Home Wine Kitchen

Last month I photographed Home Wine Kitchen in Maplewood for Sauce Magazine. Nestled in a strip of retail stores and restaurants Home Wine Kitchen has a rustic design (with some beautiful photography on the walls) and some amazing food. Chef Cassandra Vires (who was super cool to work with) changes her menu frequently with a focus on local and seasonal ingredients.

Home Wine Kitchen’s dishes feature new takes on old classics, like chicken and waffles and a very interesting Eggs Benedict. The space is small and homey, and reservations are suggested. Despite my dislike of getting up early for brunch, I’m going to have to take Dr. Fiance for at some point.

On Assignment: The Block in Webster Groves

I have been in St. Louis for just over a year now (where did the time go??) and while my navigational skills are getting better, I still have a lot to learn about the various neighborhoods in the area. I have enough trouble getting around these neighborhoods, let alone familiarizing myself with all of the restaurants in each. This is where my recent food photography assignments have come in handy: they force me out of my usual haunts and get me out into neighborhoods that I don’t normally get to, in this case, Webster Groves.

I photographed The Block in Webster Groves for Sauce Magazine on a hot and steamy Tuesday night in early August and despite the fact that it had only been open a matter of weeks, word was definitely out. As I photographed some of their amazing meat and fish dishes at a small table by the door people started to arrive in droves. By 5:30, the dining room was filled to capacity and the bar had standing room only, packed with people. I, for one, would happily wait in a line just for their milk chocolate ice cream with bacon and chocolate syrup. Yep, that’s right, chocolate and bacon. I realize that bacon has become perhaps a little too ubiquitous these days but still, it’s bacon. In this case, bacon on ice cream.

My shoot at The Block was pretty intense – there was another photographer there on an assignment from another magazine and as I mentioned, the place was slammed. I usually try to schedule my restaurant shoots for slow times, but it seems like there are no slow times at the Block. The owners and staff rocked it though, and were super helpful with me and the hungry patrons packing in the doors. I’m looking forward to going back on a night when I’m not working so I can enjoy the food even more! You can read the full review of The Block over at Sauce Magazine’s website.

You can find the latest issue at Sauce at your newstand in St. Louis. If you’re not in the St. Louis area you can also get a subscription on their website, either in hardcopy or electronic.

Website Refresh and PhotoShelter Integration

I usually try to update my website every year or so to adapt for the way that my career and life has evolved. Last year when I updated jonathangayman.com I was more focused on marketing towards my corporate clients, but in the past year my work has started to slide more towards the food and lifestyle side. I had two main goals when putting together this site refresh: simplify the design for a more professional look that would really focus on the images, and to have an overall light theme rather than a dark one.

I have been using a combination of WordPress and PhotoShelter for years, but with this iteration of my site I decided to integrate PhotoShelter a lot more. I have been a PhotoShelter subscriber for several years, but I have never taken full advantage of the website features that they offer. WordPress is a great content management system for blogging, and while they have decent image management for the casual user, they just don’t have the kind of image heavy processing ability that I need. So I turned to PhotoShelter to handle 90% of the image galleries, portfolios and image distribution/sales.

Give it a look, kick the tires, let me know if anything is broken…

The Boat House for Sauce Magazine

In the world of corporate photography, the summer is always the slowest time of the year. In my experience Memorial Day sparks the time of the year when companies face the challenge of dealing with vacations. I think that in a lot of cases, one or more decision makers for any given project are out on vacation, so if plans haven’t been made well in advance, decisions like hiring photographers for projects tend to slow down until the end of August.

Despite this slow down I haven’t been idle. In addition to my usual clients I had the pleasure of working on a few assignments for one of my favorite local publications, Sauce Magazine. Not only an excellent culinary resource, Sauce also sources great images from our pool excellent local photographers. I’m excited to be a part of it. If you haven’t seen Sauce you should definitely hit up your news stand now to grab a copy. If you don’t happen to live in the area, not to worry it’s available in a digital format as well.

One of my assignments was to make some photographs of the beautiful Boat House in Forest Park.In Sauce Magazine’s Reader’s Choice issue that just came out, the Boat House was voted Best Place for Kids, but it’s a pretty great place for the adults too. The Boat House is an popular place to hang out in the evenings, have a drink and watch the sun set. If you’re so inclined you can also rent paddle boats and canoes to troll around the waterways of the park. It’s definitely a great place for dinner and drink year round. Here are a few outtakes from the shoot:


Forest Park Boathouse – Images by Jonathan Gayman

As an interesting side note, this is the first project I’ve worked on that I have been bitten by a dog! I was stationed out on the far shore across from the Boat House just after sunset to capture a long exposure night shot when all of a sudden, out of nowhere a tiny ball of fur came running out of the darkness. It was a ferocious and very determined teacup poodle trailing a leash. This little Napoleon apparently thought I was the paparazzi and before I could move he gave my ankle a good nip. Luckily for me, his bark was definitely worse than his bite and I was unharmed.

Photo by St. Louis Photographer Jonathan Gayman

Companion Bakery at Niche Food Blogger Event

I was recently invited to attend an event at Niche along with other local bloggers and food writers. Sponsored by Companion the event was hosted by Josh Allen of Companion and Chef Gerard Craft of Niche, a Food & Wine Best New Chef in 2008 and a two-time James Beard Finalist. Companion’s bread is served in more than 100 local restaurants and grocery stores and has cafes in Clayton and Ladue. You can read a full description of the event on my food blog.

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Food Gallery

Jonathan is also a food photographer in St. Louis. He publishes a food blog called Shoot To Cook which features his recipes and experimentations in the kitchen. Check out his portfolio for some of his recent work as well as the samples below.

This is a gallery of some on his recent work.

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Got a food photography project that needs a photographer? Jonathan would love to be involved! If you’re interested in booking Jonathan for a job check out the contact page.