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!

Luxe Magazine: Andy Paiko, Glass Artist

I worked with Andy Paiko on another B+W portrait for Luxe. Shooting with him creating a new piece was like a performance, for both of us.  Because the glass cools so rapidly we had to move fast and couldn’t go back and “do that again”.  So, as he dialed in the last details of the plate he was working on, I was zeroing in on “The Shot”.  It all came together in the last few frames of the shoot;  his piece was done, and I finally had the shot I was chasing down.  Thanks Andy, that was great!

Metropolitan Home


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!

Country Living Magazine, Ashland Oregon


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.

Cheap Eats for Food & Wine: The Helvetia Tavern


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!