Tillman's Roadhouse

It's been a busy 4 months here in Dallas, Texas, shooting jobs AND moving from old to new studio!  Here is a job I shot for one of our local favorites back in May, Tillman's Roadhouse. Some new tasty dishes for their 2014 menu.  Shot in one 7 hour day, with available window light, at the restaurant.  Using black cards to substract light and increase contrast.  I kept moving the table to adjust for best light on each dish.



Assignment for Pizza Hut

Production and prop styling by Kristen Dale Butler.  Food styling by Stephanie Greenwood.


Dinner Party For Modern Luxury

Modern Luxury Magazine invited me to shoot and enjoy this fine evening of food, friends, and the best Rosé I've ever drank!  At the Burn's residence in Dallas, Texas.  Read more about the Rosé here.  Shot with available light.



Parsnip for New Year!

Happy New Year to all!  Wishing all my visitors good health, peace, love, prosperity, and good fortune in 2014.

I begin this year with a couple of pictures of the parsnip.  Why a parsnip, you might ask?  Because one of my fav art directors, Jamie Laubhan-Oliver, called me with a last minute request needing a shot of it.  And in my humble opinion, It’s a pretty shot, and because I haven't posted anything since October!  And because somewhere in the universe, this handsome vegetable is a symbol of fertility, or good fortune.  Perfect foto for the new year!

Finding it in December was not easy though.  No luck at at the local grocery stores.  Adorable and perky Kelley, better known as Jennie Kelley, of MasterChef fame, knew exactly where to find it, but I can’t tell you where, I am sworn to secrecy.

Parsnip actually makes a great zuppa.  And Jennie actually used it that same weekend for her underground restaurant. I’ll have to photograph the recipe soon…

I present to you, The Pastinaca Sativa!  Root vegetable of fertility gods, somewhere.

Feliz y prospero año nuevo!



Central Market. Keeping It Real.

Real food. Real meals. Fotographed for Central Market, with art director Garrett Owen from RBMM, Dallas. I am very fortunate to had been chosen to work on these images with Garrett, spurring us to “make it dirty”! Food styling by Stephanie Jo Greenwood and Robyn Valarik. Prop styling by Kristen D. Butler. Food stylist assistants, Yvonne Clarke, Jennie Kelly, and Tony Montanez. Asistente de Fotografo. Benjamin Gibson.

Shot with DSLR directly above dish, on simple white background. Lighting source was one soft-light box high above, with a fill card here and there.


Casa Rubia

Baudoin y Flores! (wouldn’t that be a good name for a bottle of a vino tinto español?) are the dinamic duo, manager and chef respectively, of the deliciously successful Driftwood restaurant in Oak Cliff, Texas.  This fall they will be opening a second restaurant in Oak Cliff by the name Casa Rubia, focusing on “modern tapas” a la Omar Flores.

I’ll be hoping for a Paella Valenciana, can Flores deliver?   ;-)

When I arrived at the restaurant for our photo session, John Baudoin was seated at a table with the wine rep, tasting Spanish wines for Casa Rubia. A tough job but someone has to do it.  There was beautiful energy and light to photograph John Baudoin right there where he was sitting.

The restaurant (Driftwood) where Flores was cooking the dishes for the shoot has windows all around so finding a table to use the available light was not difficult. The fotos below were lit with window light from the left side of the camera, rotating the table and dish so as to have the strength of the light coming from behind the dish.  I almost always rotate the plate to find the best highlights and shadows on the food.  If you do this the food will tell you how to shoot it. And as usual, no extra cards or reflectors were used.

The fotos of Flores in the kitchen, were a bit more challenging.  It’s a tight kitchen and the guys are prepping food, so adding a light-stand, a power pack, cords, and camera tripod, was out of the question.  I shot Omar with the available kitchen lights, with a high ISO (2400), hand held DSLR. I think it works.

Read more about Casa Rubia and Driftwood here and here.





Muchas Gracias! To all of you who voted for me!

DaVinci Wines has selected me as one of the 12 finalists to capture the DaVinci wine making culture with my camera, in Tuscany! Please go here and, if you think I deserve it, vote for me! (you can vote once every day) 
Molte grazie!


Butternut Squash Soup

A quick post of the butternut squash soup I shot for D Mag last week. I love soup! Growing up, seems like mom made some variety of soup almost every month. One doesn't wait for cool months in Miami to drink soup. This butternut squash soup was very delicious but we will have to wait for the recipe till the next issue of D Magazine's D Mom is published.  Food styling by Stephanie Greenwood.  Art director, Jamie Laubhan-Oliver.


The background was a large marble slab we use in the studio all the time.  It is one of my favorite surfaces. For lighting I used one large softbox high and to the left of camera, and slightly behind the soup bowl, placed just at the perfect spot to capture those pretty "liquid" highlights on the surface of the soup.  No fill cards. Camera was placed almost directly above the bowl, and the capture had to occur promptly so that the spoon wouldn't sink too fast.


Playing With Macarons

Some people are obsessed with macarons, I’ve learned.  I guess that is why there are quite a few places popping up around town that specialize in macarons.  I am not one of them, I find them extremely sweet.  Go figure, for one who likes to have ice cream for breakfast with sugary cereal and sweetened condensed milk!! (see previous post)  

These images were taken for one of our favorite Dallas agencies, The Richards Group.  Art directed by the fabulous Glen Dady, with the help of art producer and macaron taste tester, the incomparable Wendy White.  Resourced and styled by Kristen Dale Butler.  Macarons came from Tart Bakery.


Lighting was a single strobe shooting through a 6’ X 6’ diffused scrim, what I like to call a simulated window light, on the left side and slightly behind the macarons, with no fill cards.



Ice Cream For Breakfast!

Ridiculous!  Oh come on, once a year won't hurt.  Pick your favorite ice cream, your favorite cereal, and your favorite topping, and enjoy.  Look, it's cereal with milk and sugar.  What's the big deal.  

We actually did this for a client a couple of years ago, and they all participated!  They had a very guilty look on their faces all day, and not much got done the rest of the morning, but they loved it!  My personal favorite (not photographed, so not to be tempted) is Häagen-Dazs Chocolate with Sugar Corn Pops, drizzled with sweet condensed milk!

Camera directly above.  Window light from the left.  Black 4' x 4' card above the camera to kill any fill light and add contrast.  Kristen Butler keeps it cheery and breakfastsy looking with her prop styling and Food Stylist Stephanie Greenwood whips up the real thing in six different flavors.  Ben Gibson, photo tech and official taster. Couldn't do it without them!

So, without much more to say, here is our take on it.