Kristina Lechner: The Fake-Food Photographer

Kristina Lechner

Mitzi Ilagan |

Graphic designer, photographer, chef. Does it seem like something does not belong to the group?

Kristina Lechner, a graphic designer and photographer from Michigan, USA, loves to eat, but couldn’t cook well. She probably could not be satisfied with what she could cook for herself, that’s why, she found a way to express her love for food through the Food Not Food photo series. She gathers materials from all-over the house and then magically turns them into realistic food look-alike. But no, she’s not a fake food photographer but a fake-food photographer.

She developed her liking for photography in her high school days, through a film camera (which was just as convenient during that time). She started learning it on her own, and eventually took up a photography class in college. From then on, taking photographs became her hobby, along with graphic designing.

Food Not Food is a series of photographs of DIY-ed objects so it could resemble real food. It may sound that easy, but Kristina did it in a way that you would care more about what it is made of, then just want to grab and take a bite of it. She challenged herself if she could think out of the box, and she just did. She couldn’t cook as good as culinary chefs, so she decided to do fake ones instead. The ordinary things we see around the house such as paper, cotton, sponge, and eraser probably looked different through Kristina’s eyes–it may be sparkling, teasing her to grab them and make them into something new and awesome. Instagram has helped her in a way that her feed provided her a lot of inspirations from talented artists which she is following.

Kristina Lechner
Pancakes-coasters painted with eye shadow (for texture);
syrup-Neutrogena shower gel;
Butter-adhesive putty

On the photography side, Kristina is into portrait photography as well. She may experience a bit of difficulty in taking photos of people especially when outside the studio, but that does not stop her. “I love capturing the perfect emotion – but it takes patience!”, she expresses. She, just like any other photographer, has a long list of wants such as lenses and lighting tools. But because of her creativity and passion, she could improvise tools for better (and cheaper) photography shots. “Study photography, whether it be in a classroom or learning on your own, and always keep learning”, she advises.

Her works for Food Not Food are really good things to create for advertising because it may not look very realistic unlike using mashed potatoes as ice cream, but at least, you know that its fake and the people would be amazed rather than feel deceived, right?


Kristina Lechner
Donut-rolled up socks;
Frosting-mix of crayon and candle wax;
German chocolate frosting-orange hand soap;
Cream topper-coffee filter;
Sprinkles-dishwasher detergent and crayon shavings;
Jelly donut-sock, baby powder, toothpaste
Kristina Lechner
bun-bath sponge;
patty-washcloth wrapped coasters;
cheese-shammy cloth;
lettuce-tissue paper;
onion-zip ties
Kristina Lechner
Hotdog Sandwich
hotdog-paper towel roll;
bun-Warby Parker eyeglass case;
mustard-Goody hair ties;
chopped onions-chopped cable ties;
shading and coloring-blush and bronzer
Kristina Lechner
noodles-rubber bands;
meatballs-rubber bands;
Parmesan cheese-white granules from a powerball dishwashing capsule;
garlic bread-kitchen sponge (painted with eyeshadow);
garnish-frilly ends of toothpicks

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