I Love Cookbooks!
I have a healthy obsession with cookbooks. There's just something about thumbing through a beautifully captured cookbook, plump with possibilities... what an art form. It's ironic because I basically refuse to follow recipes. Maybe it's the fact that I spent 20 years as a professional chef before trading my knife for a Nikon.
I thrive on the creativity and pressure that exists when photographing a cookbook. I find it so rewarding to make something that is lasting out of the impermanent nature of plated cuisine. And I love that photographing cookbooks allows me to grow relationships with people who share my deep appreciation for food, kitchens and chefs.
I changed careers in 2010, but I'll always be a chef at heart. It's not an instinct that fades or a language that gets unlearned, and I'm proud of my scars. Most of my closest friends are chefs and since I photograph some of the top culinary events in the country; such as the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen, and the James Beard Awards, I'm always making new chef friends. Through these interactions, many of my cookbook collaborations have been born. Often I have connected these talented chefs and aspiring authors directly with publishers, almost acting as a literary agent. (almost)
Writing a cookbook can be very stressful, especially for first time authors. So when photographing a cookbook, a priority of mine is to help the author feel comfortable. I like to shoot on their turf or someplace where they are familiar. I shoot mostly in natural light, as I believe food looks best that way. And again, since I'm a classically trained chef, I often assist with food styling. My goal and my responsibility as a photographer, is to ensure that the authors vision for his or her food is realized beautifully and honestly on the page. It's part of their legacy... and mine.
I'm always looking forward to my next great cookbook collaboration. So if you're a publisher or a chef and you'd like to chat about a project, please email me below, or go old school and pick up the phone. 845.367.3945.