Cleveland Scene Magazine, the city’s weekly alternative lifestyle magazine, produces an all-food issue called Flavor to go along with Cleveland’s leaping and bounding food scene each December. Working with the magazine’s dining editor, Doug Trattner, and editor-in-chief, Vince Grzegorek, I photographed fourteen area restaurants and food-related subjects for the issue’s feature stories. From a new Lebanese restaurant downtown, to cakes in Lakewood, to soup dumplings in Chinatown, it was a deliciously fun assignment!
Working with Premier’s marketing team and the incredible Larry O’Neill, art director, we shot these photos over two days in my studio in downtown Cleveland. Our goal was to show the beauty and variety of produce and other goods offered by Premier to its many restaurant clients.
An assignment for Edible Cleveland led writer, Dan Scharf, and me plus a dozen or so of our friends and family to board tiny planes, smaller than my SUV, and fly 3 miles out into Lake Erie in zero degree weather for a day of ice fishing. We landed at Put In Bay airport on South Bass Island and then took snowmobiles a few miles west onto the lake, where we fished through holes drilled in the ice under cover in small shanties. This story won two Eddy Awards for best feature photography. Read the story here.
Perfectly Imperfect Produce
For a few months in 2018, I had the privilege of shooting all aspects of business for Ashley Weingart of Perfectly Imperfect Produce so that she could tell the story of her incredible company on its new website.
Each week Ashley travels in her big refrigerated truck to various produce distribution spots (including local farms) to buy items that would otherwise go to waste because of cosmetic factors (cantaloupes that are bigger than average, beets that are smaller, bananas that would be too ripe by the time they got to traditional retailers, and on and on). Sometimes, especially on farms, there’s simply a surplus of a certain item.
She buys at a greatly discounted price, packages the items into boxes in a warehouse on the east side of Cleveland, and then has them delivered all over the region each week. In early 2019, she expanded her business to Columbus (and soon, I figure, the whole world!).
The business took off very quickly and PIP transitioned from being an offshoot of Ashley’s partner’s family produce business to a fully functioning separate entity in its own right. A more complex website and marketing materials were needed.
We spent hours and hours on location shooting at the packaging facility, a food pantry that PIP donates to downtown, one of the farms (George Remington’s beautiful Morningside Farm in Hinckley), Rust Belt Riders compost facility (where the too-far-gone items go - nothing is wasted!), with customers, and with Aubrey Johansen, PIP’s brilliant recipe developer.
In the studio, we we shot each of the box options in each of the available sizes, recipes developed by Aubrey, and also of some of the fun and funky items Ashley comes across in her search and rescue missions each week.
Every project and assignment is different and I really enjoy working with so many passionate and crazy hard-working people. This particular project was even more incredibly cool because I believe so much in the mission of Perfectly Imperfect Produce and seeing all that Ashley does in the name of food rescue just blew my mind! What an honor to help tell her story.
Since moving to Cleveland from sunshiny sparkling Florida many years ago, the down and dirty hard working aesthetic of our city has captivated me. The steel mills, the bridges, freighters, trains -- so much going on all the time. Looking at Cleveland is like seeing the intricate moving parts inside a machine. An assignment for Great Lakes Publishing recently earned me and my cameras a three-hour journey from the Cleveland Bulk Cargo Terminal at Whiskey Island to ArcelorMittal Steel. Three miles south on the twisting Cuyahoga River. I could not have been more excited to join Captain Jeremy Mock and Interlake Steamship Company's Chrissy Kadleck for that afternoon.
A few years ago, my family and I had the most incredible opportunity to move to New Zealand for my husband's job. We've been going back to this magical place every year or two since we moved home again to Ohio. A few of these photos are from Australia, as we went back and forth quite a few times. In its native language, Maori, New Zealand is Aotearoa, the land of the long white cloud.