May 5, 2012

Food Photography - Happy Grill Isthmus Restaurant Review

I like doing the food photography for restaurant reviews. Not only is it a challenge as I'm usually doing it on location and on a tight schedule, but it often comes with the reward of getting to eat what I photograph. I did this last minute shoot of theese Enchiladas Verde dish for an Isthmus review of the new Mexican restaurant in Madison by the name of Happy Grill. The atmosphere needs a little help, but the enchiladas where quite tasty.

When I got the assignment and read the name, I automatically assumed it was Chinese and not Mexican food, but it all made sense when I arrived to find the co-owner Li He, is Asian. She greeted me at the door with suspicion when I attempted to explain my purpose there. After finally convincing her that the review and my photography was "free", she brought me out the enchiladas. This kind of food with sauces can be difficult to photograph. I set up in a corner where there was plenty of natural light coming in from the large pane windows, set up a speedlite with a Lumiquest Softbox II camera left behind the dish. It was an relatively easy set-up which allowed me to quickly get the shot before the cheese melted down and losing the nice texture on top of the Enchiladas.

This type of work isn't extremely exciting, but I like it. It gives me the opportunity to visit different restaurants, occasionally meet interesting folks in the community and most of all...a complimentary meal to boot. The full review of the Happy Grill can be found here.

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