Thursday, January 15, 2009

Client Work: Laura Chenel’s Chevre – Delicious Cheese, Cheese Making

Client Work: Laura Chenel’s Chevre – Delicious Cheese, Cheese Making and Portraits Take Two

About the client: Hand-crafted in Sonoma County since 1979, Laura Chenel’s Chevre is America’s leading brand of artisanal goat cheese. It can be found on the menus of fine restaurants and purchased in grocery stores across the globe.

About the shoot: Back in October of 2008 I was fortunate to work with the great folks at Laura Chenel to create a series of food photos featuring recipes using their products. Once again, chef extraordinaire, Jacquelyn and VP, Marie, worked wonders styling our dishes and sets; their expertise, creativity and patience were invaluable.

This time around, we not only made images of the products, but of the cheese making process as well. It was a blast! I have to admit, I had a great time putting on white scrubs and a hairnet before entering the inner-sanctum of the cheese factory. And don’t even get me started about the sight and smell of all the cheesy goodness being prepared before my eyes. I felt like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, except I was in a wonderful land of milky-whiteness.

Enjoy the photos!

The Cheesemaking Process: Making Laura Chenel Tome

First, goat milk is pasturized and heated in a vat, where special enzimes are added during agitation. After about an hour, water is added to cool the curd.

The cheese curds and this screen is used to slice the curd and loosen it from the bottom and sides of the tank.

When the curd is ready, the tank water is drained, and the artisans begin to make the forms. Cheese curd is scooped into a bucket and placed into cheesecloth. Workers form the curd into a ball and squeeze out all the excess moisture.

Squeezing the cheese makes these rounds which become wheels after they are compressed more and aged for 6 months

Six month old dry-aged Tome. Got any crackers?


Monday, January 5, 2009

Client work: Auction Napa Valley 2009 Vintner Portraits

Happy New Year!
Phew…What an end to the year that was…

Hiya. Long time no speak, eh? My bad (obviously). But have I got a recap for you…

Thankfully, the last two months of the year were quite busy with exciting client projects, new stock photography and some fun personal photos too! No, I won’t inundate you in one long blog. Instead, I’ll string it out over the coming weeks, and without babbling too much I’ll give you the updates in chronological order.

As always, I’d love to hear any feedback you have regarding the photos or anything else.



Client Work: Auction Napa Valley 2009, Napa Valley Vintners, Winemakers and Wine Industry Notables

About the client: Auction Napa Valley is the Legendary American Charity Wine Auction held on the first weekend each June. Since its inception in 1981, the auction has contributed over $80 million to Napa County charities and organizations that support health, children and family services and educational programs. Many underserved members of the Napa County community are able to receive vital services thanks to the generosity of the members of the Napa Valley Vintners for donating wine and lavish gifts, the attendees of the auction who fork over a bunch of cash bidding on these auction lots, and the tireless effort of nearly 1000 volunteers.

About the Shoot: Each year, a renowned artist is tapped to design the Auction Napa Valley lot catalog, invitation, and other collateral for marketing and promoting the Auction throughout the year. For the past few years, Michael Vanderbyl of Vanderbyl Design Studio in San Francisco has been charged with creating the concepts for Auction Napa Valley. This year’s Auction Napa Valley focus or theme is the people behind the legendary Napa Valley wines.

Enter the photos… Our goal was to create portraits expressing the personalities and camaraderie that makes the Napa Valley special. Set against the simplicity of a white background, the introduction of viewer to vintner and vintner to viewer takes place. Following are a few of my favorites…

Margrit Mondavi photographing me

Wanna see more? View the additional galleries: