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
I am very excited to announce that the latest issue of my personal project, The Insatiable Lens has been published! This issue turned out to be more than a year in the making, but it was well worth the wait. In this issue I explore one of the best kept secrets in the St. Louis food community: The Rogue Underground Dining Society. For the past six years, the Rogue Chefs have been hosting secretive pop-up dinners all over St. Louis, in venues that include train stations, vet clinics, Gothic Churches and funeral homes, just to mention a few. These invite only dinners feature interesting and innovative food ideas that are able to exist on the fringes without being restricted by petty nuisances like owning a restaurant or applying for a liquor license.
Whew, it’s been a crazy few weeks. The new year rolled in like a tank in January of this year, with a lot of new exciting clients and projects. It’s been busy! Now that we are most of the way through February things have slowed down a bit and I’ve had a chance to catch my breath and spend a little time doing all of the other important things that need to be done around the studio: invoicing, prepping tax documents for the accountant, cleaning equipment, repairs, general house keeping … in other words, all of the boring details that go on behind the scenes that aren’t photography. It’s not all fun and games here at the studio … but lets all be honest, my job is more fun than most even when I’m doing administrative work so I’m not complaining.
An ancient dish that is easy to prepare and will wow even the most cynical of your foodie friends.
When I am cooking there are two things that I always try to accomplish in addition to making something that tastes amazing: simple preparation (I’m a busy guy after all) and a great presentation (because I’m a food photographer, duh). Both of these characteristics are married together in one beautiful dish that is sure to impress your guests: Salt Crusted Fish.
At the end of each year I put together a larger-than-normal promotional mailing, mainly targeted at the clients that I have worked with over the past year. And while this is definitely a form of self-promotion for my business, I also see it as a thank-you to all the fantastic clients that I have had the opportunity to work with. I couldn’t make it as a professional photographer without these fine people putting their trust in me and my skills, and I am very grateful to all of them. Every day I work very hard to live up to the high creative and professional bar that my clients set for me. Seriously, a big thank you to everyone.
Chef Kevin Nashan is an institution in St. Louis. His first restaurant, Sydney Street Cafe has received numerous awards and is on the top of everyone’s list of great places to eat in St. Louis. He recently opened up a second restaurant down the road from Sydney Street called Peacemaker Lobster & Crab. As you can tell by the name, Peacemaker has a focus on shellfish but even if you’re not a fan of lobster (although who isn’t) there is lot of other great food to choose from as well … brisket po’boy with a side of fried green tomatoes anyone?
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.
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.