A couple months ago I had a fun shoot with Chef Ashley Shelton and Bess Kretsinger Heffernan, the GM, from Sardella, one of the newer Gerard Craft joints here in St. Louis. One of the things that Ashley and Bess focus on is a environment in their shop that breaks the mold of most kitchens. These two were a lot of fun to work with – I had a blast at this shoot. Hey, this is for Wine Enthusiast, so why not swig from a bottle in a paper bag like a bodega forty? Nailed it.
I had a fun shoot for Feast Magazine a couple of months ago, right before Easter. It was fun to spend some time back in the small downtown studio as opposed to the big one I’m now working out of in the county. Don’t get me wrong, the big studio is awesome – the extra elbow room is fantastic (and it is also pretty great working with a larger team). But sometimes the small, streamlined shoots can be fun as well. In any case, can’t go wrong with cheese!
Here is a little something that I put together last year and never got around to posting – a little IKEA hack for a fun cocktail. I’m a big fan of bourbon, and I love a good old-fashioned. This recipe isn’t strictly an old-fashioned but, ticks all the boxes for a good quick cocktail that is a real crowd pleaser. I give you the IKEA Lingonberry Old-Fashioned!
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.
I just took a quick look at the thermometer on the balcony here at the studio and saw that it is currently reading 113 degrees. Yikes. Summer has indeed hit St. Louis with a vengeance. So my thought is that on a day like this we need to start happy hour early. And what could be more refreshing on a day like this than a classic margarita?
In this world of internet shaming and trolling there is always going to be someone out there who is going to tell you that you’re doing it wrong, no matter what you do. This is especially true in the world which I have chosen for my photography business: food and beverage photography. No matter what you eat or drink, someone out there is going to tell you that you’re too low-brow, that you’re too high-brow, that your beer is too cheap or too expensive, that your pommes frites aren’t appropriately truffled.