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Comfort food at Town Hall…

In my interview for a book proposal with the guys responsible for Town Hall, a restaurant in San Francisco, one of them asked me, “So, are you a food photographer, is that what you do?’

I said, “No, I photograph people.”

Maybe that isn’t the best response when you are interviewing to take photos for a cookbook… but I am a horrible liar.

I explained that I photograph people, but because I lived on a farm for a year and a half, I have taken photos of food, but usually, that food is still on the farm and being held by the farmer. I showed them what food photos I have and they agreed to give me a chance, because they like “messy.”

I was not offended. I would say my photos are pretty messy. I don’t do much fussing or arranging; I just take the photos.

That being said, on the day of the shoot, I suddenly got nervous when Mitch asked, “So what do you want to do?” I didn’t have any preconceived ideas. All I knew was, I was supposed to show comfort food in a comfortable and urban setting… which was the restaurant. I started thinking that I needed a stylist, I couldn’t do this alone… and I needed lights…  but I didn’t have either of those.

So, I took a deep breath and gave myself a pep talk and started looking for good spots of light throughout the restaurant. All we needed for the proposal were eight photos… I could do eight photos.

After I relaxed, and the food started coming, and the fog started burning… it all came together. I had lots of fun and I felt really good about what we accomplished. But the best part of it all was I got to eat that bowl of yumminess at the bottom. Toffee, chocolate and butterscotch equals pure comfort in my book.

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About the author paige green

Paige Green is a documentary and portrait photographer, whose storytelling approach to photography frequently addresses issues involving agriculture, land use, and food. Her work is featured in nine books and has been published in Glamour, National Geographic Traveler, New York Times Magazine, Conde Nast Traveler, GQ, Country Living, House Beautiful, and Culture. Paige lives in Petaluma, CA with a house full of boys.

All posts by paige green →

8 Comments

  1. That’s soooo tempting!

    Reply

  2. shit, dawg, not for one millisecond should you ever have a doubt in your head that you can shoot whatever is in front of you. that’s it. that’s that. your photos are amazing, paige.
    remember, you are what you say you are & thats all people know.

    Reply

  3. these photos are fantastic. Magazine quality to my eye. I am so impressed what youve done with the natural light. But not surprised.

    Reply

  4. […] makes me think about the photos that I took at Town Hall last summer and how beautiful ham can look, let alone […]

    Reply

  5. […] have finally started photographing for the Town Hall cook book, which is actually a cook book about all three of their restaurants, and it is actually a cook book […]

    Reply

  6. […] Mitch wanted me to take portraits for the Town Hall cook book… I was more than happy to oblige. […]

    Reply

  7. […] Mitch wanted me to take portraits for the Town Hall cook book… I was more than happy to oblige. […]

    Reply

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