combined effect of meeting husband Arjun, and a distaste for a career in marketing. Now she creates food imagery, one recipe and restaurant at a time.

What she’s known for: Praerna is known for shots that involve a lot of raw ingredients and elements, because they afford the kind of freedom that a more clear brief doesn’t. Commercial food styling keeps her on her toes; we give props to her imagination, especially since when we heard that some of the ice-cream shots we saw weren’t of real ice-cream at all!

How to contact her: pk@thoda-strong.com

You can also find her website here and on Facebook here.

Sujata Sadr

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Who: A commercial food stylist and photographer, she came into the field after all the major bridges of education, marriage and family had been crossed. She did the food page for Cosmopolitan magazine for a year before she took up formal training and got back into the zone, with all her ammo ready.

What she’s known for: Think burgers; she worked with Wendy’s recently. What Sujata is most valued for is her mixing and matching of hues. The play of colour palates on her food plates make her images a treat to the senses. Her love for texture and tones shines through in her work, and more so in how much she actually loves preparing for and actually doing each shoot.

How to contact her: You can mail her at sujatasadr@gmail.com

You can also find her here on her website and here on Facebook.

Rekha Kakkar

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Who: Rekha is a food lover, and a commercial food photographer by profession. Her Twitter bio describes her true avatar, “Food Photographer, Food Columnist, Food Blogger”. She assures us that she likes food more than she likes people.

What she’s known for: Food is Rekha’s muse, and professionally, she is known for her food and product photography. If there is one thing that she hates about food photography, it’s over-polished shots. Though as a professional photographer, she does give in sometimes, given that that is what advertising photography requires. Her calling remains editorial food photography, for the simple reason that it allows you to be more creative in terms of creating a mood. She likes her audience to feel like they’re a part of the picture, and to be able to completely relate to it.

How to contact her: You can mail her at rekhakakkar@rekhakakkar.com or call 9871132357

You can also check out her work here  and see her Facebook page here.

Anwita+Arun

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Who: Anwita and Arun Sarin work together as food stylist and photographer respectively. Having previously worked together  with textiles, they broke away to pursue something of their own. And so we have Anwita+Arun, a couple that works together and stays together.

What are they known for: Knowing that building a portfolio is difficult in this day and age, the duo began working with food. {Honestly, you can start in your own kitchen.} That is what brought them into hospitality, and gave their work a very interesting direction. They don’t deal too much with close-ups, because to them, that hardly says anything about the food in question. The Sarins like to work with creating imagery around the food, using complimentary colours and backdrops, while continuously critiquing and moulding each other’s work.

How to contact them: 9811422752, Or mail them at arunsarin@rocketmail.com

You can also check out their website here. Or log onto their Facebook page here.

Atul Pratap Chauhan

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Who: Former Hotelier, Atul Pratap Chauhan was always excited by the technical aspects of photography, and initially clubbed it with his love for travel. Slowly however, he branched into other fields, and because of his career in hospitality, food was always on the radar.

What he’s known for: Glossy picture-perfect images you would encounter in advertisements and hotel brochures.

How to contact him: Email him at pratap.atul@gmail.com

Find out more and check out his work here.

Anshika Varma

Food photography by Anshika Varma.

Food photography by Anshika Varma.

Who: She picked up the camera in 2007 and hasn’t put it away since. Her love for food, and exposure to food photography during an internship with Time Out led to her specialising in food, while photographing other things on the side. You may have seen her images in Ritu Dalmia’s Diva Green Cook Book, or even Adil Ahmad’s book, Tehzeeb {a cook book based on Ahmad’s family recipes from Lucknow}. Anshika likes to explore spaces, cultures and communities through food, and is inclined towards food that tells a story.

What she’s known for: Food photography, and pictures for cook books.

How to contact her: You can email her at anshika.photo@gmail.com

Find out more about her here and follow her on Facebook here.

Pradeep Das Gupta

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Who: He candidly told us that he did not choose food photography, but that it chose him. Pradeep Das Gupta got into photography professionally way back in 1982. After trying his hand at many areas in the industry {and successfully so}, he realised that clients appreciated his food images the most. He was thus pushed into this specialisation and has, since, done countless shoots for restaurants and brands.

What he’s known for: Creating beautiful food shots {more often than not, styled by his Food Stylist wife Indranie} and capturing food at its best.

How to contact him: You can email him at pradeepdasgupta@gmail.com

Find out more and check out his work here.

Bharat Aggarwal

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Who: He started with photography in 2004, and did a lot of shoots that required him to travel to hotels and resorts all across the country. This is where Bharat also got an opportunity to venture into food photography, given that he was already a huge food enthusiast. This led to many assignments with prominent names such as Fresc Co, Kingdom of Dreams, Travel Plus and other magazines and before he knew it, Bharat was immersed in the world of food photography.

What he’s known for: Magazine shoots, hotel shoots, restaurant shoots.

How to contact him: You can email him at images@bharataggarwal.com

Find out more and check out his work here.

Niharika Shukla

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Who: Flitting between Delhi and Jaipur, Niharika loves to click the different food India has to offer; desserts and milkshakes are her personal favourites. Although she holds a degree in Political Science, and a diploma in Journalism from LSR {she started her career at The Indian Express}, she soon realised photography was where her heart was, and thus quit and set out travelling with her camera.

What she’s known for: Styling food and photographing it to make it look delicious.

How to contact her: You can email her at photo.niharika@gmail.com or call her at +91-8130483388

Find out more and check out her work here and follow her on Facebook here.