To see where you’re going, it’s often best to look at where you’ve been. Take a look back into the archive with me and we’ll go over some pictures from my past and I’ll give you pointers on how they could be improved - Lean from my mistakes, and you won’t have to make them yourself.Read More
Mexican food, first day in Austin, and embracing the weather when taking photos.Read More
Photos at Dizzy's Club for Great PeformancesRead More
A rainy day at 1 Hotel.Read More
Follow the treasure map, find the rum.Read More
On our first full day of snowbirding (aka the best idea ever), we discovered a fantastic restaurant.Read More
Let's eat. Day 2 of the photoshoot at Cebu was of the menu. It was a long day filled with many delicious eats. I started to experiment with styling here. For a long time I'd been shooting food at restaurants mostly as it came, with little to add to the image beside maybe a fork and a napkin. This time around I asked the chef for every ingredient that made up the dish and I created a palate for the food to go on. The best results were with the fritters and the fish tacos. I also really loved the images of the fritters dunking in the sauce, and I just cannot decide between the two I posted below. One is nearly perfect and elegant, the other is more messy and intense, getting up into 'food porn' status. I also really enjoyed telling the visual story of the tomahawk steak, from the chef salting and preparing them, then grilling them, to the final plated presentation.
Cebu Bar & Bistro, Food
Client: Cebu Bar & Bistro
Bay Ridge, Brooklyn
Project Date: May 9th, 2017
In the previous post I showed you the images I created for Cebu of the restaurant's interior. To dive deeper into how that project came to be and how the images went from concept to finished project, I produced this video!
It's funny how one thing leads to another. I photographed the Mid-Century Residence for my cabinet client Imperia. Around the same time the homeowner was in the middle of planning to take photos of his restaurant. He saw my images and said "we need this guy." So we talked through everything that they needed and it was a full shoot of both the space and the menu. The partners have owned this restaurant for 16 years and it's their baby, and they'd never had professional pictures made of it. It was exciting to be entrusted with showing off the place they'd put so many years into. The shoot took place over three days:
3. Cocktails, Interior Details, and an exterior twilight. We added on some brunch dishes, too.
Here are the images produced from day one, along with some of the details and the exterior from day three.
Cebu Bar & Bistro, Architecture / Interiors
Client: Cebu Bar & Bistro
Bay Ridge, Brooklyn
Project Date: May 8th, 2017
There are few restaurants that really take me back to the Brooklyn of yesteryear, but this place always does. The style is often imitated these days, but as my mother pointed out on a recent visit, this is the genuine article. It really reminds me of why I love this place, along with upstate new york. There's a coziness to it that is just so comforting. It's a great place to go for a slow, drizzly day.
The pasta is pretty, the pizza is better.
Italinan / Pizzeria
435 Halsey Street
Oct. 24th, 2017, Tuesday
My mother and I were roaming around in Williamsburg running errands while Regina was having hear hair put into braids in anticipation of our honeymoon trip to Hawaii. Braids are no-muss, no-fuss, so Regina can collapse in to bed at night and hop out in the morning without having to do any daily maintenance. Very good for traveling. She was having it done in Bed-Stuy, and she was finished around the time we were ready to have lunch. Any time I'm out, I try to find a restaurant in the neighborhood I'm in so I can have excuse to go there without having to travel. But nothing in Williamsburg was really jumping out to me. However, the last time I'd dropped Regina off at the salon to get her hair done, I wandered around the neighborhood and seriously considered having dinner at Saraghina, so much so that I was standing at the door reading the menu. I decided to have my money and go home that time, but the desire to eat there lingered. You know that feeling when you really want something, but don't get it and it's still nipping at you in the back of your mind. Yeah, that's the one. So I had to go.
It was a drizzly day, which felt perfect for this place. It was slow and there were only a few other diners present. So we got a great seat right by the windows, and I was able to get a few photos of the place without having to avoid patrons in the photos.
There's a quick photo tip for you. Want to photograph a restaurant? Go in the middle of a weekday. This was 2pm on a Tuesday. I only had my iPhone 7 on me because I'm trying to be more conscious about not carrying my camera constantly. It's nice to go out in the city and not have a heavy bag with me. But of course I always get into a situation where I wish I had my camera so I could take better photos. This is one such occasion. But still, I'm happy with the results. It's not like the iPhone is bad, per-se. Just not as good. But if you're reading this on your phone and the images are small, then it's not as obvious as it is on a larger display. So, there's that tangent.
I focused on photographing the space right around the windows, to capture the mood of the day and a bit of the design of the the place. I went very minimal on the edits, but now the lack of perfectly straight lines on that one picture of Regina with the windows behind her is making me a little crazy. But I'm not going to change it. It's important to be comfortable with imperfection. I slipped a few photos of Regina's silhouette in because 1. I love her & 2. I've been playing with more silhouette and dark areas in my photos. So a lot of these were a trial in embracing having really dark areas in my images. I shot so many super bright, light filled images for so long that I'm looking to go in a different direction, and these are experiments in that realm, pushing my iPhone to see what it can do.
After the interiors I took a photo of my menu, which reminds me of a book I made in college out of an old pair of pants. I took a bookbinding class that has always stuck with me. Hand made books always catch my eye and I have to pick them up and inspect how they're put together, which is exactly what happened with this menu. The denim cover is really what too me back to my pants book, which I believe my mother still has on her mantle. I don't make books much anymore, but I still seeing handmade ones, so this was exciting for me. The stamped logo is really nice, too.
The drink was a special that day. Spiced, Spiced Cider. It was fantastic, comforting, a great herald of fall. Regina and I were flying to Hawaii the next day, but we both really love fall, so it was good to get a potent taste of it right before we left.
Finally, the pasta. I don't eat much pasta, so it's a great treat when I do have it. So I was very excited to order this Tagliatelle al Ragu. It's the dish I was eyeing that other day when I was outside looking at the menu. It was good, but the pizza Regina ordered blew it out of the water.
Sorry, no pizza photos, because I've gotten over the hump of making my fellow diners wait while I photograph their food. No reason they should suffer for my craft. If I'm going to take food photos it will be of my own dish, and I try to get my shot as fast as possible so I can enjoy my food at its peak, too. Somethings, though, I get caught up in the moment and keep snapping. But that's how I know I still love doing this, so I'm never going to chase that feeling away.
Smitten uses their own magical liquid nitrogen ice cream machine, called "Brrr" (masters of comedy, no?). It allows them to make ultra smooth ice cream to order in seconds, which is a marvel. I tend to get sundaes, and I wasn't blown away by the "Dough My Goodness" or "Berry Crisp" sundaes on offer that day, but they certainly were as smooth as promised. I'll go back to see if their more inventive flavors can earn that last star.
Smitten Ice Cream
Hayes Valley - San Franscisco
Brunch places can be a dime a dozen, and still lines will be out the door. I was pleasantly surprised with the amazing quality of the food at Zazie. Though the line is often an hour long, there's a helpful little guide by the door to let you know very accurately what your wait will be. You can also grab one of the first-come-first-served tables out front, but I prefer the garden in the back. Get there early to get the Miracle (ricotta) pancakes before they sell out. Also try the Poached Eggs La Mer (dungeness crab eggs benedict, basically). Fun Fact - Zazie pays its staff full wages and benefits, so tipping is not required. More restaurants should follow suit.