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The Art of the Oyster

Magazine_photographer_PalmBeachIllustrated_Food_south_florida_food_photographer_ Oysters

 

I’ll be the first to admit it. When I was approached by my beloved editor at Palm Beach Illustrated to produce The Art of the Oyster for Art and Culture” magazine, I thought it would be easy.

I mean we’re talking top down shots (kind of my specialty) of little oysters. Slap a macro on my camera, slap my camera on a tripod. Voila.

Magazine_photographer_PalmBeachIllustrated_Food_south_florida_food_photographer_ Oysters

Addison Reserveo Oysters

 

Assumptions are where the trouble falls as I must remember that in the future. Where there wasn’t complicated styling involved (also, kind of my specialty), I was quick to learn that it wasn’t an easy shoot.

Each oyster represented a tiny city after the chefs were done with them. And even more than that, each tiny oyster city was precariously situated on a bed of ice. And it’s there that things got complicated.

Because as the ice melted, it made beautiful, ornate patterns underneath the oyster and within that, I had to style the ice. That’s what I never saw coming.

Magazine_photographer_PalmBeachIllustrated_Food_south_florida_food_photographer_Oysters

 

It was a beautiful little world I got to work with and once again, the best part was working with each of the chefs. They are far and away the most creative, most exceptional people I meet every day. I know I say the phrase “it’s an honor” all the time but I say it because it’s true.

I mean, just look at these worlds.

Palm Beach Yacht Club

Palm Beach Yacht Club Food Photography Libby Vision South Florida

 

We recently finished up a couple of days of shooting over at the Palm Beach Yacht Club. Since many, many years ago I lived in Northwood, I’ve probably driven past the Yacht Club hundreds of times but have never been inside. I’m going to go on the record and say when you’ve got to walk down a dock to get to your office, you’re going to have a pretty good day.

Palm Beach Yacht Club Food Photography Libby Vision South Florida
Palm Beach Yacht Club Food Photography Libby Vision South Florida
Palm Beach Yacht Club Food Photography Libby Vision South Florida
Palm Beach Yacht Club Food Photography Libby Vision South Florida
Palm Beach Yacht Club Food Photography Libby Vision South Florida

 

Christine DiRocco and I created stunning, stylized food photography for a complete web site redesign that played up their coastal elements as well as classic, signature items. We rounded out the shoot by shooting a couple of classic cocktails. We shot those cocktails more than once because for the first time in 16 years of shooting, I had a card go corrupt and was unable to retrieve the images! I must say, I was grateful that I shot food during this Dztime of corrupt carddz and not weddings.

Palm Beach Yacht Club Food Photography Libby Vision South Florida

Palm Beach Yacht Club Food Photography Libby Vision South Florida

 

Palm Beach Yacht Club Food Photography Libby Vision South Florida

Palm Beach Yacht Club Food Photography Libby Vision South Florida

Palm Beach Yacht Club Food Photography Libby Vision South Florida

Palm Beach Yacht Club Food Photography Libby Vision South Florida

 

I enjoyed this shoot immensely – very laid-back, beautiful light, lovely people to work with and of course, the amazing Christine! And I love the light and bright images we created – I can’t wait to see them on the web site!

 

Food Photography Workshop with Betty Liu

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I just finished up attending a food photography workshop with Betty Liu in New York City. I’m pretty jazzed about it for quite a few reasons.

I’m jazzed that it lived up to my pretty high expectations – workshops aren’t going to change your life but you hope that you’re going to walk away with a new way of looking at things.

And that’s exactly what happened.

 

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I realized I’ve been in a bit of a rut lately, that I’ve been creating images that all kind of have a similar feel – which you could argue is a certain style and I hear you but Betty Liu reminded me that your work should change from one year to the next. It’s been about a year since my last workshop I took with Beth Kirby of Local Milk –after which my work changed so much (for the better). Beth taught me how to style, she taught me about movement and space and beauty within a scene. So I had a feeling this weekend's workshop was the exact kick of inspiration that I needed.

More than anything, Betty's workshop helped me with my approach to light. I’m excited to start shooting (and toning!) up the images with this new approach. What was super cool about the workshop – and about these images – is that they’re mine. It wasn't just a beautiful scene that was set for us and we got to shoot but is still so clearly identifiable as another photographer and they're impossible for me to recreate. I wasn't looking for that at this stage - though many workshops offer that and I'm not knocking it, it's just not what I need. But I feel comfortable sharing these because these were mine.  Mine. I styled, I shot, I toned. Mine. BUT – I got to grab Betty and say, ͞heyyy, here’s what I’m thinking, can you help?? And she did – we worked through shooting and styling and toning together but seeing it through the lens as a Libby photo, not a Betty photo.

 

So yeah, while I loved watching her style and work, it was way more valuable at this point in my development to work with her. It was awesome. And it’s lessons I can take with me far past the weekend, which is even better! We were fed and loved on by @arthurstreetkitchen and @whatscookingoodlooking_ who were gracious and kind and lovely and kept us very well-fed with super yummy and nutritious food that also, conveniently, photographed perfectly.

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So the learning was fantastic, the food was beyond (they accommodated all my dairy-free, gluten-free mania) and as an added bonus, there was a general warmth to the day that I wasn’t expecting. There was honest-to-goodness kindness and warmth and authenticity from the lovely other participants to Jodi and Hetty to Betty. You really felt how much Betty liked teaching and connecting – and that was the ice cream on the apple pie we dove into at the end of the night!

A magazine cover for Wycliffe Country Club

Seafood 4

 

I spent a recent lovely day over at Wycliffe Country Club with my favorite dear old friend Christine DiRocco. We were diving into fall creations and though the weather outside was anything but, we were fooling ourselves mentally. The task at hand? Creating a magazine cover for the Wycliffe Country Club beautiful glossy.

We slowly cut up sage and thyme and big bountiful acorn squashes. Added in some citrus because, Florida. And soon we had a winning photo that we (and everyone else) LOVED.

 

Of course, the day was just beginning and soon we were elbows deep in lobster claws and roast chicken – which kind of sums up fall in Florida in general. And as we took a super quick lunch break, dipping in said lobster claws to some melted butter we’d just previously been shooting it was also a purely Florida moment.

Seafood Wycliffe Country Club Libby Vision food photography

 

 

The finished product were photos not just for Instagram and Facebook but also we created the photos for the most beautiful magazine that is delivered to members of the country club! Such a very fun project to work on!

2td_wycliffe_mag_cover_Winter 2018

 

Cinemagraphs - bring video into your business

cinemagraphs food photograpy libby vision south florida

Cinemagraphs food Libby Vision

 

I’ve been wanting to get a little bit more into video lately but I want it to be video that falls in line with what I do photographically. I’m not interested in putting together really boring "this is how you make a chicken cordon bleu” video for instance.

Actually, I did that for over a year when I was a newspaper photographer. And while it was always fun, it was never artistic. And it certainly wasn’t visionary.

Enter cinemagraphs food photograpy libby vision south florida cinemagraphs.

SugarFall2

 

I love them. They’re quirky, they’re cute, they possess the ability to show a styled scene and moody lighting. I’m totally into them.

I've also taught myself stop motion videos - which are even more quirky and fun. I'm slowly populating my instagram page with these and will be adding these to my web site soonish.

If you’d like some fun videos created for your restaurant or your brand, inquire here.

 

Test Kitchen at Social House Lake Worth

 

Last month, we hosted a pop-up dinner at my beloved coworking studio, Social House, in Lake Worth. 
This was originally a dream of Laura McGlynn’s (owner of Social House and person who makes dreams come true). The plan came to light when my favorite sommelier Mariya Kovacheva asked me about three months ago “Libby, what are we going to do next…” And it got me thinking, yes, what indeed?

Social house Chefs Event Lobby Vision Food Photography South Florida
Social house Chefs Event Lobby Vision Food Photography South Florida
Social house Chefs Event Lobby Vision Food Photography South Florida

So Laura and I started talking and we had an idea of bringing in chefs for one brilliant night of cooking at Social House. The idea was to bring our community together and allow some of our favorite chefs a chance to experiment, test drive new menus, new concepts, play around in the kitchen – or, in the case of Chef Aaron Black from PB Catch and Pastry Chef Sarah Sipe, the chance to collaborate across kitchens. It can be many things to many different people.

So our first one was held on August 3. It was intimate, filled with warmth and love and entirely gluten-free. I swear I didn’t make them do it…).

Mariya Kovacheva, sommelier and brand ambassador from Pernod-Ricard, brought delicious wines that complimented each course perfectly, picking up each nuance and matching it with a delicate to robust wine as the night played out . Aaron and Sarah worked their kitchen magic, popping out before each course to share with us about the menu until finally, they were just greeted with applause. And throughout the night, old friends reconnected while new friends sparked across the table. A portion of our ticket sales went to No Kid Hungry.

There’s something so special about events like this at Social House – even though I’m tucked into the wooden tables quite often during the week making my business magic happen, during the evening surrounded by your loving community while the candles flicker around and the smell of lovingly prepared meals wafts over the table – well, it’s beyond magic. It’s perfection.

Test Kitchen Sarah Sipe Aaron Black Social House Libby Vision Photography South Florida

 

Here’s the menu…

 

Menu

welcome cocktail + amuse bouche

hamachi crudo, avocado crema, aquachili

octopus poke, mizuna, pickled piquillo peppers, hearts of palm, shaved button mushrooms

lamb and clam bolognese, zucchini noodles, preserved lemon, parmesan

pan roasted parser duck, black cherry gastric, broccolini, kuri squash pave

vanilla bean pavlova, mango curd, coconut lime sorbet, caramelized bananas

The next event will be held October 5 with Chef Pushkar Marathe, formerly of Meat Market. It will be an Indian feast of modernized Indian gourmet food. It’s also my birthday, so please come and party with me!

 

We will sell out so snag your tickets today! We can't wait!!