Kitchen De-Classified: Video Work for Mystic Lake Casino

A couple months back, Mystic Lake Casino+Hotel revamped the look of their Buffet, the largest of eight (!) food options in the complex. While the makeover didn’t impact the food coming out of the kitchen, it did provide an occasion to talk about some of the things that their kitchen does that people wouldn’t necessarily expect from a facility that serves thousands of diners per day.

Executive Chef Richard Fisher had seen the piece I did last year at the Minneapolis Club with their Executive Chef Hakan Lundberg, and they brought me in to get behind the scenes to show buffet diners a little bit of what happens behind the scenes, and the care they take in delivering all their food, from steaks to breads.

In addition to the quality ingredients, Chef Richard just runs a great team of cooks and chefs who obviously enjoy their jobs. It was a huge treat to see the kitchen in action, and to see an operation as large as Mystic sourcing locally and cooking from scratch.

The piece will appear in Mystic hotel rooms, with a soundtrack created in house.

Japan 2: Shrines and Temples

Until recently (as in the mid19th century – recent relative to the history of Japan) Kyoto was Japan’s capital. Over the centuries thousands of Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines were constructed, representing the highest forms of Japanese aesthetics and architecture. Just amazing places to see.
Turns out three year olds even like hitting the temples: koi ponds! Pooh-San had fun too.

Japan 1: First Impressions

Osaka train station

My family and I are on a two week trip to Osaka, Japan for my brother’s wedding. He’s lived here for over six years, but it’s our first time. We’ve been here for four days so far, and we’ve started to explore my brother’s Osaka neighborhood and taken first trips to Kyoto and Kobe. It’s a fascinating place, to say the least.

Coffee Boss

I’ll be posting sporadically, street photog-style on the sights. For the photo geeks in the audience, I’m using a new-to-me mirrorless camera system on this trip that I’ve been excited to play with. It’s a Sony NEX-7 with a Nikon lens adaptor, so fully digital but fully manual focus and exposure. I’m editing with the brand new Adobe Lightroom for iPad. Ah, gear.

Osaka landscape


Portrait for Good Housekeeping Magazine

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:GH_Port_01

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:


Fraser 2013 Annual Report

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.Fraser2013AR_01I’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.

Fraser2013AR_03 Fraser2013AR_02While 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: