Manny does Gin.

Leslie Brenner sends me out again into the streets of Dallas to shoot gin based drinks.  The Dish Preston Hollow, XXVII Antique in Deep Ellum, and downtown Dallas at The Mitchell.  Read Leslie's article here.    All shot with available light.   Assistente Excellent, Sheryl Lanzel.

Cuban shoots Greek in Texas.

Every year, Central Market's Passport event features a different countries cuisine and culture.  This year they chose Greece and this Cuban got to shoot it, right here in Texas!  I prayed to the Greek god Helios to send me greek sunlight to Texas.  Praise to Helios he delivered!  Proof in the images below.  Goddess of food styling, Paige Fletcher, who gave birth to the goddess of prop styling, Kristen Dale Butler.  Greek God of all things creative and design, Garret Owen.

Good article on food porn.


‘What is porny? What turns your palate on?’”

“Those pictures and those websites draw us in,” Magee said, “because they do hit something really primal in us.”....."

Here is another one from last year.  BanhShop.  "Vietnamese street food" is what the art director requested.  And we had to pretend that we were there while still here in Dallas.  Mixing some street South East Asian with a touch of French Colonial, Kristen Butler did a fantastic job propping.  And with the fabulous Kat Hughes styling the food, you can't lose!  (team picture below)

We shot with available light right outside of the restaurant so that we could at least feel the street.  I hope you can feel it too.   Visit their very cool website here to see more pics.

Texas Cuisine. Five Chefs

Last year I had the amazing opportunity to shoot five of the great Texas Chefs!  Thanks to Leslie Brenner from Dallas Morning News.  Read more here.  In order below, Dean Fearing at Fearing's;  Stephan Pyles at Stampede66;  Jeff Harris at AF+B;  Michael Sindoni at CBD Provisions, and last but not least, Tim Byers at Smoke.  These guys were true pros and all so gracious.  

Pizza Hut

These are all over the place!  At the old studio, new studio, at their test kitchens.  Both with available light and simulated window light, and some times with a little simulated sunlight. Food stylists have been Kat Hughes, Paige Fletcher, Stephanie Greenwood, Liz Duffy.  Prop styling by Mike Thompson, Kristen Butler, and Jay Evers.

Village Kitchen With Andre Natera

El Gran Chef André Natera!  Gone to Austin, Texas.  :-(   For this shoot back from when he was here at Village Kitchen, also gone. This one we had to create our own window light with a strobe behind a large 6' x 6' scrim to the right side and slightly behind the dish.  

Oak Restaurant, Dallas

Another shoot from 2013, August.  Assignment for Leslie B, from DMN-FD Luxe.  Read article here.  I believe they have changed chef, but back then it was the incomparable Richard Gras!  Hard working, creative, and joyous man!  Also shot using available light, both for the shots in the kitchen and the shots in the dinning area.


Shot for FD Luxe at Gemma restaurant, a local favorite.  Used the available window light at the front of the restaurant. Shot it two ways, I prefer the top one.  Check out Leslie B's article here.

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 a 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.



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.