The Culture of Food

Texas A&M graduate found her niche taking photographs of food for magazines and cookbooks.

Penny De Los Santos ’91 is renowned for her ability to take photographs that tell stories of unique cultures. She credits her ability to fit into these different environments to her days as a Texas A&M University student.

“Texas A&M wasn’t a perfect fit for me because it wasn’t a totally creative environment, but I thrived, I think, because it wasn’t,” the New York City resident said. “I feel like I was in a microcosm during my time at A&M. I was an insider, but felt like an outsider. It was a cultural experience, just like every one of my photography assignments. A&M is very different than most places. I know that now. It prepared me for the other environments where I felt like an outsider and have to sound like an insider.”

De Los Santos developed her photography style working for National Geographic. Now a freelance photographer, she has found her niche taking photographs of food for magazines and cookbooks. “I love how food brings people together in such a positive, organic way,” she said. “There’s so much history with food. You learn about the migration of food and how it tells us about the people there and the story of the place where they live.” Check out some of Penny’s work.

  • A group of Iraqi refugees living in exile in Beirut break their Ramadan fast in the evening.
  • Men work in a bustling fruit market in Bahia, Brazil.
  • During a break from work, men at the train station drink chai in a tea stall in Delhi, India.
  • Outside of Beirut, Lebanon a woman buys fish in the market.
  • Workers package warm corn tortillas as they come off a conveyer belt at a tortilla factory in West Texas.
  • Thousands of lamb are herded from one pass to another in the early morning outside of Lava Hot Springs, Idaho.
  • This image is from a studio shoot on Gluten-free cooking.

Enter now for a chance to win a Texas A&M party tray and Aggie Mom cookbook! The contest will close Wednesday, Oct. 24 at 11:59 .m.

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