What I'm doing. Where I've been. What I saw. And why I shot it.


Thursday, May 19, 2011


Deep in the heart of New Jersey (Ok, in Princeton) is an ace baker with a handcrafted cookie business. She's switching her etsy shop, and her corporate gifts business onto a beautiful new fancypants website at www.ImperialCookies.com .  So I headed down to the Garden State to do some photography for it. These are peanut butter chocolate chunk and they.taste.amazing. FYI, so do her biscotti and her ginger cookies, and let's not forget oatmeal raisin and chocolate chunk..... the website is live now, if you're inspired  to sample luscious old fashioned cookies & biscotti, and dense rich cakes.
I was thrilled that the creative direction included a portrait of the baker, Arline Conigliaro, as well as "real life" product shots. (What , you weren't aware of my sub-motto: "real victuals in real places" ? )
We wanted something fun, but not fake-jokey: no clouds of flour all over her face and hands, or cookie ingredients run amok, or Lucille Ball-in-the-factory. You just don't see things like that in a professional kitchen. But with Arline as the subject, there's no shortage of enthusiasm, so we ran with that.

ps. She sent me on my way home with a care package.  One sweeeeet client.

pps also, full disclosure, her hubby makes the best pizza in New Jersey at his  place in the center of Princeton, Iano's Rosticerria. Not exaggerating. Try it if you're by there.

altho I most often shoot real people in real places, 
you can see more real food photography at my website Gale Zucker Photography

Monday, May 16, 2011

the B side shot

When I shot the Kenney sisters in March for USA Weekend magazine, as part of the Make A Difference issue, the art direction was a specific set up, perfect for the article. (You can see it if you scroll down from the issue link.)
But I always do at least 2, usually 3, set ups on a photo shoot. Choices are good, right?  Call it giving editors something to edit, call it my pants-and-suspenders personality making sure my clients are covered, call it an excuse to indulge my curiousity  and poke all around a location.....OK, call it neurotic. But it's what I do.

So in nosing around, I found this divine divan in the sisters' bedroom. Then their mom let loose the Buggs from their basement canine hideaway and I'm calling it a B side hit.

If you're wondering what I am talking about, as 17 year old just said to me "oh, it's a seventies thing. " Yup. Its all about the vinyl. 

Examples (gee thanks Wikipedia, you always have the answers):
 "I Will Survive" by Gloria Gaynor (originally the B-side of "Substitute"), "I'll Be Around" by The Spinners (originally the B-side of "How Could I Let You Get Away"), "Maggie May" by Rod Stewart (originally the B-side of "Reason To Believe"), and "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)" by BeyoncĂ© (originally the B-side of "If I Were a Boy"). More rarely, both sides of the single would become hits, such as Queen's "We Are the Champions" and "We Will Rock You".
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want to see more of my B sides? they're in the portfolios at Gale Zucker Photography

Monday, May 2, 2011

bright ideas

It's taken me a month--a month!- to digest the brain-filling weekend I spent in Chicago at the ASMP SB3 photographers' conference. S for Strictly B for Business. There was none of that silly what-lens-didja-use photo talk. Instead, much vision, humor, creativity, mutual respect, talent, a little supercool futurist stuff, some local 312 beer, friends, SEO talk... ideas and more ideas.

Maybe what I liked best was the tone set by keynote speaker Colleen Wainwright. You read her, right? (I mean you read her, Wainwright?) She's online as the Communacatrix.
Her mantra for us, to be successful in marketing ourselves by being true to our passions and vision is a simple list:
• be useful
• be specific
• be nice
A good recipe for being successful as a human as well as a photographer, yes?
If you're wondering about the lamp posts, they're an art installation outside the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Driving by last year after a long day of shooting, I wasn't sure what to do with it. But couldn't not stop, get out and make some photos. You know how that is.

ps  This link to the museum takes you to their online archive of public domain artworks, available for your personal non-commercial use. Go forth and artify your blog!

see more of my photos  from here , there and everywhere
at my website Gale Zucker Photography