This was the last Young Bloods portrait I got to do before leaving New Orleans. Spending time photographing these people doing great things for the city had become one of my favorite and most inspiring monthly jobs.
Once again I was sent across the state to photograph a handful of restaurants for inclusion in AP's Best New Restaurants cover feature. As luck would have it, the sky turned black and a ridiculous rainstorm hit as I was approaching my second stop, the Freetown Fries food truck that they wanted to use for the cover. We had a deadline to meet and I was already on the road, so I met the owner, Marla, at the truck anyway, and had my assistant keep the lights from blowing away while I stood in the rain to get the exterior shots. A lot of rain and a lot of Photoshop later and we had our cover. You'd never know, right? The weather eased up as we headed west and inside to shoot interiors and eat good food at other locations. Another long but successful day on the road!
When tasked with shooting a steakhouse cover feature for a statewide magazine, I managed to pull off another logistical miracle by scheduling times with six restaurants in one day. Oh, and there was about 750 miles of driving in there too. I love getting to meet all these restaurant owners and chefs to take pictures while they show off what they do best.
BaChi Canteen's "bacos" for a monthly food piece in St. Charles Ave. Magazine. ...delicious.
I was surprised that I hadn't been to Satsuma yet. It was all of five minutes from where I lived and through all the publications I'd worked for I'd been just about everywhere. But I got the call and ventured over at the end of a busy lunch rush, where they made the sandwich and juice that I had to photograph. I'm not one to drink fancy juice concoctions on a regular basis, but this one was good. I honestly have no idea what was in it, but who cares, it was refreshing. There are two locations as of now - check it out.
A while back I did a few photographs of the food at La Petite Grocery for a magazine ad. The plates looked beautiful! We also worked around the lunch crowd to get a few interior shots. I distinctly remember there being a giant wooden pig (or maybe it was a bear) at the entrance. It's New Orleans, why not? Check out La Petite Grocery here.
I've photographed at Mike's on the Avenue a couple of times for different publications. This time it was for his amberjack skewers, which looked and smelled fantastic. Unfortunately I didn't get to eat these. Oh well, judging by what I've seen so far, I'll probably be back.
August has been a month of afternoons spent going to restaurants all over the place to photograph food of all sorts. One project alone has had me out to over 70 restaurants. It's been great to see (and in many cases eat at) so many of the amazing restaurants, cafes, diners, and bars that this city has to offer. I'll share some more work once things start getting published. Until then, I'll just be over here planning my diet for September! Update: The New Orleans restaurant guide is done and out!
This was another case of not knowing what to expect out of a dish. I was told to photograph the "charcuterie board" at Toup's Meatery and I had to look up what charcuterie even meant. It's always a pleasant surprise when they come out with a big board full of food that's both visually interesting and great tasting.
We like to have fun around here, if that hasn't become obvious yet. When I told Jenny that I'd like some cake pops instead of a traditional birthday cake, she jumped at the idea. But since we can't do anything without turning it into an art project, she decided to make the cake pops into little people and yes, little zombies. She disappeared into the kitchen to make various flavors of cake pops, carefully icing and placing each of their little eyes. I set up and lit our scene so we could take a few pictures of our creations. I always tell people that I spend a lot of time "playing" with food while I photograph it, but in this case, were literally playing with these guys, making them go after each other, picking out who we thought should survive and who should get eaten.
Dessert should always be this fun.
So many times I take pictures of stuff for magazines and never get to see the full impact of the images. Last night, I went to cover an event for a different publication like I always do, and since I long ago stopped researching what these events were, I was surprised to show up and see this frame with the picture I took. It's nice seeing my work in print. And framed. And displayed to a ballroom full of people that paid $250 a seat to attend. See the story of that shoot here.
Emeril has a handful of restaurants in New Orleans and makes appearances during a handful of events throughout the year. This was the third year in a row that I've photographed the Sunday at Emeril's event, and it seems to get bigger every year. The restaurant staff ran their butts off to pull off another well orchestrated service for all the guests and honorees.
This guy is getting all sorts of well deserved awards lately. I photographed Bill for a profile on his upcoming Ella Brennan Lifetime Achievement award. I won't go into detail as you probably know the story - successful business owner does tons of philanthropic work. All I can speak to is my personal interaction. My only direction on this shoot was to do something out of the office, so we got Bill on the phone and he actually had people on forklifts moving pallets around for me. If all his philanthropy stuff doesn't work out, I'll at least vouch for the fact that he was really accommodating to one lowly photographer.
I had to get a cover shot for Acadiana Profile Magazine, and here's the result of one very long day on the road photographing restaurants. We might've ruined a few pizza doughs in the process of getting this shot. :)
Yes, delicious crepes suzette sitting in front of me, I'm talking to you. How can you expect me to photograph you when I'm getting scents of citrus and berries and I've been left alone in Arnaud's before opening. I haven't eaten anything yet today and the first thing I have to photograph is a dessert. I'm sorry, crepes suzette, I think in a few short minutes you'll be breakfast.
Being located on the edge of the Quarter, I've probably walked past the Palace Cafe two hundred times without ever going in. I've taken pictures of the iconic sign on the outside, but never had the urge to venture inside. Thankfully one of the magazines gave me an excuse to go inside. I had to shoot a Cobb salad (and a pretty good one at that - thick cut bacon is fantastic), and as usual I made small talk with some of the people inside while waiting on the kitchen. The interior is larger and more elaborate than I would've assumed from the outside. The upstairs walls are covered with murals and photos of musicians. If I heard correctly, the building used to be connected to music publisher P.P Werlein. I'll let wikipedia tell you about old P.P.
Half the fun of local business assignments is getting to meet and chat with the various owners, managers, waiters, or even curious customers. This shot was from Pho Tau Bay in Gretna. Honestly, the most memorable part of the shoot wasn't getting to eat the good food afterward, nor was it the patient waitress showing me what to do with Vietnamese style coffee for the millionth time. I have a distinct memory of the owner/manager resembling a damn good Vietnamese-American Elvis impersonator. Maybe it was the sideburns or just his cool mannerisms, but now I really want to go back and see if he'll give me an "uh huh."
I love photographing food, but let's face it, New Orleans isn't known for having the healthiest of menus. Often the subject is fried or cheesy, neither of which leave me with many options for incorporating color into the photographs. I pray to be assigned a fruit plate one of these days. Until then, I'll be happy with Herbsaint's salad. It's green, vibrant, pretty looking. I'll eat fried meat whenever it's available, but I prefer to look at this.
I skipped through a sudden rainstorm to get to Bayona, one of those places that's sort of hidden away on one of the lesser traveled streets of the Quarter. Soup is great to photograph when you're soaking wet. It's even better to eat when you're soaking wet.
I had no idea what to expect as I waited for the folks at Kim Son to bring out the salt baked crab I had to photograph. Something small and dainty with delicately arranged and styled crabs maybe. When they set this before me I had did a double take and allowed a "wow" to slip from my lips. This was a massive dish of halved crabs and claws. If I had been armed I probably would've shot it just to make sure it didn't come at me while I was photographing. I managed to survive and get the pictures I needed and the restaurant was even nice enough to package everything up in a big carryout bag for me to take home. I should've had them teach me how to eat it first. It tasted great, but I'm unpracticed with Vietnamese cuisine and spent more time engineering ways to get through the shells than actually eating.
Published photo here