food & beverage

Dorm Food Redo

Erin Mayes from EmDash had a super fun assignment for us. Shoot dorm food. Make it look epic and yummy.  This was for a story about chefs reinventing their favorite dorm foods they made while attending Denison University.

I wish I would have been so creative with making grilled cheese 10 years ago.

Details – March Body Section

Below are some images from the March issue of Details. Obviously it’s fun to play with a human skeleton and cocktails during a shoot. But for this project most of my energy went into the Elimination Nation story.

We were asked to create images that violently object to certain foods. I had recently acquired some  Einstein strobes from Paul C Buff that fire a flash duration as fast as 1/13,500 of a second. Putting Profoto to shame (sorry, a little photo dork talk here). It was a great excuse to give them a try. We used firecrackers to blow up bundles of wheat. In some of our frames you can see the actual fire crackers exploding, and the fragments are nearly razor sharp. I like these little lights a lot! Thanks to the Strobist for a great recommendation.

Eat like a Pescetarian

Here are the rest of the outtakes for the February issue of Details magazine. This story was about a pescitarian diet, so we got a lot of fish. What you don’t see from these pictures are the two little bulldogs that were dancing around just off set hoping something would slip and fall to the floor.

We Got Milk!

The Dairy Council of California approached our good friend and wonderful art director & designer Emily Kimbro to create a brochure for them. And lucky for me, Emily asked if we’d help come up with some photos for her project.
We shot a whole bunch of stuff, but some of my favorites (as usual) will never see the print press. So I get to share them here. I’m a fan of moody splashes of milk flying across the studio, but maybe moody doesn’t sell milk?
However the images at the bottom are ingredients for making chai, swirling around in simmering milk. Those did make the cut, and are some of my favorites (best smelling) from the day.
Now that that’s done, and I have ten more gallons of milk… if I only had a good recipe for milk steak….


Austin Distillers & the Tipsy Texan’s bar kit

Austin has gone from a town exploding with micro breweries to a town full of micro distilleries. And they are damn good too! So for Tribeza’s nightlife issue Robin and I pitched the idea of highlighting local booze distillers.

After the magazine went for the story I managed to convince them to let me do portraits. Anyone who is familiar with my work isn’t familiar with my portraiture, because there isn’t any! I do however have a passion for the classic styles of Yousuf Karsh and am a fan of contemporaries such as Nigel Perry. It’s something I hold in high regard.

For this project I wanted to create traditional portraits that would be flattering to these artisans and their brands, and then create a matching still life that flows in layout. The color, light, environment and mood should all match. Each still life features a cocktail, and I was concerned with the quality of the drinks, so I decided to make them myself. For weeks I diligently drank my fill and fine tuned these recipes. It was quite the sacrifice!

Also, this issue featured a ‘still life portrait’ of Austin drink aficionado David Alan, AKA The Tipsy Texan. There just isn’t enough of this in the world. Photos of people through objects. I love it. I want to see more of it!

Pecan St Rum for the Ampersand Agency

I have a very soft spot in my heart for Austin based brands, so when the Ampersand Agency asked me to work on the Spirit of Texas rum account I wanted to make something really special. And when I tried their Pecan Street rum I was inspired.

To me these images reflect the gritty old urban Austin that my studio resides in (that 100 year old brick wall is in my studio), and our high brow dining scene served out of trailers under pecan trees strung with lights (I eat my own cooking under said trees in my back yard).

This is the Austin I love, and the place I want to stay. So belly up to the bar.