St. Louis Food Roof Farm

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. 

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St. Louis Food Photographer: Ultimate Sandwich Shoot

Who wants a sandwich? How about six of them? In August I had the opportunity to photograph five of the most popular sandwich shops in St. Louis for Feast Magazine. The art director, Lisa Allen, has a thing for stacking things when we do our studio shoots and this shoot was no different. After we’d made the beauty shots of each individual sandwich, we broke out the skewers and went to work.

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St. Louis Food Photographer, Feast Magazine Cover August 2014

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

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Spring Potting Shed Photo Shoot – Feast Magazine

Each month I am luckily enough to shoot a column for Feast Magazine called What We’re Buying. The column focuses on a variety of products from a variety of different manufacturers that tie-in together as a theme. In the April issue, the focus was on spring and gardening, so the art director and I set about creating a quaint country potting shed … in my downtown urban studio.

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Building A Better Bar

It’s the start of a new year, and I’m really excited about all of the photography I’m going to be shooting in 2013. My calendar is filling up again now that the wheels of industry are getting moving again after a long holiday vacation, and as we get really to roll up our sleeves and get to work, I wanted to share one of my last big projects from 2012.

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Listen to Your Clients: They Have Good Ideas Too

Being creative and finding the perfect shot is the photographer’s job. Period. When you accept a job, you also accept the responsibility for taking ordinary situations and turning them into something amazing. This is why the client has hired you and this is why you charge the rates that you do – because not everyone can do this. Therefore, you, as photographer are the master of the universe and all creative decisions that you haven’t thought up yourself are crap.

Right?

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Feast Magazine - October 2012

Tips for Photographing Beer

People often ask me why I’m a Redskins fan, and although I often ask myself that same question, the answer is really quite simple. When I met Dr. Fiance nearly eight years ago, she told me that she was a big football fan. I never really minded the sport, but I never really paid it much attention either. She immediately went to work on her campaign to get me to like football. I was a little meh about the whole thing, but then she divulged a key piece of information that for some reason I hadn’t put together before: watching football means that you get to sit in a bar on a Sunday afternoon and drink beer and eat hotwings to your heart’s content … all in the pursuit of rooting for your favorite football team. Beer! Hotwings! Huzzah!

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The Kiwi cocktail at Urban in St. Louis.

Dramatic Cocktail, Dramatic Lighting Technique

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.

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Hidden Kitchens for Feast Magazine

Back in July, I undertook a daunting project for Feast magazine: documenting Mexican tiendas (grocery stores) and the taquerias that reside there. Why was it daunting? Well, these tiendas were located all over the metro area, and I discovered that while everyone was incredible to work with, there was significant language barrier to deal with. I found that it was tough to schedule appointments over the phone, so I had to do at least one, and in some cases several in-person visits to set up the photo shoots. It should be noted though, the fact that there isn’t a whole lot of English being spoken at these joints is a plus rather than a negative: rather, it speaks to the authenticity of the food that is prepared and served at these tiendas. In this day of Chi Chis, Taco Hell and all of the other chain restaurants, real Mexican food is savory, refreshing and simply amazing.

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Chris Sommers

Chris Sommers, Pi Downtown

Those of us who live downtown are super excited about the new branch of the Pi chain of pizza restaurants that just opened up on Washington Avenue in St. Louis. Sure, it’s a chain but it’s a local chain and their pizza is kickass (albiet a touch pricey). I caught up with Pi co-founder Chris Sommers at the shiney new downtown location to photograph him for Feast magazine’s My Stuff column.

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