I haven’t eaten sugar in a year. (well…mostly)
Have you ever tried to give up sweets? It can be a pretty difficult task when you’re obsessed with desserts, when the food stylist you adore (ahem, Kristina Wolter
) brings you trail mix with little sweet bits of chocolate, and when
the city you live in is full of sugary temptations. I try to eat healthy, so for the better part of a year I have avoided sugar. That’s why my shoot at
Serranos last week was such a fun challenge; we photographed desserts almost all day.
The first two times we worked on set with Serranos we photographed their main entree and drink menu items. With this third shoot, we focused on desserts such as creamy flan, gooey sopapillas and fried ice cream, and creamy tres leches. Later in the work day I was relieved to be free of the dessert temptation when we photographed a generous plate of a Migas and a filling Brunch Menu.
What I liked most about this shoot with Serranos was the Chocolate Tres Leches Cake.
No, what I meant to say was what I liked most about this shoot was the fact that I have developed a relationship with my client, Joshua Camacho of Serranos, in a way that matters to me and how I want to do business. Being asked to photograph for them a third time is an honor and has built another layer of trust between our businesses. When a food photography client and I truly collaborate, the food images come alive in a way that makes our mouths water. They’re bright, colorful and express exactly what they should.
[Mmmmm….chocolate tres leches makes my mouth water.]
Speaking of sweets, I cannot leave this post without mentioning how much I adore working with Austin based Food Stylist Kristina Wolter. She worked tirelessly to make every dish look delicious. She picked over several cartons of fruit to find perfectly plump blueberry garnishes, drizzled tart strawberry and sweet chocolate sauces, and cleaned smudge marked plates with Q-tips.
[Those smudge marks were not left by my fingers…pulling away a nibble of the cake. Really. I resisted, I promise. My fingerprints were nowhere on there…especially since Kristina cleaned the plate. Thank goodness for Q-tips.]
Humor aside, this post is really about relationships and how much they matter in food photography, business, and my whole life. Serranos is a local Austin favorite for Mesquite Tex-Mex and they’ve been around for 28 years for good reason. They connect with their customers and respond to their desires; they grow their menu offerings by exploring new trends while staying true to their roots. Likewise, Kristina Wolter has a long relationship with food that goes far deeper than just making it look pretty. She devotes herself to knowing everything about the food she is working with, from its cultural roots and how it has changed over time, to how it responds to mixing and whipping, stirring and pouring. Plastic spatula or metal spoon this time? Prepare ahead or style last minute on set? The care Joshua and Kristina give their relationships is why I value working with them so much. My work is strengthened by our synergy.
Relationships take time. They need care. They crave attention. They are work. And when given mindfulness they will become something no less than the sweetest, most generous piece of luscious Chocolate Tres Leches Cake.