I love my job. It was a dream of mine during college to be a journalist, but at that time in my life I thought I'd be telling stories with my words. It started out that way. In 1996, fresh out of UCSD, I founded a bi-monthly culinary independent publication called La Cocinita and wrote the majority of the articles for the first few issues. It wasn't long, though, before I was delegating the writing and focusing on photographs to accompany the articles. Well, that and selling advertising. More than 15 years later, after a complete career change, move, and move back, I find myself once again in the kitchens and dining rooms of New Mexican restaurants with a camera, and it many ways it feels like I never left.
For this New Mexico Magazine assignment I was asked to provide images to go with a story by writer Liz Lake that involved three restaurants in Santa Fe brining a renewed vitality to town. The restaurants were The Palace, the lowrider-themed Tia's Cocina in the new Hotel Chimayó and the Agave Lounge in the Eldorado Hotel. I photographed signature dishes, including the decadent Chimayó hot dog (Tia's) and the Tuscan Shrimp (Palace), and some drinks like The Envy (Agave). I also did portraits of widely acclaimed chefs Esteban Garcia (Tia's) and Joseph Wrede (Palace), both of whom I'd worked with in my past life.
I was in Santa Fe all day for this assignment, and broke out a good bit of lighting for people and drinks, a tripod for the interiors and my trusted reflectors for the food. I hope you've all had a chance to see the article in February 2012 issue of New Mexico Magazine.