Friday, October 15, 2010

The New "Station 220"

Several weeks ago, I did a shoot for the new Station 220 restaurant which is the old Central Station in downtown Bloomington. I met Steffan Block who was returning to Central Station to help re-invent and re-brand the restaurant into Station 220.  A key to that rebranding was the acquisition of Executive Chef Rick Sipovic who brought in a new menu of exciting and very tasty dishes; this isn’t your old Central Station folks.   I was asked by Steffan to be part of that rebranding through what I could deliver with my camera and I was more than happy to help out. 

So I trotted over to Station 220 one late afternoon with my white satin shoot through umbrella, Alien Bees, Pocket Wizard and started shooting.   Shaista Hussain, another very capable photographer, helped me arrange my lighting, suggested angles, did some shooting herself and also helped sample some of the dishes after we were done.  The entire experience was very surreal for all of us as I shot tethered using that new feature in Adobe Lightroom 3 and a very loooong USB cable attached to my camera.  Shooting tethered allowed Steffan and Chef to see the pictures right as they were coming off the camera and provide me with immediate feedback.  At one point we had the staff from the restaurant and some of the guests engaged with the shoot as they wondered what we were doing.  It was an awesome experience for all of us and getting immediate feedback was also awesome. 

I just finished the job this week and you can see some of my pre-work on their new Station 220 website.  If you haven’t been to the new Station 220, I highly recommend it as they have and continue to make changes to the restaurants ambiance
as well as the menu.

Btw, you can wipe the drool off your computer screens now!!! J

Sunday, October 3, 2010

got Inspiration, giving Inspiration

Two simple question to my blog readers domestic and abroad, onshore and offshore, PC or Mac, Adult or Child, Man or Woman; doesn’t matter if you populate this Big Blue Ball we call home than you’re included.  Very simply, 1) Where do you draw inspiration from?  2) Who do you inspire?  Respond in the context you feel most comfortable with, respond using your blogger profile, respond anonymously, I don’t care as long as you respond…..

For me, I draw my support and inspiration from above; first and foremost.  I’m never let down, disappointed and it gives me the conviction to do better in spite of myself.   I am a “giver” by nature and have been told that I can at times be inspiring and insightful.  I am drawn, by nature, to people that are inspiring and for me it’s people and things that make me “think”.  As I look around the planet with these new eyes of mine, I am intrigued and inspired by everything that has been placed here to meet our needs, dreams, hopes, etc.  It’s amazing when you realize how perfect it all works together once we get the right pieces and place them right where they belong.  Even when the wrong pieces collide it can be quite awesome and inspiring if we just open our mind…..  That’s the perspective I come from.  From a day job perspective it’s Malcolm Gladwell, Tom Peters, Rhonda Byrne, Marianne Williamson and FastCompany magazine and not necessarily in that order.  From my other day job perspective it’s Ross Oscar Knight, Carlos Baez, Zack Arias and Art Wolfe each of who have a specific gift for capturing “all the pieces” of the puzzle in their exquisiteness and getting them to make sense, “fit”, defy the odds, keep you wanting to see more and challenge your paradigms… 

Who do I inspire?  That’s a little trickier because sometimes I/we never really know.  It could be “all of you” or “none of you” who view my work on this Blog, my travel Blog or my website?  It could be all or none of the people I photograph for weddings, lifestyle sessions, family portraits, fashion, etc.  It could be all or none of the people I mentor at my “day job” on a monthly basis who provide me with just as much insight and drive as I hope I give back to them.  It could be all or none of the photographers I’ve opened up my mind to over the last 12 months as these photographic concepts are finally sinking in.   It could all of the above or none of the above which makes realize I have room to improve, “do more” and “do more better”.  Conditionally I’d like to stipulate a sincere ‘thank you” and “pay it forward” for the people I engage BUT a “gift” with conditions isn’t a gift and inspiration should be “free of charge” right?   

So, please respond from the context that makes sense for you.  Respond as  “you” or “anonymously “; I don’t care I just want to have a conversation with the Blog community on the topic.  Don’t wimp out on me U.S. as this Blog has been visited by each US State.  Offshore/abroad, I know you are reading as well as I’ve gotten hits from each country except Greenland, Central Africa and South Central Asia.   So read, reflect and respond…

Be blessed…..