It’s been a little while since I’ve done any work on my snack series, so I was pretty excited when Stef emailed me a couple days after we met at a mutual friend’s birthday party a couple weeks ago.
From what I can gather, Stef eats a lot of cereal: for breakfast, as a comfort food after any kind of trip, and as a late night snack. Usually the snack is a mix of little bits of all the cereal varieties she has in the cupboard (five on my visit) in a glass or ramekin.
Something that I’ve noticed on these shoots is the beautiful release of tension that people get when they start eating a familiar, delicious piece of food. People can be a little apprehensive about having their picture taken, and then, once the first bite of snack hits the tongue, bam. A sigh, a low hum of contentment, a smile. Aaaaahhh.
Yesterday some very good friends of mine let me borrow their car. With their kids in it. Then we had a little snack time photo shoot with some of the girls’ favorite drive time snacks: Annie’s Bunny Crackers, and grapes. As you can see from the photos here, the bunny crackers were the clear winner.
I don’t miss many things about my former life working in an office, but I can emphatically say that I miss treat day. So I did something about it: I bribed my way in to my wife’s treat club, picked up donuts and coffee, and photographed the experience of visiting my first treat club in a little more than six years. We had a great time.
My wife was a little apprehensive that my treats wouldn’t be up to the high standards of her club, or that enthusiasm for the photo project wouldn’t be there. But (a.) I know my way around a treat club, my friends, and (b.) give a crowd a couple dozen pastries and a small keg of caffeine, and you’ll get yourself some enthusiasm. I’m happy to say that the shoot was a success. Witness:
Faxin' 'n' treatin' - oh yeah!
Many thanks to the Third Floor North Treat Club for graciously hosting. May your treats always be plentiful and hand crafted.
A fine example of a snack cave
About a month ago the snack series made a cameo appearance on City Pages Hotdish Blog, which was great; it’s always nice to get some work out in to the world. But the other benefit was the call for snackers included in the story. That led to an email from Annie, a native Minnesotan currently in grad school in NYC. As luck had it, she had a visit home on the books, and was up for some photos.
Her favorite snack? Pickles.
What intrigued me most about Annie was that in our email conversation she called pickles a nostalgic snack; when she eats them she can visualize walking through the Minnesota State Fair, where you can buy ginormous pickles on a stick. So we went to the fairgrounds for our shoot, and I brought a couple jars of Gedney’s State Fair award-winning pickles upon which to snack.
But our timing was off: the fairgrounds were closed off to let the fair vendors get ready for the throngs. So we had to make do with one of the entrance gates.
Of all the snack subjects, Annie showed the least pain at eating her snack for the duration of the shoot. I told her to pace herself, but still, she took down almost an entire jar of Norwegian Dills. She’s got snack dedication, for sure. And after our time together she was even going to have lunch with her boyfriend’s parents (second meeting), but she showed not restraint.
Annie told me about a couple of her favorite pickle hook ups in New York – storefronts that deal exclusively in pickles. Annie, could you elaborate in the comments if you read this? And how did lunch go??
This man should not buy the big bag of Red Vines.
I’ve got to say that for a couple previous snack shoots I felt a little guilt; continuously pushing fritos or tootsie pops in to your mouth for an hour while some guy takes pictures. . . I suspect that some governments may construe that type of endeavor as a violation of the Geneva Convention. But Stephen. . . I really felt like an enabler. He just had the kind of complete, enrapt enjoyment only felt by the true addict.
There were photos from this shoot that I thought about posting, but just couldn’t: Stephen with 25 vines in his mouth at once, Stephen with a big tooth-reddened smile. I figured I’d have to post some kind of warning with them, though, and this is a PG blog.
Stephen was a photojournalist in North Dakota when his Red Vine addiction started. There was a lot of driving to cover stories out on the plains, and he needed a car snack. Perfect! Except now. . . wow.
Taking pictures of another photographer can be a little nerve wracking, but Stephen has a healthy dose of ham in him, and none of the attitude that most photographers have: that they picked up a camera precisely so that they wouldn’t have to be photographed themselves.
Hungry for more snacks? Serving after serving available here.