This weekend I was asked to photograph a private dinner (al fresco) prepared by local chef, Crystal Hart. Paired with wine from the regional Mosel winery, Mary and Alfred, it consisted of three courses that looked as good as it tasted.
First Course: Tortellini in Broth with Parmesan Tuiles.
This was the first time that I ever had tortellini in a clear broth. For a summer meal it was the perfect first course--light with plenty to bite into. The tuiles were the perfect complement--delicate in structure but strong in flavor.
As I was setting up this shot I started getting tips from experienced commercial and food photographer turned traveling chef, Rosie Goodman. She was sitting across from me at the table and was watching me composing the photo. She had me come in very tight to the dish (not concentrating on shooting the entire thing) and focus on just one element that caught my eye. In the case of the first course it was the parsley. The effect was textbook perfect for a food photo.
Second Course: Chicken Paillard and Fresh Salad
Simple but good. Can you guess what I focused on for this shot?
Dessert Course: Semi-Fredo Citrus and Limoncello Dessert (Custard Base)
Timing was everything for this course. It had to be plated and served quickly (not quite ice cream but needed to be served cold to keep its texture) so I didn't have a lot of time to set up and take this shot. I focused on the Amaretto cookies sprinkled across the top for this dessert. The simplicity of this plating is deceiving since it takes a lot of care in preparation to make the perfect custard.
This was my first time working on food photography. I couldn't have asked to have a better experience--working with a friend and then with direction with a photographer with over three decades of international experience in the commercial field (working with an agency out of New York). It was an impromptu photography workshop and dinner out all rolled into one.
You never know what chance meeting may bring you. Sometimes you don't need to look for opportunities--sometimes they find you.