When I was growing up, my dad had a wonderful garden at our home in Pennsylvania, and we always had access to fresh vegetables in the summer. When I moved out of my parents house in the late 90s though, I chose to live in more urban areas, and while I would love to have a garden of my own, this is never possible. When I was in NYC I dreamed of having a rooftop garden, but that was never possible. When we moved to St. Louis I attempted some balcony farming, but never put the appropriate time or effort into it. Hey, it’s a balcony and I’m lazy. However, the folks at Urban Harvest STL are much more dedicated that I am to urban farming, and I was lucky enough to photograph their fabulous roof top farm located just a few blocks from my studio.
As a food photographer I am exposed to a lot of food on a daily basis, but I have to admit that I have a weakness for ice cream. My grandfather used to serve up huge bowls of ice cream, always telling my mother that it was ok because he had made “hollow dips.” Invariably when I scoop out ice cream I think of good ole Chappie. As you can imagine, it was pretty not easy to maintain a semblance of control when Sauce Magazine sent me ten varieties of ice cream to shoot for their July Issue. While I usually don’t eat the food I shoot, well, I had a lot of ice cream left over, so I needed a few extra trips to the gym that week. #worthit
If you say you don’t like Spam then you are no friend of mine. Sure, I shot a lot of high end food but when you get right down to it, can you really beat super-processed meat that contains more chemicals than actual meat-like ingredients? Ok, fine, I can understand your hesitation, but seriously, if Spam is prepared properly and paired with good ingredients? Delicious.
I’m pleased to report that one of my images was chosen for the cover of the August 2014 Issue of Feast Magazine. This is the Feast 50 issue, and there are tons of amazing photographs of food and beverages by myself and the other amazing photographers that I have the pleasure of working with. Pick up a copy at your local newstand or you can read the issue online at feastmagazine.com
I worked on a number of assignments for Sauce this month including a feature called The List, where Sauce talks about “the people, places, dishes and drinks we love.” As part of that assignment I photographed the Moll’s Cup No. 3 Cocktail, the brainchild of bartender Jeffrey Moll, Jr. Moll makes his own Pimm’s-eque liquer, mixes it with house-made pastis, and then bottles it with carbonated ginger-infused water in individual serving sizes. This is really helpful when serving, because the garnish takes quite a bit of time to prepare. To say that it is a garnish is not really fair … as Sauce put it, the fruit is an “edible work of art.”
Each month I shoot a cocktail for a column called The Mix in Feast Magazine. For the December issue I photographed Egg Nog. Not like the stuff you buy in a plastic jug at the grocery store. Nope, this was honest to goodness nog made with real eggs and booze. I’m usually not a big fan of egg nog because it’s so rich, but this one was pretty tasty. I know we’re a month past the holidays, but it’s still really cold out there.
Last month I got a fun assignment for Sauce Magazine: photographing Tripel in Lafayette Square for the November issue. The photos were for the the Nightlife section, which is a column that I cover regularly. Each month the column includes a main opening photograph of the crowded nightspot and a couple of food shots for the side bar. Despite the fact that the brief is usually pretty simple, this column is a little tricky to shoot each month. For one thing, most bars and restaurants don’t want you to come in during peak hours to photograph the food portion of the assignment. Unfortunately it’s hard to get a good crowd shot of a bar in the middle of the afternoon. As a result I usually end up going back at least once more after dark to get the “nightlife” shot, sometimes multiple times because inevitably the bar has a slow night, or empties out exactly when I arrive with my camera. Gar.
At the end of June and the beginning of July, I worked on a large project for Feast magazine which involved about sixteen individual shoots all over St. Louis. It was a whirlwind of shoots in a very short period of time (about ten days including the July 4th holiday) and so each shoot had to be short and sweet. There wasn’t a whole lot of time to carefully plan out each shot and test lighting schemes. I had to arrive on location, get set up and get the shot. Fast.