Thursday, March 22, 2012

Sugartoad Restaurant

I briefly thought about switching my focus to food photography. That's because I photographed all the menu items for Sugartoad Restaurant in Hotel Arista. And the best part was that we got to sample each item once I was done taking pictures of it. Sure, there were 14 different plates that came through. But I was up to the challenge. The chef at Sugartoad is a genius and, needless to say, I enjoyed this job.
I photographed a number of their drinks too. But I didn't sample those. I've discovered that most of my clients like their images 'in focus'! And that might have been a problem if I was trying the martinis as we went along.

Sugartoad is a great spot, and the food is delicious. Definitely give it a try if you are in the area.

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Monday, March 12, 2012

Scottsdale, Arizona

The second half of my trip took me to Scottsdale, Arizona. We stayed at the Saguaro; a really interesting hotel near the old part of town. It's was very artsy and well designed. The restaurant was called Distrito, and they served some amazing margaritas. I noticed one morning at breakfast that the wall behind me was covered in different colored fuzzballs.
I passed by the pool every morning, but never had a chance to enjoy it. This photo was the closest I got.
This trip also marks the first time that I've ever been in the desert. It was beautiful in it's own unique, desolate way. I enjoyed the warmth, but something deep inside me just felt that there should have been an ocean nearby. Here's an Iphone photo of me strolling along one of the trails.
That last photo is the Jumping Cholla cactus plant. I tried to get close enough to photograph it, but not so close that it jumped out at me!

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Saturday, March 10, 2012

Running In the Wrong Direction

I've been on the road for the past few weeks. The first half of the trip I found myself in Nashville working on a photography project for one of my clients in the Gaylord Opryland Hotel & Resort. I had two photographers from Nashville assisting me; Ashley Matthews and Sarah Barlow. They both did an amazing job and I couldn't have pulled it off without them. They were also the first ones to alert me to the fact that the Opryland was not your run-of-the-mill hotel.
It was like three normal-sized hotels were stuck together. The most noticeable feature was the intricate glass ceiling. It turned the atrium into a airy plaza with foot-bridges, fountains, waterfalls, and an indoor river with working tour boats. The only problem I encountered during my stay had to do with the weather. On my last day the forecast called for dangerous storms building in the afternoon. Hotel management even slid papers under our doors letting us know that tornadoes were a definite possibility.

All day long we were watching the radar on our phones and computers. Sure enough, the storms starting forming all around the mid-south. Reports were coming in that Kentucky, Tennessee, and even Indiana were being hit. One large storm cell was heading right for us. The sky turned pitch black just as the tornado sirens in the hotel began to blare.

Now, I ordinarily don't do many dangerous things. I am NOT a big fan of getting hurt by flying tornado debris. But this was the first time I've ever had to evacuate during a job and all I thought about was capturing the moment. As everyone was running to get out from under the glass ceiling, I quickly grabbed my GoPro camera, mounted it on my tripod, and ran out to place it in the middle of the floor. I aimed it upwards thinking, "If this place gets torn apart I'll be really mad if I don't get some good footage of it."

Of course I would never wish something like that to actually happen. But I thought that if it did, it should be well documented. Fortunately, the strong storms passed right over us. We didn't even have any hail damage on the cars in the parking lot.

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