I know I’m repeating myself, but allow me to give you a bit of a back story here: last Spring I attended the DARE Photography Workshop in London, the focus of which is simply to unlock the skills within yourself to become the best photographer you can. I won’t go on about the details there – although I encourage everyone with an interest in their own abilities to attend – but I will tell you that the ramifications of my time with the group are still unfolding. I recently met with an agent regarding my food photography, she told me that my food images were solid, but that I needed to get out and get more ‘real life’ into my portfolio: go into restaurants and shoot the chefs, the scene, the prep…everything! Right…approach a chef and ask to come and invade the kitchen. Eeep. Then I thought about what my friends back in England would say…”what’s the worst they can say? No?” So I went ahead and dared myself to go for it.
When I walked into the Longtail Kitchen all the pieces clicked for me: the space was beautiful, the staff were young and hip, and Thai food happens to be my absolute favourite. Chef Justin Cheung was warm and willing to allow me full creative rein when it came to creating the images. I had thought I would just be shooting the processing, that the only food I would see would be that on the chopping board or in the fiery woks, but Justin surprised me by bringing out a multitude of dishes for me to capture. Again…eeep! It’s been an age since I shot food without a tethered capture and a talented stylist, now here I was with only my tripod and some makeshift reflectors (note: white take out bowls work beautifully!), channeling my inner David Loftus and shooting on the floor while the restaurant was actually open for business. And I have to say, aside from or maybe because of the pressure, I’m really, REALLY pleased with these frames.
Thank you Justin, it was an amazing experience and I hope you’re happy with the pictures. To everyone else, get thee down to the New West Quay for some of the best Thai street food you’ll ever taste.