Monday and Tuesday in NYC were busy but incredible days full of meetings. I know, right, meetings sounds so exciting. However, these were with some of the most phenomenal food photographers in the industry like Andrew Scrivani, Michael Harlan Turkell, and Eric Isaac. I got to talk shop with these guys, get in on more industry secrets, and put my name out there for networking. I've been traveling down a rabbit hole, from one photographer to the next throughout NYC and now RDU. It's comforting to know that I'm hopefully putting my foot in the door and something tells me I'm starting to do all the right things.
If there is any lesson I've forced myself to learn over the last few years is to just ask people to meet and start building your community. The worst that could happen is the word "no." Honestly, the word "no" is too measly to spend anytime worrying over. You pick yourself up, brush off your knees, let "Wipe Out" play in your brain (this was the song my parents would play when we fell over as kids), and move on to the next task on your list. But just like I tell my students, "People aren't mind readers. Don't be afraid to ask for help." And when you do that, absorb E V E R Y T H I N G you hear: portfolio tips, names, contact info, possible story leads, personal projects, how to own your style and your work, business tips, etc. etc. etc. People are genuine and very generous, especially in this community. Again, I can't thank these individuals enough for their time, respect, and invaluable knowledge they've bestowed on me.
P.S. This has been the best rabbit hole ever.
Monday morning started out with a meeting with Eric Isaac at Clinton Street Baking Company, home to arguably the most luscious pancakes in the world. I mean, chocolate chunk pancakes with warm maple butter, coffee, and a talk about food photography while people think we are weird for shooting our food...nothing beats that, y'all.
I then walked a couple blocks to meet with Andrew Scrivani and delve into his brain about food photography + video, contacts, and the business behind it. We have a lot of common acquaintances thanks to the good ol' alma mater (Go Heels!) and the New York Times. I was met with a warm cup of espresso, a great smile, and a colorful wall of food photography inspiration as we chatted the hour away.
After my meetings, I caught the L-train to Bedford, stalked the people of the subway, and went hat shopping with mom. We made our way back to the West Village for a late lunch at Lupa, another one of Penny's recommendation and a Mario Batali, Joe Bastianich, and Josh Laurano restaurant. After sitting with the best spaghetti alla carbonara and red vino in my tummy, we watched all the evening chefs taste the nightly specials. I also highly suggest you grab food here if you go to NYC.
Monday evening, I got to meet up with another one of my dear college friends, Rachel Dennis. We got some drinks and sushi at Sixty Five, the bar at the top of the Rockefeller Plaza, at the suggestion of our good friend, Daniel Sircar, who, unfortunately, couldn't meet us. As we drank our fancy cocktails, we chatted about life, jobs, our significant others, and gawked at the New York skyline. It's just breathtaking, isn't it?
Tuesday morning's sun rose and the photo gods decided it was my day to go into B & H. It was a must as our hotel was only a block away and if I didn't go quick I'd lose all opportunity to Passover. If only I wasn't broke and could get all the photo things in the world...
Just after, I stopped in to soak in all the light and architecture from the New York City post office. Oh, how I wish I could send the post from this historic building.
After making those two important pit stops, the moms and I made our way to a diner for breakfast...and another photo of a bathroom. The tile was awesome and I matched it so naturally, one of the only bathroom selfies I've ever taken happened in this tiny place.
We made our way to Soho, stopped in a few shops like Melissa, which is a jelly shoe store and art gallery. It smelled like bubblegum + childhood. We then made a final stop to Dominique Ansel's in Soho to pick up some Kouing Amann pastries to take home to N. C.
With the DKA's in hand (I missed the cronuts and my L-train back to Williamsburg), I met up with the wonderful Michael Harlan Turkell at the Beaner Bar, Brooklyn's finest Mexican Euro-style cafe. Michael is a chef and photographer who hosts "The Food Seen," a radio show the people who love food, the art of food, and make artful food happen in all aspects of mediums. He generously gave me many photo tips, welcomed me into an awesome photographer community, introduced me to the lovely Liz Clayman as she jaunted down Graham Ave., and gave me many local contacts in RDU to chase down. He also let me taste the best chocolate chip cookie in the history of chocolate chip cookies. I can't thank him enough as some awesome career moves are starting to happen.
I am forever thankful for all the photographers, stylists, and industry creatives as they've helped create clarity and confidence within me. Here's to continuing the adventure and making life happen.