Dallas Food Photographer: Food and Wine Cookbook
I love food: I love to cook food; I love to eat food; I love to shoot food. I’ve noticed in my time as a Dallas food photographer that the longer I photograph food, the more of a foodie I’ve become. In dealing with so many talented chefs, I have gained a much deeper appreciate of culinary arts, and have gained inspiration in what I prepare at home. Food really does bring people together, so I always make sure to have something worth getting together for when you come to my house. I’ve come a long way from my college days when I could barely cook an egg, and my signature dish was spaghetti with olive oil and powdered Parmesan cheese. Now I make my own pizzas from scratch, crust and all. It’s exciting to see that growth in both ability and enthusiasm for me, and I try to apply it every time I am sent out to document food and drink.
The project I am writing about today was one that was very exciting for this Dallas food photographer. I was given the task of shooting chefs and food for the Fort Worth Food and Wine Festival Cookbook. The Festival happened just a few weeks ago, but you can still get the cookbook and access recipes from some of the finest chefs in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, with even a few chefs from across the great state of Texas tossed in for good measure.
Now, given the swath of area that I had to cover for this project, I became a hybrid Dallas food photographer/professional driver and logistician. There were over twenty chefs and restaurants that I had to go to, ranging in geography from the Highland Park area of Dallas over to Weatherford and even out to Glen Rose at Rough Creek Lodge. Each place had to be photographed at a time when there was not lunch or dinner service, which meant a few could be shot in the morning, with the majority being done in the mid to late afternoon hours.
Now there was lighting to consider. Seeing how it was all for one cohesive project, I had to keep to my personal Dallas food photographer style and not have the images look like they were photographed in a bunch of different conditions. As you probably know, restaurants range widely in the type and amount of light they have in their spaces, as it is dependent on the kind of ambiance and appearance they are trying to create. My goal was to use a mix of both natural and artificial strobe light to create a natural ‘sitting in the window’ kind of light no matter where I was. This meant that I really had to boost in light when I was shooting at one of my steakhouses, which are typically known for low light, and just had to shape the existing light at Rough Creek, which has massive windows and tons of natural light. Hold on, such copious amounts of window light make me tear up just a little bit with joy. Okay, now I’m back.
After getting together a game plan, it was time to hit the road and hang out with some really cool chefs and cuisine. I photographed all manner of dishes. There were so many things to tempt my Dallas food photographer palate, such as burgers and steak tartare, buffalo ribeye and braised shortribs to name a few. There was even a spaghetti and meatballs recipe, and an American classic: meatloaf. Then came the desserts. Vanilla bean cakes, bread pudding and caramel pecan cheesecake oh my! I am currently on a diet, and that partial list is almost reason enough for me to quit right this instant. I’ll stay strong; don’t you worry. As always, I hope you enjoy the photos!