This project reminded me what a challenge it can be to do a great job on something so simple: portraits on white. The same lighting has to help everyone look their best from all camera positions, while also keeping the tonal values in check to make the knock-outs easy. All this was accomplished at the crack of dawn on rental equipment after my gear was stolen the night before. Thank you Pro Photo Supply for the rentals!
Art Director: Mike Staudinger; First Assistant: Chris Low; Makeup Stylist: AJ Lane.
This is Chef Gregory Gourdet at Saucebox. He is super professional, very mellow, and a lot of fun. We had finished shooting a couple of dishes like this halibut when it came time for the portrait. He went off to check himself over, fluff the hairdo & on the insistence of his coworkers, toughen up his look by cutting off the sleeves of his uniform shirt! I loved it, found it a great reminder that even when you’re at the top of your game you can still have a playful attitude.
It’s great when personal interests intersect with a professional assignment. That was the case for these recent images of Langdon Cook, author and professional forager. I met up with Langon on the PCT at the 5000 foot elevation mark of Mt. Rainer. On a brisk day in amazing light, we hiked and talked about the finer points of foraging. As he collected huckleberries, he told me the pleasures of sharing the food you find yourself.
Check out his blog, Fat of the Land. Langdon’s book about foraging is Fat of the Land: Adventures of a 21st Century Forager.
Chocolate cake transports me back to my best birthday memories. A good photo can do just that: communicate an experience. This half eaten chocolate cake takes me right back to playtime and birthday parties.
Shooting with art director Nancy Austin for the Grand Central Baking book was a great opportunity to expand on the classic, highly-styled food photograph. The images are earthy and real and are filled with a crunchy regional vibe that is characteristic of Grand Central Baking and co-authors Piper Davis and Ellen Jackson.
The 10-Speed Press book debuts in October.
A year after sending in my book, I got a call from Photo Editor Cathryne Czubek at Metropolitan Home to shoot a garden designed by Andrea Cochran. I was totally fired up to shoot for them, a magazine I always found very inspirational. Can’t wait to see it out in print, although it will probably be a year or more!
A good portrait is one of my favorite challenges. There’s so much to think about. Figuring the shot, building rapport and coaxing out the “moment” while at the same time working with the light, timing, and keeping out distracting elements. To top that off, there’s an art director somewhere with his or her requirements, too. In this case, a double page spread.
It’s hard enough to figure out what I want from the photo, but add to that high winds, harsh light and that exaggerated off-center layout. Here’s my answer: plenty of negative space for copy on the left side and a strong vertical element anchors the subject on the right side of the spread.
While shooting a travel story in Ashland (where it seems it’s always 100 degrees) for Country Living, the writers & I went up into Lithia Park. There we saw this ridiculously cute kid chilling out in the stream. Mom was nearby, chatted with us and allowed me to make a few quick portraits.
Six of my large-scale Cuba photographs will be on display at PNCA beginning on October 19, 2009. The six images center on the topic of childhood and rural life in Cuba. The work is part of an ongoing personal project. When you’re in the neighborhood, please stop by & check them out.
A hamburger at the Helvetia Tavern is practically as big as your head. You’ve got to commit to get through the entire burger plus fries. It’s the massive burgers along with great beer that makes this quirky spot popular with locals and cyclists looking for a major refueling. Food and Wine Magazine was writing about chef’s favorite cheap eats, so they sent me out to illustrate the piece. And yeah, the burger was killer!