Category Archives: Food

Good Times for a Good Cause: 826 Michigan’s Annual Storymakers Dinner

Last night N photographed the 4th Annual Storymakers Dinner for 826 Michigan at Zingerman’s Roadhouse. He shot the event last year and jumped at the chance to do it again. It’s a really fun, laid back evening celebrating the literary accomplishments of students and the adults that help them. If you’re not familiar with 826, you can check out their website here. This is their intro paragraph on the site:

826michigan is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting students aged 6 to 18 with their creative and expository writing skills, and to helping teachers inspire their students to write. 826 opened its doors in June of 2005. Since then, we have been blessed with students, tutors, and volunteers overflowing with enthusiasm.

We couldn’t be happier to work with such a vital asset in our community. Last night’s special guests included National Book Critics Circle Award recipient Deb Olin Unferth and former 826 student Saif Ghanem, whose essay “The Story of My Life” was included in the 826 National publication Be Honest, And Other Advice from Students Around the Country. 

If you’re looking for an incredibly worthwhile organization to donate, volunteer or just learn more about, we urge you to find out more about 826 and visit The Robot Supply & Repair at 115 E. Liberty St. in Ann Arbor. Proceeds from sales of awesome robot goodies directly fund their literacy, tutoring and publishing programming. Can you tell we just love this place??

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Save the Date: Daniela + Josh

A few months ago Daniela and Josh approached us about doing a unique save-the-date card. They had met at a Starbucks near Daniela’s hometown and eventually got engaged…at a Starbucks! N photographed them in studio while they played with tons of fun ideas.

They recently shared their ingenious and handy save-the-date magnet*. Congratulations to the beautiful couple. We wish you a lifetime of happiness!

DanJosh

*Details have been smudged for the sake of the couple’s privacy.

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Where’s the Beef

We love food, and this post marks the beginning of how we’ll show it. Once every two weeks (or more) we’ll highlight a favorite food, giving us a chance to share some great recipes as well as showcase some amazing eateries.

Below are two different favorites: barbecued beef ribs and potato skins.

Beef ribs can be found in most grocery stores with the refrigerated meats. I begin with a dry rub that includes brown sugar, dill, garlic and more. Then I stand the ribs up in a slow cooker with about an inch of water at the bottom. Then I wait six or more hours… When they’re ready I have two options: pull the meat off the bone or BBQ them and throw them in the oven for twenty minutes at 400˚. Enjoy!

Potato skins are simple! Begin with a bag of potatoes, clean them and halve them. Bake them for two to three hours at 300˚. When they’re soft and cool, scoop out the center to make “boats”. Next, clean and dice your favorite vegetables. We chose bell pepper, onion, tomato, broccoli and… bacon! Start filling the potato skins with your selections, cover them all with cheese and bake them for twenty to thirty minutes at 350˚. Buon appetito!

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Ramen, Tako and Kara-Age: Photo shoot at Tomukun

Tomukun Noodle Bar is one of the most popular restaurants in town and for good reason. With their diverse menu of Asian specialties such as pork buns, pho and green curry udon, it was hard to focus on shooting without gobbling all of it down. The owners, Noe, Tom and Victor were on hand making sure that their food was represented in the best light (no pun intended). We brought our equipment set up and got started right away, capturing some spontaneous shots in the front kitchen.

And an unusually quiet moment in the dining room.

We got warmed up with a few apps.

Seafood pancake

Pork belly buns

Lychee soju

Then came the main acts.

Spicy seafood ramen

Pho

We had a blast shooting. Thank you, Tomukun, for a successful and high-energy shoot. Make sure you check out their menu and their selection of Asian beers and sake. See you there!

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Crafted Caffeine: The Espresso Bar

We had the pleasure of meeting Sandy and Foster, the owners of a new local espresso bar, aptly named The Espresso Bar, in the last couple days. My first experience there was a heavenly affogato, a delicious espresso topped with a dallop of Zingerman’s gelato. But all of their drinks are carefully crafted with keen attention to the details. There’s no rushing the experience here. And believe us, you wouldn’t want to.

From the deliberate temperature of the steamed milk (if done properly, it lends a sweetness with no need for sugar) to the thoughtful designs of the froth, a visit to The Espresso Bar is to be savored.

If you’re at Kerrytown, cross the street over to Braun Court and treat yourself. Thank you, Sandy and Foster. We’ll be back soon!

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Delicious Photography

Just a quick one today on a much loved aspect of our business for many reasons – food photos. We can’t always eat what’s stuck with toothpicks, sprayed or been sitting out for hours. But we do love scrumptious looking results. Food photography is an entire genre unlike product or editorial. Each crumb has its place and each noodle has to sit pretty. And we get to shoot some more very soon.

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Challenge: Point vs Pro | Why Do You Need A Professional Photographer Anyway?

We’ve gotten a few photo shoots under our belt since the start of the company and we have to say, we’re pretty happy with the results. From food to portraits, we’ve been able to offer a variety of takes on what the client wants while injecting our own flavor into things. Thing is, there’s still some apprehension from time to time about what it is we do, why we do it and if it’s truly that different than just picking up a camera and taking a point and shoot photo. The answer is “yes!” We don’t strive for just good enough, we want exceptional. See for yourself.

People may not always be able to voice what it is about the photo that doesn’t seem quite right until they see a proper example of how it should be done. You’re probably wondering what we shot with and why there’s such a drastic difference. The shot on the left was taken with our trusty Nikon Coolpix S4100. It’s a great camera for fun, social gatherings. But if you’re a business owner wondering why your mailers aren’t getting response or why you can’t achieve the results as we did on the right, it’s because we pack and bring an entire studio with us.

Although a point and shoot camera is good for documentation it only offers one light source from a fixed point. For the professional shots, items were lit from the side with the assistance of white bounce cards to fill and highlight, making the item more robust. Every aspect of the shoot is in a controlled environment, much like the food campaign we shot a couple weeks ago. If you’ve ever wondered about professional photography, we’re happy to answer your questions.

We look forward to working with you.

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Good Eatin’.

In the mood for a sweet potato quinoa burger, with roasted garlic and fresh red onions on a hearty, multigrain bun? Look no further than Ann Arbor’s own Jazzy Veggie, on the north end of Main Street.

Owner and vegetarian, Ananth Pullela (Andy), was less than satisfied with the vegetarian options he encountered while dining out. So, he collaborated with Chef Kevin and together they created a menu that will satisfy all that prefer not to eat meat and even many that do.

We were more than happy to work with Anne-Marie Kim, the head designer of Genui Forma, and Andy, to capture images that best represent his amazing products. Below are some of the mouth watering results.

(Sweet Potato Quinoa Burger)

(Spaghetti and Veggie Balls, foreground; Mushroom Spinach Alfredo, background)

(Carrot Cake)(The Wolverine Burger – Marinated and grilled veggie patty, sautéed onions, roasted peppers, guacamole and tomato basil aioli)

(Bello – Marinated and grilled portabella mushrooms, sautéed onions, tomatoes, fresh basil, Italian cheese and chipotle aioli on grilled artisan bread)

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Animating Life

It’s not too often anymore that we stop and really engage in a commercial. So we were pleasantly surprised when we saw Chipotle’s latest. Not only did it have Willie Nelson singing a great cover of Coldplay’s “The Scientist”, the stylized and whimsical presentation of our manufactured and pumped-up meat industry had us scrambling to watch it again. Irish graphic designer turned animator Johnny Kelly was the brain behind this great piece.

A couple years ago we watched the documentary Food Inc. which gave us a quick snapshot of just how monopolized and manipulated our food is. Thanks to Chipotle for reminding us that what we put into our bodies is worth thinking about everyday.

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