BEN FINK / THE TASTE MAKER
Rocket director Ben Fink studied painting and graphic design in art school. While still living in Memphis, he got his first gig photo assisting. After a few years of that, he broke out on his own as a still photographer. His talent carried him far. Then digital changed the industry, at which point he reinvented himself again.
In search of a bigger market, he shot low and moved to New York, where he landed, worked tirelessly for Saveur magazine—among others—and made a name for himself in the food photography world. His thoughtful yet not-overly-slick approach to food made an impact on that genre as well. Then, about five years ago, Ben discovered directing. Suddenly, by adding motion to his stills and voice, sound, and music to motion, a whole other side of creativity presented itself. Like preparing a ten-course meal, he found that one can add infinite layers to the story and bring complex conceptual color and texture to the narrative.
Ben has done everything there is to be done in food photography, twice. He continues to learn, grow, and lead in that industry. After all these years, he thinks he may have discovered filmmaking is his true love. He’s driven by and drawn to passion and those who seem to share it for whatever they do. Of documentaries and storytelling, he says he “would shoot people if they were passionate about digging ditches.”
Ben is currently the photographer and commercial director of choice for some of the most popular food professionals of our day. Bobby Flay, Rose Levy Beranbaum, Paula Deen, the Deen Brothers, the Neelys, Anne Burrell, Guy Fieri, Jacques Pepin, Carol Alt, Rick Rodgers, Michael Symon, Ina Garten, Rachael Ray, and Sandra Lee have all entrusted Ben with their food and lifestyle photography for their many cookbooks.
Ben is also effortlessly comfortable with celebrities who were media stars before they were cookbook authors, including Eva Longoria, Trisha Yearwood, Ted Allen, and Teresa Giudice. He was virtually the in-house photographer for the Culinary Institute of America for 10 years, and has provided the visuals for over a dozen of their beautifully photographed and intricate books as well as video. His corporate client list is equally impressive, including Hellman’s Mayonnaise, Eggo Waffles, McDonald’s, Ragu, Raleys, Burger King, Dominoes American Express, Tate’s Cookies, Viking, and Kohl’s, and many others. Ben’s photography has graced many New York Times bestsellers, IACP, and James Beard Award winners.