Recent Work – Burgoo: Food For Comfort Cookbook

“First we eat with our eyes.” – Attribution unknown


Back in January I was asked to sit in on a conversation between a client and a creative director regarding a book project that had fallen off my radar months before. It was the first conversation of many that led to more than a dozen individual shoots including location and studio-style work featuring the spaces and the food of Burgoo Bistro. Burgoo is four neighbourhood restaurants with a reputation for rich and satisfying comfort food. Soup, stews, salads and grilled cheese sandwiches washed down with Imperial pints of their signature beer, Burgoo Brew.

I am very excited, after months of work, and months more of waiting, to have a copy in my hands and to be able to share some of this work with those who have been patiently waiting with me. Having come from a background in photojournalism my approach to photography has always been fast and light. Even when I was photographing hotels, my colleagues and I traveled pretty light compared to others in the industry who traveled with case after case filled with every imaginable piece of gear. We traveled solo with a basic kit and laptop and we accomplished some pretty incredible work relative to the amount of equipment we traveled with.

When I say studio, I am stretching the truth a bit. All the work in Food For Comfort was shot on location. Most of the food photography was produced on a boardroom table in a space shared with the company’s test kitchen. The ephemeral shots, or atmosphere photos were shot in one of Burgoo’s four locations around Vancouver. Unlike my days traveling, I took more of maximist approach to this project. Surrounding the boardroom table, were stands of strobe lights, softboxes, cables & cords and a camera tethered to my iMac which I had brought in for each of the food shoots.

It was my first time shooting tethered with content arriving on the screen a few moments after capture without the benefit of any image selection or corrections. The plus side, and it was a huge plus, was though there were four of us on ‘set’, each with a distinct perspective, we were all able to recognize without negotiation that we had arrived at the right image and it was time to move to the next dish.

I remain super stoked about having this book in my hands, and I think it will take a while before the novelty of having it wears off. Though it is Burgoo’s book, it feels a little like mine and I am proud to be able to share it.

Burgoo: Food for Comfort is available at Burgoo locations in addition to online at:

Burgoo at Chapters

Gooey Grillers Page

Personal Work – The Portrait Project: 2012 Mo’rtraits Stephan

2012 Mortraits Steph MacIntyre-1

Movember has become a cultural phenomena in Vancouver with men indulging in a month long mustache fest and women indulging in Magnum PI fantasies to get them through. In fact mustaches raise money, lots of money, destined for men’s health issues and in November it becomes hard to turn around without seeing a friend with a lip warmer. Last year Movember Mustaches raised more than $125 million world wide for men’s heath initiatives with a special focus on men’s cancers. It’s still too early to tell what the 2012 numbers look like, but these men, and the people who have supported them through the month deserve great credit.

I dropped in on some friends at the end of the month to shoot a few Mo’rtraits in part to show my support beyond any donations and as an opportunity to add to my portrait project from which I have posted several studies since last spring. There is a different set of challenges when photographing people you know well or reasonably well. Knowing someone is to have a set of expectations of the outcome. Is the person in the photo the person that I know? I photographed Stephan and his business partners last Friday morning in a very quick shoot of less than a dozen frames of each of them. In fairness, Steph and his partners are also friends, family and clients of mine and I have photographed all of them before in a variety of social and professional contexts. When I look at this photo I see beyond the nights out, the weekend bbqs and the work we’ve done together; I see something contemplative, thoughtful, quiet and something suggesting relaxed.

The idea to shoot a collection of Mo’ Bros came to me late in the month and I hope in 2013 I will be better organized and get a few more people on board for a Mo’rtrait. If you’re thinking next year is your year to grow a push broom, Ned Flanders, Tom Selleck or Errol Flynn, let me know, I want to make your portrait.

More about Movember here:

Movember & Sons