It was great to be featured on Shutterstock’s lastest post about running a photography business. “It’s time to take your freelance opportunities to the next level. Check out tips from thirteen industry pros on how they run a successful photography business.”…
Any food that encompasses the style of Italian cuisine I’m all ears and appetite. It was great to work again with New Jersey Monthly on their July feature for Osteria Radici in Allentown, NJ. Owners Randy and Ally were great to work during the photo shoot. The dishes we got to photograph each had their own personality and flavor that was amazing to see. It was great to see their different plate ware and table dressings to incorporate into the photographs. Also the interior had a warm welcome. Check this place out!! You can read the article and see more of my photos here:
It was so fun to work on this photo shoot for The Village Voice covering the new all-day cafe La Mercerie. You walk in and immediately feel a cool energy surrounded with clean design. Chef Marie-Aude Rose was great to work with. The dishes seamlessly were brought to us to photograph. Just getting back from France I felt like I was on my honeymoon again! All the food was delicious, fresh, and unique! I loved the cantabric anchovies with vanilla butter. The specialty butters were also amazing. What was unique about the location was it was connected to Roman and Williams Guild. Everything hand picked without any corners cut. It really helped set the tone of the restaurant. Read the whole article here: https://www.villagevoice.com/2018/06/29/gallic-grandeur-at-la-mercerie/
Putting a video together isn’t simply picking up a video camera and shooting. Just like in still photography you sketch out the idea and start to visualize what you want. With a storyboard you sketch out how each scene will develop. Even if it’s 2-3 second clip, what is going into that visual? Also like shooting any production what’s most important is the planning and communicating it to the team. The more organized and planned you are for the day of the shoot everything will go smoother and no time or money is wasted!
Making a storyboard can be sketched out anyway, but usually it’s a number of rectangles(where you draw your vision) followed by lines or an area to write your specific notes on the action, if there’s script, lighting, and camera angle. You can sketch literally by hand or composite stock photos together or magazine clippings. Get creative! The rectangles ideally would fit the 16:9 ratio as video. I usually use the program Keynote, it’s a simple software that you can change and edit with by using text and images.
Right after Easter weekend I was on a flight to sunny Tampa, Florida for a week shoot at the new Features Gastropub inside the Riverview movie theater apart of Goodrich Quality Theaters out of the midwest. I was recommend for this job by friend and celebrity chef Brian Duffy. I was so excited for this job, not just because it was in Florida but the concept of the restaurant by Brian had some delicious entrees and beers on tap to try. Something I’ve rarely seen before is they had wine on tap! What?!! I got to work with the local and talented Marlene Forand for the week on executing the dishes and really bringing the ingredients to life. We had fun incorporating the wall signage in the background and making the dishes feel heroic. One of the coolest offerings they had was their Feature Fry Tower. This was stacked high of fries, shaved ham, provolone cheese, bacon, mozzarella and side sauces, yum!! I hope to go back soon and catch a movie in the theater. If you find yourself in the area for vacation make sure and stop by.
Conceptual projects for me come together through daily experiences and things I see that inspire. I really want to develop some unique “mini” series of conceptual shoots that show another side of my capabilities to clients and potential clients. My latest series Condiments really came together nicely. My vision and what I wanted to accomplish with colors, lighting, and camera angle happened exactly the way I envisioned. Constantly practicing the craft can really pay off.
The list of condiments was an ongoing discussion of just using the weirdest condiments in the world, to unique condiments, then to iconic condiments. I have others on the list and if you see any I should photograph I would love to hear your thoughts!
For this particular series I really want to put together a special promotional piece at the end of the year showcasing these images and include a little leave behind that represents the idea.
It’s summer so why not steam some crabs. Old Bay seasoning is the only way to go when making these. Seafood can be intimidating to make but these are actually easy to cook.
Here’s a basic recipe for making steamed crabs:
Add 1 1/2 cups water, lager, apple cider vinegar and 2 tablespoons Old Bay to the bottom of the pot. Whisk to combine and bring to a simmer. Layer the crabs in the steamer insert, generously sprinkling with Old Bay on each layer of crabs. Cover the pot and steam the crabs for 30 minutes.
I also added corn on the cobs cut in half and fingerling potatoes at the top!
Where did we leave off? Oh yes! Amazing food…
Other than chocolates, condiments, and cheese the snack food options were extensive. Personally if I really need to snack or have something savory it has to be a type of cracker or chip. Popcorn is hard for me to eat unless it’s at the movies so this review is certainly a personal preference. At the end of one of the aisles a big bright display of Way Better Snacks was calling my name. The bright neon display and modern design of these chips was really cool. Their actual branding on their bags was very easy to read and nicely put together. What made this a top pick for me was their choice of ingredients. They sprout their own seeds and make this great cracker base of flax, quinoa, and chia. At the show I tried their sweet potato chip and it was so good! Also this brand sold a sriracha flavor. They provided me with a media kit on a really cool USB reiterating their branding.
Something else I came across that I don’t think I’ve ever seen before was canned chicken! Not chicken of the sea…tuna but actual canned chicken! For me I eat healthy and have a pretty consistence diet. Beside eating tuna fish, chicken is up there in my meals. What deters me from making chicken is the whole process of making it. I get boneless skinless chicken breasts and pan sear or bake when I want. I have to grease the pan and then make dishes to wash. Or I will buy a rotisserie chicken then have to separate from the bones wasting some food and still making a mess. The canned chicken is just as easy and opening a can of tuna. I was able to try the chicken and it tasted fresh. The brand is called Wild Planet and the sales person said they carry it at Whole Foods. I’ll have to look for this next time, also she gave me some coupons. Other products they make is canned tuna, sardines, but canned chicken was pretty unique.
On a different food note, there was a modest chef and his team making jambalaya and sampling it. Wow! I was blown away! It was jarred and on it said “As Seen on Food Network Best Thing I Ever Ate” They weren’t kidding. I haven’t had too much jambalaya in my life but this stuff was amazing and easy to prep. The product was called Raz’z Foods.
Other notable moments from this year’s Fancy Food Show was the intense soccer game between Spain and Italy. For a couple hours during the show everyone seemed to forget about it and just watch the game. It was quite comical to see. In the end Italy won! Sunday night was the opening night for the show and with that they had a great party. There was music, passed appetizers, open bar, and more food! haha.
Just wanted to share a quick recap from a recent shoot for New Jersey Monthly! They asked me to shoot this charming restaurant near Asbury Park, New Jersey called Cave, A Paleo Eatery. I’m always interested in different diet plans people choose to live by and Paleo is certainly one many people know! It was great chatting with Chef Doug Stehle; chef and owner of the restaurant who eats a Paleo diet and runs his restaurant as one. The staff was super friendly and excited to see me there taking photos. The restaurant itself used to be owned by a antique dealer and when it was sold to Doug the previous owner still had some items there for sale. It gave the restaurant a unique feel. Also Doug is a surfer and being near the ocean there was appropriately placed surf boards he owned decorating the restaurant! All the items on his menu were dairy and gluten free. I tasted a couple things from the menu and I have to say their desserts were nothing like I had before. Their brownie was so rich and packed with chocolate it was the best thing I’ve ever had. There was also bacon on top! It probably took me 2 or 3 sittings to actually finish it. Also the chocolate chip cookies were stuffed with chocolate chips and the cookie itself was soft just like a homemade cookie. If you make a trip this way I would certainly stop in for lunch or dinner.
Pesto is a great addition to any pasta dish. Pesto can be high in fat with the oils and pine nuts mixed into it so you have to take it in small amounts. To help lighten your meal use a whole grain pasta instead of a white pasta. In addition to pasta you can use pesto on chicken, crusty bread, or a spread for a sandwich. If you want to have pasta but a sauce that’s a healthier option it’s best to stick with a tomato sauce.
What goes into a basic pesto sauce?
Find a great recipe at Food Network.
What a great event and turnout for this past weekend's food photography workshop. It was great to share my experiences and tips I've learned over the years to help the students improve on their own photography. We had a packed afternoon of talking lighting setups, camera programs, and the importance of styling. I did a live demonstration on set shooting and building a sandwich. I also discussed the importance of hiring and working with a food stylist as well as a prop stylist.
Everyone broke out to separate tables building their own sets with props supplied and also making their own sandwich to photograph! You can see a time lapse below of the days events.
I would love to continue this workshop at other locations in New York City as well as New Jersey, and Philadelphia. If you are a food or prop stylist and want to collaborate on this please reach out! Also any studio spaces that would like to host us.
2015 is coming to an end. I continue to grow and learn as a photographer and business owner. There are many things I can say about this past year and where I see myself in the future, however I always like to turn to inspirational quotes by successors I’ve learned from who just say it so much better. Let’s raise a glass and cheers to 2016!
“All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.” — Walt Disney
I recently was hired by NJ Monthly to photograph the new Asbury Festhalle & Biergarten in Asbury Park, New Jersey. The drive was ok, but well worth it when I pulled up to the front of this stoic, beautifully crafted building right on the water. It looked like the exterior was the shell of a old factory and walking in it certainly had the reclaimed look. The interior had floor to ceiling windows, exposed brick and artifacts filling the room. There were rows of communal tables with the backdrop of hand painted murals representing the good old days! This location seated so many people it was not a surprise to walk up a few flights of steps to this huge bar roof deck that had tiered seating. The walls were covered in this beautiful floral and greenery arrangement for aesthetics and energy.
If the building itself wasn’t impressive enough Chef James Avery had such a passion and experience for German fare it was a match made in heaven. I quite possibly tried and photographed everything on their menu. There were some specifics for me to cover like the bavarian pretzels, beers, potato pancakes, but also their oysters “Braten”. These oysters were served hot on a bed of salt baked with pretzel crumbs and herbs. The flavors were unreal! Another favorite of mine from the menu was the Blumenkohl; fried cauliflower.
This past weekend marked the 100th anniversary of the Italian Market Festival in Philadelphia. Originally from Philadelphia and being Italian(oh! and to continue my after-birthday shenanigans) it made complete sense to come out for the weekend to walk the crowded 9th street to drink and eat my way through! The Italian Market has evolved tremendously including more of a Mexican inspired neighborhood while still keeping to its roots and classic Italian food. Some staples you can find along the street are Sarcones, Ralph’s, Monsu, Di Bruno Brothers, Claudio’s, and Fante’s (the original William and Sonoma.)
The festival kicks off on Saturday May 16th at 11AM and closes Sunday May 17th. The streets are packed with people hustling through trying pulled pork sandwiches, grilled mango and corn on a stick, indulging in elaborate pineapple Pina Colada drinks. This is just naming a small portion of what you will find. Among the food vendors on the streets the produce stands are also open as well as the brick and mortar retail shops. Artists are also invited for the weekend selling their hand made goodies whether a scarf or a flask made out of clay! At certain intersections were stages with live bands playing covers of the latest hits or a DJ playing tunes. You could be drinking a beer and standing around having a good time. This year was certainly a fair not to be missed.