As a food photographer I shoot food, product and packaging but on occasion an opportunity arises that I’ll be hired as a second photographer for a wedding. That was my day yesterday. A nice change of pace, and a jump start into the busy season. The wedding and reception took place in Portland, Maine at one of the venues at 58 Fore Street, at The Portland Company marine complex. The event space was stunningly rustic but romantic with exposed blue tinged brick, high ceilings, wrought iron beams, oh, and a beautiful view of the harbor. Industrial meets elegance is the best way to describe it. The setting for the actual wedding was outside on the banks of the harbor on the Eastern Promenade and the bride and groom arrived to awaiting guests on the old Maine Narrow Gauge railroad which, in itself, is a fun time for a photographer. It was a beautiful day with patchy clouds and slightly overcast which is the perfect diffusion for eliminating those harsh shadows. What a fantastic way to spend a day in Portland, Maine. Stay tuned for a few images..I don’t publish every event I shoot on my website so If you’d like to see more of my weddings, including some images of my first Italian wedding in Rome, Italy, and other non food industry events, here is the link to those images.
Two summers ago I spent a month in Tuscany, Italy photographing several wineries and a bed and breakfast outside of Siena. It was September and I remember waking up and feeling the subtle transition from the summer heat and humidity to a crispy coolness in the air, a sign that Fall was on it’s way. I also remember the sacks of porcini mushrooms the family that I stayed with used to bring home and the aroma that filled the kitchen as they prepared delicious meals using those fresh mushrooms. I was more than grateful to be invited to the dinner table and learn a few tricks in the kitchen. Recently, I’ve been feeling that same crispy, cool air as the weather is transitioning in Maine and New Hampshire as I daydream of that golden time in Italy. I get inspired this time of year to make something with fresh mushrooms just so I can relive that experience I had. A fresh mushroom lasagne seemed appropriate and a definite crowdpleaser. Although I can’t get those fresh porcini’s here in the US, the dried ones seem to do the trick. I used more porcini’s and add a bit of butter because I love how the butter helps bring out the richness in the mushrooms. When served with a salad of greens and tomatoes this is a simple and delicious meal that will ease you right into Fall.
A rustic and healthy lasagne that feels like Autumn in Italy
What a difference a day, or should I say a geographical life change, makes. I made a bold move recently from New York City to Maine, spending the winter in New Hampshire’s White Mountains in the interim. It’s been several months since I’ve settled into a lovely mill town between Portland and Kennebunk, Maine. I have found the food and product scene here to be very creative, diverse and incredibly healthy given the abundance of organic farms, fresh seafood and the passion behind the creations of beautiful and delicious food products and packaging. As a food photographer, I see Maine in the same way as having a big chocolate cake in front of me, highly irresistible to say the least. Lobster and seafood, blueberries, maple syrup…the list goes on. Most of the restaurants here serve wild harvested and organically grown foods from farmers, fishermen and foragers from all over Maine and other parts of New England. You haven’t eaten lobster until you’ve eaten Maine lobster, no doubt about it! As a product photographer, the majority being food products, I have seen so many creative, organic and rustic packaging that is in alignment with the deliciousness of the food inside. This has a been a busy week as I have several food and product photography shoots confirming through the summer months. Product photography is one of my niches and given I have a passion for lighting in my studio I lose myself in the process. I tend to get a little obsessed with getting rid of reflections on bottles and other highly reflective materials, which so many food products utilize. Let’s face it, it’s easier to get it right in the camera than have to manage it after during the post production phase. I’d rather be eating a delicious meal at a local restaurant than working in Photoshop at my desk. Although I do love Photoshop. :). My website has a lot of examples of the types of food and product packaging I photograph. So happy to be a part of New England and all it has to offer. There is a reason the official slogan for Maine is Vacationland.
I was recently interviewed on White Mountains TV in New Hampshire and here is the video of it. They haven’t had a food photographer on the show before so they thought it would be a fun and different perspective. Hey, who doesn’t like to talk about food, right?! This area in the White Mountains is huge for weddings so there are a lot of wedding and portrait photographers here but not many that are professional food photographers. The host Rob Clark was very animated and asked some great questions about the product photography and restaurant photography that I’ve been working on. We started off talking about my shoot in Sicily for a luxury olive oil company and estate called Mandranova and showed some images of the villa, the olive harvest and the food that will be in the book they are publishing this year. Since I do a lot of bottle photography in my studio we touched on that as well and I was able to show some samples of my work and explain the importance of lighting and how it can make a dish look appetizing or not so appetizing. It was broadcast in standard definition so the images were not crystal clear but hope anyone interested would check out my website. I now work out of New York and New Hampshire and am working on capturing some business from Maine. There are so many restaurants and foodies in Portland, Maine so I spend quite a bit of time there as of late. Thanks for watching and check out more of my work and passions on my website at www.lesliebrienzaphotography.com.