I have taken these pictures over the last year or so of Minie Gonzalez, a great local talent in front of and behind the camera. I decided to use these as I optimize the appearance of my blog -- basically I'm trying to figure out how to make the images larger and more uniform. Thanks for tuning in!
I get the opportunity to visit many great restaurants in Albuquerque as a food photographer, and occasionally I'm met with unexpectedly beautiful presentations. Recently I photographed the food at two Asian restaurants for the Weekly Alibi and both fit the bill. One was the Asian Grill on Gibson (top two frames), where the food was amazingly fresh and delicious, the other was a the new Vegan Thai on Osuna just east of San Mateo, a restaurant that has a famous sister in Los Angeles. Check these places out if you have a hankering for healthy and delicious food.
I don't do product work all the time, but like it when I do. By product I mean seamless backgrounds on a tabletop, lot's of artificial light -- in my case always by Nikon speedlights (because I feel I'm at a financial rubicon with that method of lighting as opposed to studio strobes like Alien Bees, White Lightnings or whatever). Anyway, Abbey contacted me to help with some marketing and we've started off with the Wit and the Ale. Both, by the way, are delicious.
An incredible wedding at the Andaluz downtown. It was a traditional Jewish wedding, with the ceremony beginning at sundown, so I leaned on my speedlights heavily, eventually finding a good groove with them. The bride was, as you can see I hope, incredibly elegant and beautiful, and brought her family in from Russia, which added something special to the night. I'm very proud of these images -- things came together this night in a way that reminded me of my days playing soccer, when occasionally the game would slow down for me and start to really make sense. This was my first day with my new D700, and I'm a believer -- in the low light performance and focusing in particular. Great couple to work with from start to finish.
David Oberstein and Marc Bertram had me come by to photograph the grand opening of the Parq Central Hotel this weekend. It is refreshing to see something of this considerable scale and importance be followed through upon in downtown Albuquerque -- to see the success of the Albuquerque High School project being built upon in our East Downtown. The venture has the support of the Huning Highland Neighborhood Association and the city of Albuquerque, and the investors deserve much credit for taking on such a project, and the associated risks that come along with it. Great pains have been taken to keep the historical signature of the building while evoking an air of comfort and sophistication that will be appreciated by guests for years to come. Many luminaries, including Mayor Barry, where on hand for the festivities. A highlight for me was running into Robert Reck, a decidedly top-shelf photographer and a celebrity to those of us in the photo community that pay attention. Overall, this was another great opportunity for me -- the positive spirit of the opening showed on happy faces, and in combination with the beautiful setting of the hotel, contributed to many great images...
I love shooting here. Beautiful airy dining space with great window light and delicious food combine with a sleek and elegant back-lit bar. I used my speedlights for the drinks and reflectors for the food, which includes a warm duck-spinach salad, cranberry goat cheese chicken, a delicious apple and maple bread pudding with banana ice cram and an ice cream trio sundae
This wedding was a new challenge. Middle of the day, not a cloud in the sky. I typically like to shoot natural light, but had to dial down the background and use on board flash a lot. After the ceremony in the mountains we went to the parents' home in the North Valley. The wedding was very relaxed and enjoyable, and the bride and groom were elated, so that made for some great images.
I don't do a lot of fast food, but the fine folks at Mac's Steak in the Rough, a local institution to rival Blake's Lottaburger and the Frontier, contacted me through their agency and we did a day shoot on-location at the Village Inn on the westside (which they also own I guess). Anyway, the lighting had to be consistent and there were over 50 dishes, so my typical find-the-best-north-facing-window-and-set-up-reflector approach was not going to work here. Instead I used my speedlights and a monolight that fellow shooter Pat Massengale brought along with him. Because of the involvement of the owners, who were on hand, and the agency, I shot tethered to my imac so they could evaluate and contribute. I did this despite a much respected fellow photographer thinking the idea insane -- it could be helpful, but would more likely make the shoot miserable he argued. Luckily it turned out to be very helpful (though whenever the tether fell out Aperture loaded corrupted versions of files). I ended up tossing all the tethered shots and just using the images from the card.
This is the type of work that made me know what I wanted to do. Arrive at a beautiful farm/inn with a loose shot list and start putting a story together. I was working in evening light, and thanks to my 1.4s was able to shoot until almost dark. Thanks also to the gracious hosts, including owner Matt Rembe and chef Jonathon Perno. These and many more images will be in consideration for an upcoming piece in Edible Santa Fe.
This is a great new restaurant, brought to you by the same team of Roessler twins that have made Season's, Zinc and Savoy staples in Albuquerque. These guys know how to appeal to a wide spectrum of diners through quality control and attention to detail with their amazing spaces. Gorge is no exception. The food is simple enough, but not ordinary. It was a great trip up North for me and the family, who got to tag along for this assignment. If you find yourself in Taos and have kids, check out what I consider New Mexico's #1 toy store: Twirl
This was one of the funner shoots I've had in a good while. Three generations were on hand for a sunday afternoon near the mountains. The light was nice and I had my 24mm 2.8 and 50mm 1.4 for the job. Thanks to this lively bunch for making it a great time and making it easy to get some fantastic images...
I have photographed the food section of the local weekly, The Weekly Alibi, for a couple of years now. It's been a good, consistent way for me to experiment with food photography and hone an approach to it. Lately I've been trying to broaden my reach to include more of the people behind the food -- as much for my own sanity as anything. With that in mind, I twisted executive chef Rashpaul Sandhu's arm for a few photos. He even got a line cook to stoke some flames on the line for a shot. The food here is surprisingly complex and fresh, despite the 'express' approach of the restaurant. I won't be putting every installment of my Alibi assignments up on the blog, but if I do, consider it a recommendation!
My contact at the Prime Group requested a few more exterior shots of the apartments so I set out. Had to be the middle of the day, so I did a lot of waiting for cloud cover and blended exposures. This was the kind of assignment that made me stretch my wings a bit, so I'm very happy for the opportunity.
This was an incredible wedding. The church featured gorgeous stained glass everywhere and the reception was held at the perfect time of day in beautiful Tijeras, NM. The bride and groom were glowing that day and are both easy on the eyes to begin with, making my job that much easier. And they were patient with my constant requests of them... I was able to test a D700 during the day, and I am sold on it. I also cracked the seal on a new 85mm 1.4 just in the nick of time. I culled the 2000 images taken that day to 650 or so that I am extremely pleased with. The next step is to put together a book. Time to get to work!
Working with families can be a challenge in lots of unexpected ways. This session, however, was a true pleasure to photograph. The cousins were in town and we got them all together one evening and just let them be themselves -- which worked out beautifully. Photographing families is becoming a favorite part of my business. It's a process that can be a bit like a mini-wedding, with some similar pressures built in, but with rewards that make it all well worth it!