Monday, May 30, 2011

Photo shooting with food stylist Michael Giletto

   If you have been following my earlier posts, you may know that I have had the opportunity to work with a food stylist on a photo shoot.  Well, here is an update on how things went.

   I contacted an executive chef in New Jersey named Michael Giletto.  After the back and forth phone calls and emails where we were deciding what dishes to make and what style of photos we were looking for, we finally set the date of the shoot for Saturday, May 28th.

As it was my first time to work with a food stylist, I was quite nervous. The weather forecast earlier in the week was forecasting rain and thunderstorms for the weekend of the shoot, so I was beginning to worry. What else could I do but keep my fingers crossed? As the weekend approached, I made a list of things to bring with me, including a tripod, foam boards, mirrors, clamps, backup camera and battery, my collection of fabrics and props, the laptop, and a light stand and umbrella (in case the window light wasn't diffused enough).  Oh, and I received my new Nikon D7000 camera on Wednesday, just in time for the project!  So, my Nikon D60 was relegated to the task of backup camera.

  On Saturday, much to my relief, it was mostly sunny with a slight breeze. It was an ideal day for natural light food photography. I drove down to Oceanplace Resort and Spa in Long Branch, NJ where Michael manages quite a number of kitchen staff and all of the restaurants in the hotel, which makes him quite busy. However, he still found time to set aside a whole day for the photo shoot, of which I am very appreciative. The photo shoot took place in the fine dining room, in which one entire wall was glass. They set up one dining table with a white tablecloth and another that had a rustic, natural wood look to it.  I was provided with a tall ladder to use for my overhead shots.

    Michael was very easy-going and flexible to any ideas I had for the shoot. Before I met him in person, I had read about his appearances on the Food Network and about some of his other accomplishments. He mentioned he will also be appearing in a series of shows set to air in June. Honestly, reading and hearing about all that made me nervous, but soon after we began working together, I felt comfortable and relaxed. Michael is a very talented food stylist and is awesome to work with!

You will find some of the photos from the shoot after this post.  Enjoy!

My thoughts and prayers go out to those families who have lost loved ones that have given their lives in defense of, and to those who are currently serving this country on this Memorial Day.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Something orange

Life is treating me good so far since I moved to the city. I made a post on Craigslist last week to look for a food stylist to build portfolio together. To my surprise, quite a lot of people replied. I got emails every day until a week after. There are people with very interesting background. One girl called Michael-Ann is a food TV show host and producer, who also does food styling on the side. In her show, she travels around to eat different food and hear stories and cultures behind the food, which reminds me of Samatha Brown's show of the Travel Channel. Another one is an executive chef of a hotel restaurant in New Jersey. He has appeared in Iron Chef America as sous chef for Cat Cora and a contestant of Chopped. I am excited about all these opportunities. Only New York can provide me such diverse talents and surprises. You never know!

I met photographer Mira Zaki this week for coffee. And I am her intern now! She is sweet and easy-going and actually cares that I will learn from this internship, which I appreciate very much. I don't know how other professionals start, but for me having someone nice and approachable to show me this business is so invaluable. I got to know that she didn't enjoy driving for the same reason as me. Driving isolates us from the vibrant minutae of daily life on the street. You miss too much when driving. It's New York City!

Orange is my second favorite color besides pink. My personalities always prefer warm tones. They just cheer me up! I recently received Helene Dujardin's new book-Plate to Pixel. This is a practice shot of making use of complimentary colors--in this case orange and blue, that I just learnt from her book. Before I can work with the cooking and styling professionals, I just did some simple styling.

I am testing my new website and am gonna launch it officially soon. Stay tuned!