More recent print

Frank Stitt & Kitchen Staff of Highlands Bar and Grill

I also recently shot a story for Birmingham Magazine called Best of Birmingham for which I made several portraits of the winners of different categories. My favorite of which was photographing Frank Stitt at Highlands Bar and Grill for three different wins: Frank for Best Chef and Best Local Food Advocate as well as Highlands Bar and Grill for Best Service (for which I also photographed a server, Goran, who has been there since Highland's opened their doors).

The main photo I wanted to get was a classic portrait of Frank shot on large format with simple, natural light. We chatted a bit about what we both wanted out of the shot and I was pleased to know he wanted his kitchen staff in the photo with him for his "Best Chef" shot. I went with the same natural light setup I'd thought about for the solo shot and applied it to the whole group with the goal of creating a photo I could visualize hanging in the restaurant's kitchen at the turn of the century. An image with a certain amount of pride and dignity to it. (I don't know that I could have pin pointed it like that in the moment, but thats the emotion that came with the idea of the group shot and the chef wanting to give credit to his team.)

Enough rambling. I ended up shooting the main shot with a Crown Graphic (127mm) on Fuji FP100C45, recovering the negative, and scanning that. It turned out super gritty and made my day.

While waiting on the kitchen crew to get ready we chatted a bit in the dining area during which time I shot much more casual frames of just Frank which, to my surprise, ended up running as the cover. Below is the cover as it ran for the September issue.