behind the scenes: kingsford

hi all, sorry that i haven’t posted in a while.  busy busy busy.  here are some behind the scenes pics from a recent shoot for Kingsford.  a week of steaks and steak-related recipes.

given the carnivore that i can sometimes be, i can’t believe i’m saying this.  but after a week on this shoot, i would be okay with not seeing another steak for a while.

we did the shoot at The Right Studio, a former firehouse converted into a shooting studio by photo producer Carmel Cottingham and her brother Chris.  Kevin Crafts provided the food styling, with Vicki Woollard providing food styling assistance.  Jim Cardosa provided the prop styling.  and Dania Maxwell served as my assistant.  Dania also shot the iPhone pics below.

my buddy cary

Photo by Cary Conover

here is a blog posting by my old friend cary conover about his 9/11 experience:

cary is a dear and old friend of mine who i luckily met back when we were scrub college kids participating in the finals of the hearst journalism awards back in the mid 90s.  he is one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet, and one of the most amazing street photographers i’ve ever seen.

the photo above is of the crew of guys that cary ran with back in his nyc days.  at center opening the bottle while standing next to the 1990s boom box is jamal wilson, behind him with the cup is andy cutraro, the guy with the glasses sitting to andy’s left is aris economopoulos, and the guy with the mutton chops at far right is patrick witty.  the rest of the guys look familiar, but i’m not too sure who they are.

start fresh

sorry it’s been a while since i’ve posted last.  the ole missus and i spent the past month moving to a new place, so we’ve been in a world of boxes and trips to lowes.  but we’re starting to resurface, and all is settling nicely now.

which brings me to this post.  my most recent cookbook collaboration with tyler florence was released today.  “start fresh” is a cookbook geared towards cooking for babies and toddlers.

we shot this book here and there over the span of about two months, starting in mid december and finishing early february.  timing couldn’t have been better for me, because at the time we started shooting, my kiddo had just rounded the corner past his first birthday, so i was a bit at a loss for what to cook for him.  until my son came along, i had no idea what one fed a baby.  for all i knew, babies ate bland mush and dried protein pellets until they turned 3.

so spending a couple of weeks in the kitchen with tyler and food stylist kevin crafts, watching them make for babies/toddlers things like roast broccoli, fish chowder and lasagna kinda blew my mind.  some of what they did would invariably make it into my kitchen at home.  lo and behold, my kid would actually eat this!  real food!  i would roast a big batch of broccoli with olive oil, salt and pepper, and then pulse it down in a food processor with some grated parmesan, and watch my kid take bite after bite.  roast broccoli has actually become a bit of a regular dinner staple for us (in fact, we ate that tonight).

shooting this book was decidedly different than shooting tyler’s last book “family meal”.  with “family meal”, it was this big 5-week production with 8 people working in and around the kitchen, with me frenetically shooting everything that moved.  i took more of a “shotgun” approach to cookbook photography, where i would just shoot as much as possible and labor thru the editing afterwards to piece together a coherent package.

but with “start fresh”, it was just tyler, kevin and i at his house, coffee cups in hand, just leisurely cooking and shooting away while listening to tyler’s ipod mixes.  i slowed down and focused a lot more on the composed finished plates and heroes.

below are some pages from the book: