CONNECTIONS BLOG

CONNECTIONS
Affinity. Closeness. Longing for connection. These shared experiences are what elevate our lives beyond mere existence. Good or bad, they are the muse for poetry, the rhythm of music, and the ‘heart’ in our heart. This body of work is about exploring just that: our humanity seen through how we connect with something outside ourselves. That moment when we bare our souls and open our hearts.

Prague Pubs

With the weather turning cooler here, I think of sitting around the fire, and remember some nice pub meals in Prague: beer, meat and dumplings! I'm feeling warmer already!

 It is also quite amazing to see that no matter where you are in the world, people love to take photos of their food... hold on, that's me.

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The Act of Tasting

A night at Taste of Sydney Festival

I ventured down to the Taste of Sydney Festival on Friday night; what a fun event! I do love an outdoor venue, and with several little bars set up with DJ's, the trees all light up, food appreciation and cocktail making demonstrations, and the wide variety of food and products available it really was a great night out. I ran into Chef Tom Walton of  The Bucket List in Bondi and his newbie Cranky Fins in Palm Beach also sampling the variety on offer.

Everyone was having a great time, and I'll be looking to go with a group of friends next year, so mark it in your calendar.

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to market, to market

Our shoot in Singapore is now over and I'm now well and truly in holiday mode. Time to immerse ourselves in the culture, smells, vibrancy and flavours of the local markets.  My wife Angela lived in Singapore as a child, so I'm gladly in her hands when she takes us to Lau Pa Sat markets. market Places like this are so inspiring. Simple food, done so effortlessly but so tasty. I feel so much more at home too, being where the locals eat, and trying something exotic. Well maybe not TOO exotic! So what do ya reckon guys, will you let me experiment in the kitchen when back home, or are some of my previous concoctions still burnt on your memory?!! (And I still think red Thai curry and blueberries is going to be the next big thing! You heard it here first ;-)  ) markets2

Is a fish, just a fish?

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Can you spot the difference?  We had lots of fun with this Rampage shoot, ok we got a little silly. To be fair it was Sydney's hottest day on record so the heat could have had a lot to do with it. But the studio cat, Moses really did approve of the salmon! See if you can find all 7 differences.

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Jack at Porteno

We were excited to be a part of the $4.5m marketing campaign for Jack Daniel's Tennessee Honey Whiskey.  It's the first new product Jack Daniel's has launched in over a decade and they're going all out. We helped celebrate the launch with Ben and Elvis of Porteno Restaurant who created some mouth-watering recipes flavoured with the whiskey in their famous fire pit.  Check out the recipe cards I photographed below. They really do look mouth-watering and were delicious.

We had a brilliant day and I'm really keen to go back and try Porteno's regular menu. Thanks to the team from Portenos, Wendy for her fabulous styling, Dani for not drinking all the Jack Daniels and to Fiona at Frank.

Tartastic / Adieu

The studio said goodbye to our beloved Connie last week, she's spread her wings and has gone to make her fame and fortune in the UK and Europe. We'll miss her dearly and hope she does really well.  We had a studio dinner party to say farewell. On the menu were some yummy tartlets.  This is an Orchard studio collaborative recipe that tasted delicious.

Orchard Tartlets

  • 1 red capsicum, seeds removed
  • handful of mushrooms
  • 1 large zucchini (or 2 small)
  • 1 red onion
  • 1/2 small butternut squash, peeled
  • 2 garlic cloves (crushed)
  • 100ml olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • shortcrust pastry
  • 350g feta or goats cheese
  • basil or rosemary to garnish

Method -

  1. Preheat oven to 190°C. Grease 4 small pie or quiche tins
  2. Cut all the vegetables into 2cm pieces.
  3. In a bowl combine the vegetables, garlic and olive oil, toss so everything is coated.
  4. Pour the vegetables into a baking tray and spread evenly.
  5. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes until vegetables are cooked through, set aside.
  7. Roll the pastry onto a floured surface, line the greased tins with pastry, then blind bake by lining the pasty with baking paper or foil and bake for a further 10 minutes.
  8. Cut the feta into 2cm cubes.
  9. Fill pre-baked tartlets with veggie and feta cubes and place in oven for 5 minutes, warm through.
  10. Garnish with basil or rosemary if desired.
  11. I really like adding a drizzle of balsamic vinegar to my tart.

The above image was styled by the talented Wendy Berecry.

Perk of the job

I know I've mentioned before that one my favourite parts of shooting food is enjoying the food afterwards. This lemon curd was so tasty I thought I'd share the recipe with you. Lemons are in season now too.

Lemon Curd -use on toast, in miniature tarts, in meringues, mixed with mascarpone and cream and strawberries.

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs, plus 2 egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup (165g) caster sugar
  • 1/3 cup (80g) chilled unsalted butter
  • Zest and juice of 2 lemons

Method

  1. Whisk whole eggs, yolks and sugar in a saucepan until smooth, then place pan over a low heat. Add the butter, juice and zest and whisk continuously until thickened. Strain through a sieve into a sterilised jar. Lemon curd keeps, covered, in the fridge for 2 weeks.  Recipe from Valli Lee for Taste Magazine.  Styling by Wendy Berecry

Afternoon delight

Anyone for afternoon tea?  We've got some lovely cake in our fridge, one of my favourite perks of the job.

I often hear the comment, "I'm hungry now" when showing my food portfolio. This is really important to me because I feel the difference between photography of food and great food photography is that the latter creates an emotional connection with the viewer. In food, this means the taste buds start to water and the viewer is thinking about the taste of the food rather than just recognising what the food is. This all then becomes a call to action. It's only by creating desire in the photos that we really drive sales. Food photography is not meant to be catalogue photography, but rather to convince someone they want something they didn't know they wanted before seeing it.

Styled by the talented Wendy Berecry.

So how many slices shall I cut?

Julianne's Kitchen

All you savoury buffs would have been very jealous of us this week!  Our tongues were definitely salivating over the delicious pâtés, fruit pastes, onion relish jams and terrines we shot for Julianne's Kitchen. You might remember her as the previous owner and head chef of Cloudstreet in Kirribilli.  If you do, then you'll be happy to hear you can buy her new range at select Harris Farms and Thomas Dux Grocers.

Connie and I used daylight for this shoot and shot with my Phase One Camera with a combination of my 120mm Macro lens and my 120mm Tilt shift. We really wanted to feature the jelly in the light and show off its texture. The best part was sampling the product at the end, especially as its homemade.

Some great behind the scene shots by Connie Moran.