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Art. 23

Diego Padilla Finds Poetry in Food Photography

Capturing Mexico City’s Culinary Lens

Diego Padilla Finds Poetry in Food Photography

We recently spoke to an iconic Mexico City photographer, Diego Padilla, who captures elegant angles of the city and stunning food photographs for some of the most famous Mexican restaurants in the country. He is a mysterious creature, private about most of his comings and goings. We had the rare chance to sit and talk with him over coffee at the Alma Negra Cafe on the ground level part of La Valise in Mexico City.

What made you get into photography?

To be honest, I didn’t know I wanted to be a photographer. It was something that happened organically, and I am grateful every day that I found such an amazing career.

You took your first photos in the kitchen. How did you get started as a photographer?

Yes, since I was little, I have been in contact with my creative side. Once I became an adult, I decided to be a chef and explore my creativity in the world of kitchens. Reading through cookbooks and exploring the photography inspired me to get into the kitchen to capture the magic through a camera lens, and thus I began to take photos documenting what happened behind the scenes of my favorite kitchens and restaurants. It was there that I discovered my passion for photography.

How would you characterize your style? Your Instagram page is splashed with elegant shots of beautiful plates of food, strong architecture, and very poetic moments captured in a still life painting style.

I think my style is timeless, elegant, and clean. I like to capture real moments and take care of the fine details of every shot so that it comes out perfect. The reality is that all the moments of life and places that we see and live are beautiful. I like to expose that.

What is the most inspiring thing about being a photographer in Mexico City?

Without a doubt, how dynamic and ever-changing it is. We live in an extremely surreal city, everything happens at the same time, and I like to be part of that.

What is your dream photo shoot?

It changes over time. Right now, I would love to document the art and creations of people and brands that I admire. Although my constant dream photoshoot has always been to take portraits of people who inspire me, I want to meet them through my lens and learn from their stories — the way they live their lives 

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