Running a business can be challenging, scary, but exciting at the same time. You start to grow and opportunities arise that really can elevate your work, and brand. I'm excited to take a step toward working with an amazing group of people at CANTEEN. A premiere video food table top production company working with brands like Burger King and Bonefish Grill. Their current roster of talent is amazing and it's really an honor to be there with them. Can't wait to see what comes down the pipeline. This is a reminder to work hard, dream big, and keep an open mind!
Michelin star restaurants. We’ve all heard this before and something else that might come to mind is tires. In the states we do have Michelin Tire company, but would you think tires and great food go together? That’s exactly where it all started. To our surprise a visit to Beaune, France some of the restaurants had Michelin star ratings accompanied by the tire character. Was this a joke on America? No. This was a successful marketing move.
Michelin Tire Company is actually a French tire company. In 1900 the company came out with the Michelin Guide. It was a guide designed for Michelin tire customers suggesting top lodging, and food destinations. The customers would follow the guides meaning more travel, and more use on the tires, in turn more sales! Today is has evolved into the highest rating for chefs all over the world. It has a star rating 1 to 3 star ratings.
Some of the best chocolate in the world comes from a few places but a top choice for me is Belgium. A chocolate company in the heart of Brussels came across our blog and it was a great connection we had to try their chocolate. They were also testing having it shipped to the states so it was delivered (perfectly) to our NY office. Once opening the package we were greeted with a beautiful rich brown velvet bag slipped inside the box and greeting card. The presentation certainly had a wow factor.
The chocolate we decided to try was their Romeo and Juliet Praline Selection. The molding of the chocolate represented the faces of Romeo and Juliet each with their own story card and flavors. The ganache inside was very rich and packed with flavor. What a special treat for the weekend or just because. The passion and talent in Planete Chocolat’s chocolatiers is very prominent especially after having this chocolate. What is great about this company is they do so much more than just make chocolate. They provide tours, workshops, and chocolate demonstrations! If Joe and I are ever in Belgium we would certainly be stopping by.
Of course if your not in Belgium they deliver their chocolates worldwide!
Below are some helpful links to check out:
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/
Bermuda as they would say was Bermudaful! Any vacation or excuse to get away and relax is a good one. When going into a foreign country I like to keep an open mind and open schedule and really just let the culture guide me. Bermuda is a British territory in the North Atlantic. There is a distinct blend of British and American culture. Everyone on the island is friendly, and everyone knows each other. There was no language barrier, and with everyone being helpful and kind it was a easy place to get around. What I was looking forward to other than the amazing views was the food. Fish is a big competent to the island which makes sense. It was only natural to have their amazing fish chowder. Another great fish dish I had was the local famous fish sandwich from Fish and Tings. Wow! I could not finish this. There were a handful of places on the island that did make this sandwich but I’m glad I went with Fish and Tings because they also had amazing jerk chicken. The fish sandwich traditionally is made with coco bread and filled to the gills (pun intended) with fried fresh fish. Also on the sandwich was lettuce, tomato, and tarter sauce. Yum!
Overall the food and restaurants were great. I also had dinner at the Pickled Onion and Hog Penny. As far as I had British food I would have to say Hog Penny was the best. I had an amazing yorkshire pudding dinner which really hit the spot after all my rum drinking! haha. The local Gosling’s Rum was great in Eggnog and the signature rum swizzle. Another big drink on the island was the dark and stormy.
There were plenty of places and food I did not get to try but you can only fit in so much when you do have the time. So I will certainly be planning a trip back and if you haven’t been I highly recommend it. Did I mention it’s only about a 2 hour flight?!
As I mentioned in my last blog post I have been able to expand my personal project to two really amazing farms in the New Jersey and surrounding area. This will be an on going personal project capturing the farm and farmers through the seasons hopefully leading up to a year of work.
Being curious is a big part of creating this new imagery. While at the Cherry Grove Farm one of the workers was talking to me about their upcoming cow parade! “A cow parade?!, what is this?”, I asked with excitement. Well I had to go to see for myself. Below is just a small piece of the day to incorporate into my farming project.
My personal project I started about a month ago photographing a gorgeous apple orchard among other things has quickly taken me to larger and more complex ideas of the art of farming. My curious struck me while shooting at the orchard and really how far could I take this project. The orchard has several opportunities for photography and creating my unique vision of my experiences but I felt I wanted more. Beyond the apples, the small grouping of their livestock got me wondering about how I could incorporate these things. I started researching farms that specialize in crops, dairy, and meat.
After doing this my wheels got turning and I’m looking forward to expanding this project to a couple farms that have agreed to let me document their life on the farm and how they really are the backbone to our human existence.
Agriculture can be a very broad term but for our purposes of farming it can be defined as the art and science of growing plants and raising animals for food or economic gain.
Personal projects are always something I enjoy working on. It requires a vision and time! Some photographers have personal projects that span a year, while others maybe over the course of a week. I can’t say there’s a right or wrong answer here. It has to be what your feeling and how satisfied you are with the images. When I go into personal projects they may last 3-6 months depending on how many final shots I’m looking to create, the time it takes to make them, and the budget I have allotted for travel, food, props, etc.
My last project I worked on was cartoon food which I really had a great time shooting. Some of my other past personal projects and my professional work have left me in the studio. I was looking for another challenge, and all I could think of was doing something outside in the elements. Working on location is something I haven’t done in a very long time; probably since college. I found this really great orchard right outside the city that seems to have a lot of potential for photos. I’ve only been there once and I had this rush of excitement being there shooting something new and different for myself! I’m excited to see where this takes me. Here’s just a couple shots from that day.
Photos For Stock
As some of you know I recently traveled to Italy touring Venice and Rome. I couldn’t of asked for better weather. People were mentioning in Venice the high and low tides and how St. Marks Square floods. Luckily I did not encounter any issues like that. I was able to touch on most of the major landmarks in Venice and come across some beautiful surprises capturing different things. After visiting the calm and serene town I would certainly come back in a heart beat and urge anyone that has not been there to check it out. The city actually reminded me a little of Zurich, Switzerland. It had to be the pastel tall buildings that lined the narrow cobble streets and the windows flourishing in bright, fresh flower arrangements. The plus though about this city was no hills!
As for Rome, it was just as gorgeous but you could definitely see a more developed economy and city vibe. Also Rome has plenty of hills and steps. There was still lovely cobble stone lined streets, pastel colored buildings, and plenty of notable landmarks. I was taken back by the large ruins that still stood today. This made for great images. One day I had a trip planned for the country side of Rome visiting a notable winery. 30 minutes driving out of the city instantly you were surrounded by rolling hills and greenery. Making our way up a long, hilly road we reached a higher altitude and rows of grape vines, and olive trees. Once again it was a picture perfect scene!
Beyond the vast landscapes of European culture the food was to die for. Everything was freshly prepared and served. I walked away from this trip at least 5 pounds heavier, haha! The pasta, pizza, wine, salads, and fish. At the very least I can say this was another trip I will never forget.
If you are looking for imagery of European culture, specifically in Venice and Rome please feel free to reach out and see how I can work with you on your next project. If you would like to see some images I can send them via Dropbox for convenience. Also if your interested in images from some of my past trips such as Munich Germany, Zurich Switzerland, or Paris France please don’t hesitate to ask!
Of course you can see more of my stock photography here: http://www.offset.com/artist/Felicia+Perretti
I've been enjoying the end of the summer and just getting ready for my trip to Italy. My boyfriend (whose is also a commercial photographer: www.josephmkitchen.com) and myself will be leaving first week in September traveling to Venice and Rome! I feel you should really do international travel at least once in your life and while your younger. Traveling through the states I plan on doing when I'm older.
I enjoy traveling because it gives me time to explore new cultures and recharge my creative process. Seeing the world differently where you cannot always get that in your own country. I look forward to hearing new languages and trying to speak them too ;) French and Italian are certainly on my list of languages to learn. I can speak a little of both but nothing fluent... yet!
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.
2014 was the most exciting year so far in my career as a growing commercial photographer. The food and beverage industry in photography is very competitive and I feel very honored to have had the opportunities I've had so young in the field.
I can only grow from where I'm now and continue to set goals for myself and be influenced by others around me. I'm ready for 2015 and what it has to bring!
1. How did you get into styling?
Chef Michael Symon is somewhat responsible! While working as recipe tester on his first cookbook, “Live to Cook”, he asked if I would assist the New York stylist traveling with the (now defunct) “Dear Food Network” that was taping some holiday segments out of his home. I worked with stylist Greg Lofts (now senior styling editor at Martha Stewart Living), which was love at first assist. From that moment, I knew styling would be the natural segue for my set of skills.
2. What could you consider your first break through job?
Greg hired me on his crew for the Martha Stewart/Hallmark production, "Mad Hungry” with Lucinda Scala Quinn. Everyone involved was the cream of the crop, which made for rapid initiation. The job was intensely challenging as a newcomer, yet so incredibly rewarding. One show led to another, and opportunities presented themselves. Show styling is vastly different than still work. I’m deeply grateful for the cross training.
3. Do you tend to work more on still shoots or T.V. shoots?
The brunt of my current work is still with a smattering of video.
4. Have you traveled for your work? If so where’s the farthest you have been?
I travel often for work - guessing 50-50 Cleveland/travel. A repeat Nashville gig logs the most air miles.
5. Any clients you aspire to work for?
Any editorial world travel opportunity would be a dream come true, as would a beautiful cookware client such as Le Creuset or Staub. I have an abiding fondness for braising and pots.
6. Where do you get your inspiration?
Travel is the obvious answer, both for my recipe development and styling work. Creative collaborations with my talented colleagues! For visual print imagery, I frequently look to the UK and Aussie food photographers and stylists. They possess that naturally disheveled-yet-elegant aesthetic I adore and literally drool over.
7. Do you ever do propping for shoots or do you solely style the food?
Yes, I sometimes contribute or collaborate with propping. Dishware, glassware, cutlery, flowers - I’m good. There are a million other things I’d rather mess with than table linens.
8. What is the hardest food or drink you had to style?
Recently, I needed to style one of those “perfect" commercial sandwiches that was not intrinsically tricky, but the client had sent only ten hoagie-style buns to work with. Seven of the tops were damaged beyond redemption in transit while the remaining three were dry and dying. It took a good and meticulous portion of the day to achieve the hero's desired panini-pressing combined with the über-specific set of grill marks. Three was the charm with an extra three cheers going to Corn Husker’s Lotion. I haven’t used that smelly stuff in forever but you just never know.
9. For aspiring food stylists what would you tell them about getting into the business?
Make sure your culinary chops are well-honed. Most of us have logged years of restaurant, catering and personal chef experience, which not only helps with the actual shopping/cooking/styling, but in anticipating what needs to happen ten steps ahead. Next, get out and start assisting stylists whose work you admire. Cookbooks, magazines and food packaging all serve to keep your eye fresh - don't stop looking and stay inspired!
Chicago Based Food Stylist
How did you get into styling?
I got started when I came back from living in California with my ex husband, I was in the process of a divorce and trying to figure out what I was going to do since I was a teacher of the culinary arts in California and was not even going to attempt to go back to restaurant life. I have a cousin who is a photographer and was doing free lance work for magazines like time out Chicago, Chicago Magazine and I had not much to do yet in means of a job so she offered to use me as her assistant meaning just keep her company and my mind off my struggling life HA! So she took me to Time Out where I met the editor and she gave us a tour of the set up of the magazine and she explained they also do some food styling! I have known of food styling since I was in culinary school but had no real luck breaking threw to actually work in the industry. She basically said its real simple food styling. I was like well if its just presentation I would love to do it and she agreed to use me and my first shoot for only $150.00 was 2 page spread and making connections. I have been doing it ever since and its been 8 years.
What was your first real break-through job?
I really can't say what was my big break of a job? Maybe when a film studio like Big Deahl hired me at a real assistant position, then I was in and when a food stylist named Karen Robinson took me under her wing and brought me in under her and thats was when I really was now a real food stylist assistant.
Where are some places you have traveled to for work?
I have not been as international as some long time food stylist. I have been to Detroit, Phoenix, and Madison IL! I am sure that will change.
Who has been your inspiration for styling?
My inspiration I would have to say is Donna Hay, she is a Australian stylist and I have been a huge fan of her work since culinary school. Super clean and modern and not tremendously over styled.
What is the hardest thing you have styled?
Ice Cream!! It is a specialty and very hard to perfect.
Is a lot of your work word of mouth or is marketing yourself a big tool?
Yes! A lot of word of mouth and networking in the sense of keeping in the loop with photographers and chatting up the clients so they remember you. Its a lot of what kind of person you are as well as your work. People like to work with stylist who are not difficult or divas lol...not naming names.
Must have tool on set.
We all who are stylist have there own kit or tools and depending on the kind of job you might need more and then you can charge kit fees. For instance, if a client has no real kitchen or the photographer then you need to bring things that would be necessary to do the job other that the basic tool kit equipment.
Any tips you could share for food stylists starting out?
My advice for those looking to get into food styling, it’s really hard but just try to connect and offer free services to be able to just get in and luck. Stylist usually have there favorites and they know how the stylist like things and they have already made a bond and the stylist trust them with shopping and detail to work and product.