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Posts by Jim
Wow, it’s been a long time since the last post — sorry ’bout that! We’re back with news of our new studio puppy, Cosmo. Next time you’re here for a visit or a shoot, he’ll be oh so eager to meet you.
The beautiful blue scilla flowers are out now that the spring weather is here, and Stephanie Potter took these shots to mark both events.
Bruno Debas of the PhotoInstitute, a photo education site, recently did a 30-minute podcast interview with me. I found myself talking about my philosophy and approach to food photography, as well as my beginnings. I hope some of you find it interesting. Here’s an extract:
The success of a picture is when it makes you hungry. To make you say, Wow, I really want to eat that! But beyond that if you could take one step back, you could admire the photograph from an aesthetic point of view, and you could say, that’s as beautiful as a painting — that would be a secondary success. When you think about a food photograph, and how do you make it cause a visceral reaction in the other person, what you’re really saying is, I have a two-dimensional piece of paper (the photograph) and how am I going to make those things happen in the viewer? Smell and taste are not possible, and motion is not possible. So what it really comes down to, the things the food photographer needs to bring out in the subject in order to make this food tantalizing, and something you would crave, those things are an intimacy, which means getting in close, like you’re right there. Those things are seeing moistness, a little bit of glisten. Seeing texture, which is why we almost always use some form of back-lighting. And occasionally you get the sense of motion that’s not really happening, but it’s almost happening, like a drip of something that’s about to drip off. And then color. So if you do an exercise with yourself, and ask what can I do on this little piece of paper that will make people look at it and get hungry, it really comes down to just those few things, what we just talked about. If you think about all those things, I think you will get a good picture.
To listen to the whole interview, go to the Podcast. Can you tell I had a cold that day?
This image is part of a new series I’m working on. Stay tuned.
And everyone — I wish you a wonderful 2010! Let’s work for peace.
One of my favorite Christmas memories is the gingerbread house my mother would always make for us. When we were old enough, she’d let us help decorate, and then it would sit on display until long after the holiday. By that time it was too stale to eat, but the gumdrop decorations would always disappear soon after the house was made!
This Christmas Eve the twins of my sister-in-law Peggy and her partner Lisa came over, and my daughter Stephanie continued this tradition with them. She baked and assembled — and boy, did they decorate!
I try to have fun with work, and one thing that’s really fun in this business is the chance to enjoy good food and wine. Last Friday night my wife Elena and I had a delightful dinner with some of the staff of the Quarterly Review of Wines. By the way, here’s what we shot for the current cover, their Winter ’09 issue:
Editor Randy Sheahan and publisher Richard Elia are both walking encyclopedias on the world of wines. As we enjoyed dinner at the Winchester Country Club they gave us copious anecdotes and history on the different wines we tasted. We were joined by Randy’s wife Judy, as well as Harley MacKenzie, managing director; Lily Yamamoto, art director; Joe Cabrera, designer; and Lisa Amore, senior editor. Cheers!