There is nothing more unstoppable and unforgettable than when a perfect client and the right photographer have a meeting of the minds. I’m not sure what stars aligned to make this happen, but somehow the husband and wife team of Aissa Sweets found my work, and it was truly the right match (at least I think it was!) They are a *brand new* business blessed with an amazing traditional and cultural craft, a beautiful product, and a need of swift and strong branding (but with such a clear vision) that meshed so beautifully with my food photography style. I am so lucky. Evelyn contacted me about a need for “exceptional photographs for their website” and less than two weeks later we were shooting. I loaded up my car with all my props and dishes and headed to Dover where I met Evelyn and Ahmad in their really cool commercial kitchen in a renovated mill building. Have you ever SEEN how much stuff a food photographer brings to a shoot? It’s ridiculous. But you never want to be without the “perfect” prop when you really need it. Evelyn and Ahmad also provided some really nice props for me to use, like platters with a really sweet Middle Eastern design and some amazing hand-carved mamoul cookie molds from Damascus. Because they make everything handmade from scratch, a very rustic, homemade look was desired. I used a lot of vintage wood surfaces, cutting boards, and of course all natural light to bring this look to life. It was SO easy. When you have such a beautiful handmade product to work with, it takes center stage and all you can do is get out of the way to let it shine.
I even had the pleasure of shooting a few headshots and promotional-type images of Ahmad and Evelyn, who are both undeniably star quality in and of themselves. I’ve been referring to them both as a power couple since they not only own Aissa Sweets, but they both have other full time jobs and pursuits–amazing, really! High achievers, for sure! To learn more of their story, you can read all about their feature article in the Hippo from January (page 52).
Below, their pistachio baklava, cashew fingers, and date-filled mamoul cookies.
This winter I took it upon myself to further my food styling skills and put into practice a few of the ideas I’ve had running around. My usual and frequent antique store wanderings, and trips to Goodwill and other thrift stores became more purposeful as I focused my efforts on curating particular pieces that met certain criteria I was looking for. A lifetime of hanging out in antique shops, salvage yards, and thrift stores with my mom pays off as I cull the gems from the junque. Now, with a larger selection of surfaces, dishes, and food props, I’m much better able to bring the vision in my head to life through the camera. AND, would you believe, here at home I’ve actually been using my tripod and an artificial light quite regularly and I’ve gotten pretty comfortable with them (no way!). I’m so happy to have found a great client that I was able to use some of my new skills with.