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.
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
Shooting editorial food photography assignments can be a little tricky. When you are shooting in a restaurant where people are eating, it always draws attention. It can be really fun to listen to what people are saying over your shoulder. For example, I was on a shoot at a diner shooting pancakes. The diner was pretty full, so I was on full display as I secured the pat of butter in the perfect spot with a toothpick and tweaked the lighting. When I poured on the syrup for the money shot the diner went quiet and I heard a woman whisper loudly “There he goes! He’s putting on the syrup!” like I was teeing off in a golf tournament. Sometimes people will come up and want to talk to you about what you’re doing, what type of camera you have, and how great my job must be. However, the number one question that I get when shooting at a restaurant is: “Do you get to eat that when you’re done?”