Here in Detroit we have Coney dogs, Coney Island hot dogs. Like our neighbor to the North’s dish of poutine, there is no pretense of health. I suppose you could argue hot dogs themselves are not all that healthy. But when you smother them in chili, mustard and onions you reach a new level. And, like doughnuts, bacon, and all unhealthy foods, they are delicious. Chicago Dogs on the other hand at least have the air of being healthy, with their vegetables, pickles, and the like. Lots of fun to shoot with a super client and crew.
I had a couple of down days so I thought I’d shoot something for me. It’s a series of close-up photos of fruit and vegetables. Can you guess what fruit or vegetable this is? If it weren’t a fruit or vegetable what might it be? The rest of the series is on my personal blog. Please let me know what you think.
With Zingerman’s bread, I might give it a try. Fortunately, I can get it at a nearby market. The bread itself is beautiful, and the fig jam adds a warm glow. Food photography is fun and challenging. As always, I am interested in your thoughts.
As a commercial photographer in Detroit, the next assignment can be incredibly different from the previous one. One day I may receive a request to photograph a jet, and the next I’ll be quoting a studio or location car shoot. Industrial facilities are a common request as well as executive portraits or product shooting in our Troy based studio. It is a diverse mixture of needs in the photographic world, and as the saying goes, “variety is the spice of life”.
I was able to experience some of that variety during the last two weeks as I was assigned to shoot an architectural commercial building in downtown Detroit, followed up by a luxurious homesite on Lake St. Clair, for a brick and stone company. I photographed the home from several angles, including detail photos as requested by the client. It was an enjoyable shoot, once more adding a little spice to the business of photography in Michigan.
I’m not much of a drinker – couple of beers or glasses of wine and I’m done. But I did have a smashing great time shooting some vodka drinks. Designers & Partners’ Jim Tocco art directed and did much of the styling. We did 13 shots so it was a busy and productive day.
I completed a shoot for Letica not long ago. They make, among other things, plastic and paper cups, and plastic food containers. I shot the product in action. The photos were used for trade show banners – 84 inches high! Pour shots are challenging. It is necessary to do a fair number of pours to get exactly what you need. This shoot combined product and food as a prop. Ordinarily when I shoot food I like to work with a food stylist, but since the food in these shots was only a prop to help show off the containers, it was not essential to work with a stylist.
In all the years Tom Kirby and I have been business partners, well over two decades worth for those counting, it’s been a rare opportunity for us to actually work on a project together. We have collaborated numerous times with Tom shooting the studio portion of an assignment and myself handling the out-of-town location photography, but recently we had the occasion for real teamwork.
In case you haven’t heard, Joe Muer, the famed Detroit chef is making a comeback with a new downtown restaurant in alliance with the Andiamo chain. And fortunately for Blue Sky, we were chosen to create the photography for this upcoming event.
Shooting at Andiamo’s flagship restaurant, Tom and I worked in close quarters, with Kirby photographing the plated foods and myself taking on the lifestyle shots of Chef Muer and his associates. We shared an assistant and equipment, but more than that we shared an experience of real teamwork, both of us working together to create photographs the client would be proud of showcasing for their new endeavor.
In business, choosing a team that you can trust is one of the most important decisions an entrepreneur can ever make. I knew early on that to have a business capable of riding out both the good and bad cycles of our industry, I would need a partner that I could trust, and in turn, for that partner to be able to rely on me.
Don’t get me wrong. Tom and I can be like The Odd Couple at times, from the differences in our lifestyles, to our politics, to our choices of restaurants; but, we do have that one paramount notion in common…..to run and sustain a business using teamwork.