Local Chefs Feature Food-Friendliness of Oregon Wine

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OWM-2017-case-card-Jason-RieslingEach year the Oregon Wine Board celebrates Oregon Wine Month with a richly detailed promotional campaign. This year’s campaign highlights the food-friendliness of Oregon wines. We were excited to be a part, capturing photos of some of our favorite chefs in photos that play off food and wine pairings. Besides being just being generally awesome, all these chefs are at restaurants from the Oregon Wine A-List Awards, which recognizes restaurants around the world enthusiastic about Oregon wine.

Our creative partners at the Oregon Wine Board were as much fun and enthusiastic as our chef subjects. It was our joint assignment to figure out to how to share the essence of the personalities along with the environment. I think the passion comes across, too. And of course, we got to dig in to all the lovely dishes at the end of each session.


R Stuart & Co Sixth Annual Crab Feed

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valls_rstuart43What a fun night! For six years, the lovely people at R. Stuart Wine & Co have been hosting an annual crab feed at their winery. This was our first time, but I overheard the talk around me, it’s clear that this is a party that’s hotly anticipated all year long.  We feasted on fresh crab, drank yummy wines and enjoyed the delightful company of Rob and Maria and other R Stuart fans. I also heard that the volunteer servers and helpers were mostly students, headed up by Rob and Maria’s son, Ben, who were all raising money for a trip to build houses in Nicaragua.


Our Studio

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valls_sheltersolutions_065Last year we designed and built our workspace, taking advantage of Portland’s infill zoning, which let us put a full, legal residence next door to where we live. It’s been a game-changer for John and I. While traffic and congestion have been stacking up all around Portland, we’re feeling all zen here at the compound. It’s a joy to step over at night if one of us is feeling creative. Alternatively, it’s nice to head “home” for lunch or to take a yoga break in the middle of the day. Our cat, Bootsie, loves to come visit or simply peer in the windows from his spot in the garden.

The two-story space, which has a full kitchen, has been terrific for food shoots. With both East and North light that we can control, it gives us every kind of lighting mood that we could possibly ask for. The area that would be the “garage” is stuffed with our props and backgrounds, (and maybe a motorcycle or two). If you’d like to visit and see our space, give us a shout.


Superbite Branding by This Design

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Screen grabs of design work by This Design for Superbite a Portland restaurant

Some of you know that I’m an avid cyclist. I’m a decent rider, and when I ride alone, I know how well I do. But the times that I cycle alongside a great rider, I’m better. It’s the collaboration that elevates us both. With a good riding partner I’m smoother, better, more aware. That’s a bit what it was like to work with Denis Kegler and the team at This on a project for Greg and Gabby Denton’s Superbite. The clarity of their ideas combined with their vision of the end result, elevated my work and made it more precise and effective.


Cuba Portrait

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Today I’ve been rooting around the archives in order to put together a special subject portfolio. This gentleman’s expression, for some reason, makes me feel calm and happy. It’s interesting to think that something simple, like a picture, can change your mood.


Branding Images for Great Western Malting with Pail Design

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valls_greatwesternmalting__1782 Another dream project: Who knew that one of the world’s finest malt producers is right in our own backyard? Of course we all know about the great beer producers in the Northwest. But what we forget is that every brewer needs great ingredients. Great Western Malting supplies some the best-known brewers worldwide. We had the opportunity to work with Jessica Bernert at Pail Design whose firm was responsible for Great Western’s Global rebranding effort. I’ve only seen snippets of the results so far, but it’s clear that Pail has taken Great Western’s brand from so-so to spectacular. Anyone in the beverage business who needs branding or design talent should certainly explore working with Pail.


Truffle Fest 2017

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Each year, Oregon hosts a Truffle Festival at which guests learn about, eat and enjoy Oregon-grown truffles in all kinds of preparations. By far, my favorite part is the truffle hunting dogs. This year we photographed the panel discussions and celebration dinner at Youngberg Hill. Last year, Angela Estate hosted this group for the truffle hunt in the woods near their vineyards.