Catchy title right?! :) I can’t say my post is actually from a diary but the idea of my real thoughts on the business in writing remind me of my diary I had when I was little. The "real deal" moments you had growing up that just had to get written down; documented, so you can look back and remember when… Since the recent closing of my college The Art Institute I know I won’t be able to visit the school and talk with photo students anymore. My post reflects my own experiences and opinions and were discussed with students at school.
I wanted to be a commercial photographer in 11th grade. I remember attending my local technical school that had an amazing commercial art program with the best teachers! They are still working there today and still inspiring students. They had a photo studio where I could shoot products, study advertisements, understand graphic design, and learn everything I could about photography. My first job at 13 was working at the local supermarket, so I was around food all day. Not a bad thing! :) When I would face off the shelves or be a cashier I would ring up items that had food photos on them. It was that moment I knew that’s what I wanted to do! I enrolled in college attending The Art Institute where it also had a commercial driven curriculum. During school I interned and assisted with commercial photographers in all genres and still came back to food photography.
Any advice I can give current photo students or someone looking to change careers, assist for as many currently working photographers as you can. This career is very much a learn on the job pace. You can’t just open shop without watching and learning from other pros, you are going to waste your time and money. The first impression you have on a potential client is your last impression so you want to make sure your best foot is forward. I know in today’s world everything is online where you can “learn.” There’s a huge difference in watching someone and actually being there and doing something, so don’t think there’s a quick fix or easy way out.
In addition to working under professional photographers you want to make sure and give yourself creative freedom. This is your career and it’s going to change a lot over time. You need to make sure and remember why your doing this in the first place. Let yourself be inspired by other photographers alive or deceased. Doing creative exercises like this will help you understand what you enjoy photographing. Have fun!
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/
Image creators; we are fighting for the creation of a small claims copyright court. We need your action NOW. Do not even think just do! We’ve been working on this for a few years and the light at the end of the tunnel is here. ASMP member, or not these are for the rights of all image creators. Make your voice heard!!! Image creator supporters make YOUR voice heard!
It’s amazing what you can learn right in your own backyard. I had an amazing experience learning about wild foraging and the “weeds” we see everyday are the beginning of a culinary journey. Cherry Grove Farm had an afternoon excursion on their land with a group walking the grounds, discussing the natural plants, what we can and can’t eat, and what we can do with these plants! It was a beautiful September day outside; the grasses were high so harvesting was easy and plentiful. Some of the plants we discussed were dandelions, elderberries, walnuts, pineapple weed, and thistle. After our walk we took what we harvested back to the farm house and cooked some of the greens we picked. We had ourselves a variety of greens, and worked with Chef Tamara who had some things prepped ahead then paired with. It was a great experience and very useful knowledge if you find yourself in the wild.
It was great to be back at Le Bus Bakery! A long time favorite client of mine needed some new photography for new brochures AND they have grown so much since I’ve seen them. Their facilities have amazing new oven equipment expanding their capabilities on creating fresh bread. They have always had a variety of artisan breads from loaves to macaroons, and burger buns. The talent in their bakery is unreal! No wonder they have such a large spread of clients to the restaurant industry and right to consumers. If you make it out to the King of Prussia area make sure to stop at their outlet store. Yum!
It was a fun day packed with shooting their fresh bread working with their marketing department seeing their newly designed brochure and taking shots to help fill their needs. After we finished with shooting their products we got to visit the updated bakery where they have all their new bakery equipment, updated loading dock, and packaging area which overall makes production smoother, quicker, and easier for the bakery employees. Still putting out that quality hand rolled dough. It’s really great to see.
Get the latest issue of Imbibe magazine and see the exciting story on Dr. Patrick McGovern; U Penn’s director of bimolecular archaeology project. Using his knowledge and experience in extracting various ingredients used in drink residues all the way to King Tut’s Tomb! Patrick and Sam Calagione of Dogfish Head Brewery got to work together on the amazing project and had created the beer we love today Midas Touch. Since the creation of this beer it has won various awards in tasting competitions nationwide. PICKUP A COPY TODAY. Article written by Joshua M. Bernstein.
This year has been an exciting transition to adding motion work to my portfolio. Building a motion section takes time, practice, and the right team to make the story come to life. Working with past clients like the few farms I’ve consistently been with over the years have been a great stepping stone to gathering footage and putting together in a cohesive story. The equipment we have been working with is the Canon C300, Canon 5D Mark 4, additional microphones, as well as various lighting and grip gear. Being on location is a challenge in itself but capturing moving imagery is another. The current piece we are working on has beautiful landscape pans of the farm as well as stationary shots interviewing the real farmers, not hired talent. I know the final cut will pair well with the still imagery I have captured over the years. DP STILLS BELOW.
This idea between myself and fiance Joe has been tossed around for awhile; In what capacity can we work together? We are both commercial photographers specializing in different fields people automatically would assume, "You guys should combine forces and work together!" That is not something we wanted to do. I run my business and have my clients and so does Joe. Ignoring the fact though that we are together and in the same business wasn't going to work forever. We have been able to meet on this idea of working on a blog together! We both have passions for food, drink, and travel and both of us touch on this personally and professionally so it seemed to be a good platform to get started!
After a long couple days of brainstorming we were able to come up with the very creative and catchy blog The Pictured Kitchen
This has been live for about a week and we have a supporting Instagram handle @thepicturedkitchen which we are excited to populate with our personal journeys, recipes, drink tips and tricks! If you have anything you would like to contribute or comment on we would love to hear from you.
This was exciting news to find out I won The Culinary Trust Award for Food Photography That Makes a Difference for 2017! IACP (International Association of Culinary Professionals) is the food industry community you need to be apart of. First started by Julia Child, Jacques Pepin, and Anne Willan in the mid 70’s. This organization has evolved into bigger and better offerings with today including people in the food industry beyond chefs. The photography aspect of IACP is very important to me because it’s my specialty; food and beverage. The opportunities to network and get my work noticed like entering their contest is very valuable for me. My personal series I did on chicken processing was so unique I had to enter it in this years contest. It was exciting news when I heard I was a nominee for my category!
You can see the full series from this shoot on my past blog post here: http://www.perrettiphotography.com/perrettiphotography/2016/10/6/personal-series-from-the-farm-chicken-slaughter
See all nominees for categories here: http://www.iacp.com/awards/food-photography-awards/2017-food-photography-styling-finalists/
What an exciting end of the year. It’s certainly not slowing down! I had a great shoot with a favorite past client of mine, Alouette Cheese between Christmas and the New Year. They have been putting out some great new lines of cheese and also creating some nice recipes with their products. We shot 2 days in studio photographing some fun and refreshing recipes using various cheeses of theirs.
A personal favorite I think was their brie wheel. It was wrapped and baked in a Pillsbury dough and came out like a pull-apart bread. The brie inside was warm and gooey. If you really wanted to take it up a notch dip it in the cranberry sauce paired with it. It really was tasty and a perfect choice for a holiday appetizer. Another recipe idea was using one of their cheese dips to fill the bottom of glasses then pair on top with some cut vegetables. It’s a cute and fun way to serve it at your next party.
Check out some B.T.S. having fun with cheese! :)
Happy New Year and looking forward to 2017 projects!
How did Thanksgiving start? We gather each year with family and friends on this day sharing in big feasts but do we take the time to learn its roots?
In 1620 the Mayflower, a ship from Plymouth, England went on a journey seeking a new home to practice their faith freely. After a long and treacherous journey it brought them to the New World and landed at Cape Cod. Their first winter there was very brutal and lives were lost. Once March approached the remaining ship crew; the pilgrims came ashore to settle. The Native Americans who lived there helped and taught the pilgrims how to cultivate corn, catch fish among other helpful survival tactics. The next year the pilgrim’s had their first successful corn harvest that called for a celebration! That celebratory feast was the first unofficial Thanksgiving that we know today. Source: History.com
One thing that photographers can relate to is having access to situations and events in everyday life that not everyone sees. We have an opportunity to tell stories from our perspective and share with an audience. This happened to me the other day; being able to document a chicken slaughtering. I found out about this through one of the farms I’ve been working with for over a year. This only happens a certain time of year when their free-range chickens have grown large enough to be sold and used at their facilities. **Photo gallery has some graphic content**
When I arrived at the farm the sun was just rising and the foggy clouds were clearing; it was going to be a gorgeous day for photography. The outdoor mobile trailer was just pulling up to the gravel lot where the farmer’s towering crates of live chickens were waiting. Out of the mobile trailer comes the owner and operator of his chicken and turkey processing company. He has been doing this for over 5 years. There was certainly a process and systematic setup before diving into the chicken cages. Everything must be sterilized.
First he organized the inside of the trailer with buckets being pulled out under the drains, then getting the water running in his sinks to a boiling temperature, and using lots of soap to make sure everything was clean. Then he puts on his rubber apron along with rubber gloves. His knifes and sharpening tools were laid out on the metal counter that he used to break down the chickens after their bath and plucking.
Their was a row of upside down cones where the chickens went in head first. He would pull the chicken from the crate one at a time and put them in there. He would then pull the head through the bottom of the cone and cut off the chicken’s head. The chicken still moved after removing the head. The heart would still be pumping which allowed the chicken to bleed out more efficiently. The blood would drain into a large metal bay which was under the row of cones.
Once the chicken had been drained enough he would then put them into a rotating hot water and soap bath to help with cleaning and loosening the feathers from the skin. After that process the chickens would go into a rotating tub that had rubber prongs throughout. When that was turned on it would spin the chickens quickly and remove all the feathers completely from the body. When he pulled the chickens from that they would be clean and ready for breakdown.
Important parts of the chicken that need to be removed at this point is the oil gland. If this is not removed it can spoil the meat. Other parts of the chicken being removed are the feet, and esophagus. You cut open the chicken’s body just to open it and not hit the intestines. Then carefully remove the insides including gizzard, and lungs. After this process is done the chickens get cooled in cold water and placed into refrigeration.
I've finally found some time to gather some of my tears and advertising work I've done over the years. It's exciting to go back to some of my older work and see how my current work compares! Can't wait to create more new work for my clients and continue to update my commissioned section. I currently have some projects in the works and plan to add those in the coming months.
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.
What a great crew to work with. This past shoot working with Cheese Connoisseur and Grana Padano from Italy was such a blast. These type of projects remind me how fun my job is! We created various recipes using Grana Padano cheese product for the next issue of Cheese Connoisseur and for use directly with Grana Padano. These recipes showed how versatile a savory cheese can be. Some of the recipes we photographed were quesadillas, farrow salad, and apple galette. The mixture of the melted cheese with these acidic foods really worked well. The cheese itself was good on its own and created beautiful toppings to the dishes. For the photo shoot these Grana Padano cheese wheels and cuts were hand picked from Italy and delivered to the states for this shoot. They take their product very seriously and are proud of what it is all about. That type of passion for food really speaks levels and made the day all that much better. The beautiful cheese rinds were apparent in every photo, so you know to use the best when making these recipes. To finish out the day we did a gorgeous stack of cheeses with a rich slate as the background and a huge rustic chopping block as the base. This translated to authentic Italian.
I was able to try and practice my Italian at the end of the shoot, and sure enough I still need practice.
Another great year at the Fancy Food Show in New York City. Once again I was overwhelmed with the innovative food and beverages that came out. There is a real passion for food from the people that come out to this event. It’s not just about getting your product noticed but being excited to share what you have created and to make a difference. The quantity of vendors are hard to cover closely over just 3 days. You certainly have to go in with a plan on what your looking for and what to accomplish.
I feel my first takeaways or what I noticed overall at the event was the several different types of chocolate vendors. There’s nothing wrong with chocolate but there was a lot of show for that this year! Another condiment I noticed that still is very popular but has more varieties of it is Sriracha. The one brand that stood out to me the most was the local New York Bushwick Kitchen brands. I remember them from last year and their booth and packaging are very easy to read. Less is more I always think. I tried their Weak Knees Gochujang Sriracha which had a great flavor and texture! It wasn’t a smooth sauce which was unique in a good way. Another brand of sauce that I really liked and is also a newer brand at the show was Fix Hot Sauce. They had a Sriracha sauce that was really amazing! I see this brand going far.
There were plenty more condiments I came across and was in abundance just like the chocolate. Last year’s big condiment; Sir Kensington was featuring their new vegan mayo this year called Fabanaise. It was made with the juice aquafaba which you find in cans of chickpeas.
When it came to branding that stood out, and bonus if it was really tasty Slap Ya Mama Cajun products took the gold. I couldn’t stop laughing to myself about that name. The way it sounded and with it’s southern personality was just funny! I tried their Cajun pepper sauce which was so flavorful and perfect spicy. The sales guy told me, if you had a little butter you have your perfect buffalo sauce, and he was right. I was able to take home some seasoning packets, can’t wait to use those. Other brands and booths did jump out. There are so many vendors who have to have something unique about your product to catch my eye. One product that had classy and well designed packaging was Suckerpunch. The mix of color and old world illustration looked really nice. They were sampling some of their pickles which were really good. A cocktail mix Bittermilk also had some impressive design. Same idea of the old world look but with a modern approach. The mixtures were good, I sampled their Tom Collins. An extension of the brand that was also there and had good design was their brand Tippleman’s.
Another big showmanship at the event was gingerbeer. Who would of thought, I feel every year there are a couple more companies there selling gingerbeer. It’s all very good and could be the new soda before we know it. Of the several gingerbeers I saw and tried I will have to mention Top Note. They recently re-did their branding which was well thought out. The color schemes was interesting but worked well. The product itself was very tasty too.
This show has a lot to cover, I just mentioned some of the US offerings above. Their international reach is another overwhelming factor. I have a little more to say and will have in another post.
How was your Memorial Day weekend? What type of grilling did you tackle? For us we did a nice dry rub spare rib recipe. Color is always important and using the right amount of paprika really makes a difference. These were also on the spicy side, a nice change up from the usual BBQ sauce rub.
-1/2 cup turbino sugar
-1/4 cup normal paprika
-1/4 cup smoked paprika
-1 tablespoon salt
-1 tablespoon pepper
-1 tablespoon onion powder
-1 tablespoon garlic powder
-1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
-1/2 teaspoon ground thyme heaping
-1/2 teaspoon ground bay leaves sparingly
-yellow mustard rubbed on base of meat (makes the seasoning stick!)
*Let it soak overnight in fridge
-Baked 300 degrees 3 hours cover in foil
- Uncover and cook an additional 15 minutes