travel

Exciting News! Working with Canteen: Video Production

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!

Something New! The Pictured Kitchen

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.

info@thepicturedkitchen.com

 

Cow Parade

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.


Personal Project: The Orchard

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.

Italy Tour Follow Up: Stock Photography Opportunities

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


Travel Plans: Italy

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!

Stay Inspired!

Photo Shoot New Jersey Monthly: Asbury Festhalle & Biergarten

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.

 

BTS Photo of Felicia working!

BTS Photo of Felicia working!

Photographer's gotta eat too!

Photographer's gotta eat too!

Italian Market Street Festival 100th Anniversary

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.)

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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.

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Year In Review...

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!

Q&A Food Stylist: Heidi Robb

Image_HeidiRobb.jpg

HEIDI ROBB

www.heidirobb.com

@heidi_robb

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!

Food Stylist: Lisa Kuehl

Chicago Based Food Stylist

Lisa Kuehl

http://lisabenitezkuehl.com/portfolio/

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.