In Print: Oregon Home

Jon Taylor Carter, art director at Oregon Home Magazine always has something fun for John to photograph. This month it was a fabulous loft in NW Portland. The article, written by Vivian McInerny describes all the quirky and fabulous details including a wall papered in book pages and a table created from an old trunk, still with the garage sale sticker attached. You can download the PDF of the article, “Creative Class” here, or you can read it online at the Oregon Home Magazine website.

interior spread from Oregon Home Magazine FeaturePortrait of homeowner Christoper Giovarelli

View of Portland Loft shot for Oregon Home Magazine

Interior detail of Oregon Loft shot for Oregon Home Magazine

In Print: Lardo for Food Arts

Lardo's specialty pig's ear sandwich photographed for Food Arts MagazineFood Arts covers the most interesting topics. Recently, they had me shoot “how to” photos for a sandwich made of pig’s ears at the food cart, Lardo. (I love Portland. The things we eat here.) The fun part was fitting me, my camera and my light alongside Rick in his tiny food cart.

And, of course I ate the sandwich. Silky and spicy and very good.

interior spread of Food Arts magazine featuring the recipe for Lardo's pig's ear sandwichstep by step instructions for making Lardo's pig's ear sandwich photographed by John Valls

Tearsheet: Oregon Home

It’s always fun to shoot with Oregon Home. They’ve always got something creative up their sleeve. In this case, a story about holiday tabletops. For two days our studio was transformed into a party that you would really want to go to. Here’s how the images looked in their book.

Hot off the Presses! Dishing Up Oregon is OUT Right Now.

Last Fall was a whirlwind of travel and shooting. More than 70 outings to a gazillion locations over 6 months lead to a whole bunch of satisfying images and at least 300 photos delivered the publisher.

I’m proud to say that Dishing Up Oregon: 145 Recipes that Celebrate Farm-to-Table Flavors is finally out in print. The Author, Ashley Gartland has assembled a collection of recipes and profiles that shines a light on the best of Oregon’s bounty.

The project was incredibly rewarding–each farmer, chef, purveyor, or rancher had an interesting story to tell–creating some memorable photo opportunities for me. And more, it was an honor to collaborate with some of Oregon’s best Chefs to represent their recipes in a beautiful photograph.

Some of the highlights were the friendly goats at Juniper Grove, and the morning light on the Umpqua River near the Steamboat Inn. And driving like a madmad through Southern Oregon’s Applegate valley to beat the setting sun was a trip I’d like to do again, albeit at a slower pace.

Here’s the book’s description from Storey Publishing:

Dishing Up Oregon:145 Recipes That Celebrate Farm-to-Table Flavors
Ashley Gartland
This collection of 150 recipes, many of them contributed by Oregon’s own chefs, innkeepers, farmers, and other food producers, celebrates the delicious diversity of Oregon’s cuisine. You’ll find mouthwatering dishes for every meal and every course, from Chanterelle Rillettes and Asparagus Vichyssoise to Grilled Oregonzola Figs, Cuvee’s Coveted Crab Juniper, Flank Steak with Sorrel Salsa Verde, Duck Confit and Butternut Squash Risotto, Blackberry Bread Pudding, and Rustic Pear Galette. Beautiful photography of farms, inns, vineyards, and more brings Oregon’s food and drink scene to vibrant life.

Check out some of my favorite spreads in the book.[nggallery id=20]

Rad Radishes with NW Palate Magazine

cover of NW Palate Magazine "Rad Radishes" photographed by John Valls


The invisible ingredient in a good photo is rapport. Why? Because with that strong foundation of trust, there’s freedom to challenge and be challenged. To push, to be better. That’s what I often get with Vitaly Paley. Over the years, Vitaly has built a rock solid foundation with his fellow chefs, Benny Bettinger and Patrick McKee. The three have created such a feeling of camaraderie when they work together that they can freely push one another to improve. I saw plenty of examples during this recent shoot for  Northwest Palate.

Similarly, since I know all three well from past projects, they welcome me into that collaborative circle. There, they likewise push me to bring my best to their projects.














New in Oregon Home: Ingredients

This project was a fun shoot with Jon Taylor Carter for the recently spiffed-up Oregon Home Magazine. Jon is a great hands-on art director and it was a pleasure to work with him and Sophie Goodwin styling this playful concept. The layout was quite different for me, being top-down and strobe light. Often images like these are composites, but this was a true single image. My challenge was to create harmony in color and value with a diverse range of items all with different textures, shapes and colors. There were four different images, including drinks and decor items in addition to the food ingredients.

The type lays right into the image creating an interesting, playful layout. Perfect for an summer party how-to article. To see the whole story at Oregon Home, visit the feature here.

More Summertime Favorites from “Dishing Up Oregon”

A few more of my summertime favorites from the “Dishing Up Oregon” cookbook project. Soon I’ll have to glue my face to the computer and finish the monster edit.

These are from Meriwether’s Restaurant & farm, where Chef Earl Hook sources all of his produce.  Awesome!