A few months back I got a call from Good Housekeeping Magazine to shoot a portrait – here’s the image as it appears in the April 2014 issue:
I always love the opportunity to connect with people with interesting histories that editorial photography provides. Dawn, the subject, was great, and my friend and colleague Cindy Rae did beautiful work on her hair and makeup.
The shoot was also the perfect opportunity to showcase Verdant Tea, a restaurant and tea shop that opened in my neighborhood in 2013. They have a beautiful space that fit the vibe of the story perfectly, but more than that, they’re just incredibly nice people who also happen to sell incredible tea. Please check ‘em out – they’ll open your eyes to what tea can taste like.
A look at the uncropped image that ran in the magazine:
The Fraser 2013 Annual Report should be hitting mailboxes right about now – I got my copy a couple days ago, and it’s a fun one.I’ve photographed the last several annual reports for Fraser, but this was the first that we photographed in the studio. It was also the first designed by my friend and studio-mate Craig Johnson – and his colleague Carlo Apostoli - of Agency F. The result, in Fraser’s words, is the best annual report they’ve had produced.
While I love getting out into the world and telling peoples’ stories where they live and work, since moving into the new studio a few months back I’ve had a lot of fun creating and harnessing the energy people (kids in particular) bring to a photo shoot. And working with a designer like Craig who creates a rich context to hold the images is just so gratifying.
A few outtakes from the shoot:
Last month I had the chance to do some test shooting at Heartland Restaurant in St. Paul – a fun time on many levels.
I think of Chef Lenny Russo as the godfather of Minnesota farm to table cuisine. The success and longevity he’s had as a chef and as a restaurant owner is a testament to his skill, and to his ability to innovate. As is becoming more commonplace, Heartland sources locally, then finds unexpected applications for what many may consider unusual ingredients. Heartland just takes the concept to such a high level. For example, their exploration of the mushroom is amazing.
Chef Alan Bergo told me that last year Heartland used over 250 pounds of legally foraged mushrooms from around the Midwest, in a multitude of varieties. To hear him talk about mushrooms is to understand the passion and knowledge that everyone I dealt with on Heartland’s staff shares and brings to the plate.
I also had fun with Mike Campbell, Heartland’s head butcher, as he broke down half a pig, while we talked about the intricacies of curing meats and working at scale.
Thanks to Lenny and his crew for sharing their time and knowledge. And for putting out such comforting yet immaculate dishes.
If you happen to be a member of the Seward Co-op you may recognize this photo from the cover of the latest issue of Sprout!, the co-op’s member newsletter.
What you may not know is that those happy people my wife and son! I’ve heard from other people I’ve photographed for the Sprout cover that they feel like minor neighborhood celebrities for a couple weeks after it’s delivered, and it’s fun to watch that happen with my family.
We managed to eke out quite a few photos before the kiddo lost interest. It helped that a ‘snack’ of a plateful of cookies and a seitan ruben were part of the deal – and that he genuinely loves going to the co-op.
A few more outtakes from the day:
A couple weeks back I had a chance to photograph my friend Helena Raghubir of the Center for Happiness yoga studio. I’ve photographed Helena a few times now over the past several years, and it’s always fun.
Yoga portraits tend towards the staged and perfectly posed, but Helena (and I) wanted to create images that evoked the mental experience of being on the mat. For me, what comes through in these images is Helena’s focus, strength and fluidity, and a grounded-ness that suggests the value of the mental side of a yoga practice over its physical manifestations.
Or at least that’s what I hope gets evoked. What do you see?