chicago stylist

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Capturing the Social Side of Food with @samishome

To see more of Samantha’s food photography, follow @samishome on Instagram.

“My job is to tell stories of people through objects,” says Chicago-born prop stylist Samantha Wong (@samishome), who currently lives in Hong Kong. Her job, along with her passion for traveling, connecting with people and living a creative lifestyle, are the things that inspire her photography — and food often plays a big role in those moments. “I’m totally a social eater, as I tend to ‘splurge’ more when it’s a shared experience,” says Samantha, who started to include stylistic elements into her meals with friends and share those occasions through her photos.

“Food is very much a platform for social engagement and interaction: My photos capture that community as much as they tell about the ‘deliciousness’ of the food itself,” explains Samantha. Her biggest trick to creating a sense of interaction on the table is to incorporate people’s hands into the image. “Their anonymity allows a viewer to imagine themselves at the table, engaging in the spreads themselves,” she says. When Samantha encounters the right lighting, interiors and composition during her snacks and meals with her peers, there’s a good chance she’ll take out her smartphone for a photo shoot. “I always ask friends to have their nails painted, wear small pieces of jewelry or dress in clothes with interesting texture to add a stylistic angle and reflect the attitude of our destination,” she reveals. “My friends have become expert hand models as a result of this!”