St Jack

Recently we we assigned ourselves a project in order to explore shooting food a little differently than in my normal approach – off the tripod and in a darker palette. Through Kristen Saladow of Chefs Table, we teamed up with Chef Aaron Barnett of Restaurant St Jack. We set aside a couple of afternoons to get creative with Aaron. We’d brainstorm ideas and then he would create dishes for us to explore. Aaron was a great partner for our experiment.  And his dishes were a perfect fit for this project since he’s interested in historically-based and somewhat offbeat French recipes, such as the squab dish we shot where the birds are presented with their heads and feet.

salmon dish by chef aaron barnett steak frites and chef aaron barnett at restaurant st jacksquab dish at restaurant st. jack


Portland Dining Month: 23 dishes in 3 days

portland dining monthI didn’t think we’d break last year’s record for speed-shooting food dishes for the Portland Dining Month website, but we did. As the annual June promotion becomes ever more popular, we’re requested to go out and shoot more Dining Month dishes for the website. The challenge of this particular project is creating a single beautiful image that conveys the menu, mood and atmosphere of the restaurant. We also worked on the main Dining Month ads. The agency, North, art directed a surreal photo-realistic composite of all the best elements of dining out in Portland.

Field Trip: Washington Apple Commission

apples apples2

The Washington Apple Commission brought me along on a press tour that included food writers. The trip was “Apples 101”.  In depth, we learned about how much care goes into growing, picking, handling and processing both conventional and organic fruit. These babies get total TLC!  Kyle Mathison, the grower show here, is the king of apples in the Wenatchee Valley.

Portland’s Fifty Licks

You know a product is made with care when it’s the same guy who invents the flavors, mixes the ingredients, serves the customers and even fixes the truck when it’s on the fritz. Chad Drazin, who founded Fifty Licks, is that guy. And he cares a lot about ice cream. We met Chad for the first time when we shot some of his awesome flavors in our studio. Part two of the project was to make some images of him with the vintage Fifty Licks ice cream truck.  Thanks to the pros at Little Green Pickle for rounding up some models and helping everything go smoothly. (They even brought sandwiches!)

feelin’ my sweet tooth

Post-holidays, I’m trying to avoid eating anything & everything in sight as I normally do.  Especially the sweets. So, I thought I’d ponder these instead of plowing through a plate full of this ridiculously rich fudge.

salty sweet peanut bars photographed by John Valls for Southern Peanut Growers

shot for Southern Peanut Growers in my studio, art directed by Amy Wood of Harvest PR and styled by Ellen Jackson

Grand Central Baking Book

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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.