Photography contest winner: Food Bloggers Conference

by on August 30, 2010

If you’ve visited this blog before, you know it’s a video blog. I am a videographer. I don’t usually take still photographs, preferring to tell stories through the imagery and sound that can be captured with HD video.

Then I met Matt Armendariz. And Penny De Los Santos. Now I’m humbled to say I won a photography contest at the 2010 International Food Bloggers Conference in Seattle (see below burger picture). My path crossed with two of America’s greatest food photographers (both in less than two weeks!) and their advice helped me improve my photo and video composition skills. The connections made with these artists definitely opened my eyes to new possibilities to explore: best shot angles, lighting conditions, how to compose better shots, how to “edit” a dish before shooting it and more. Their techniques will be invaluable to Laura Petersen and I, as we work each week to continue improving the quality of our videos.

I’ve included a photo gallery of several images taken with our Canon 5D during the food cart lunch at IFBC and highlighted the winning photo. (Laura’s hand modeling skills are revealed in the Tom Kha Gai soup photos.) Contest judges were Penny De Los Santos, author Kathleen Flinn, and Bon Appetit columnist, author and blogger Molly Wizenberg. The grand prize was a $500 gift certificate to The Herbfarm, so it looks like we’ll be flying back to Seattle soon.

A video of Penny De Los Santos’ amazing, inspiring speech on food culture photography is also included. (A post on the work of Matt Armendariz, who visited Jordan in mid-August, will follow soon.) Another great resource for food photography tips is Photoble. Here’s its Top 10 Food Photography Tips.

And Penny: From here on, we’ll be making pictures–not taking pictures–when we aren’t making videos.

The Burger by Skillet, Food Bloggers Conference 2010

The Burger by Skillet in Seattle, served from its popular food cart.

Our collection of Seattle street food photographs:

Video of IFBC presentation by Penny De Los Santos:

Photo contest submission taken with iPhone 4:

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  • Lynn

    I didn’t have the opportunity to congratulate you Lisa! Love your picture and couldn’t agree more with how it was described by Penny. And again, enjoyed both Jordan Wines poured at IFBC.

    Look forward to hooking up with you at the winery very soon :)

  • Flotch

    Thanks for posting Penny’s presentation. I was really looking forward to hearing her speak. Felt especially proud with her shout out to India.

  • Lisa Mattson

    You’re welcome. It was an amazing presentation. She is very inspiring. Thanks for commenting. It’s great to discover your blog and shared passion.

  • Lisa Mattson

    Hi Lynn,
    Thank you! My husband was very proud too. He is the photographer in the family–not me!
    Hope to see you at the winery someday.

  • Lisa Mattson

    For those interested in trying the burger, we sourced the recipe from Skillet street food:

    -7.5oz grass fed beef (preferably chuck 25% fat), formed into a small burger patty
    -1 3 oz brioche style roll
    -1.5 oz cambozola cheese
    -2 oz skillet bacon jam
    -1/4 cup wild arugula

    grill the burger and put the cheese on the burger
    toast the bun
    bacon jam both buns
    and place the arugula on the bottom bun
    put the burger on the the arugula, and place the top of the bun on the burger …
    and there you have the skillet burger

    If you want to purchase the bacon jam, you can buy it online from Skillet: Skillet uses a flat grill, by the way.

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  • Sonja

    Just noticed your photo made the Photograzing section on Congrats!
    Great meeting you at IFBC.

  • Lisa Mattson

    Thanks, Sonja. I discovered photograzing a few weeks ago and thought I’d give it a try. Hope you enjoyed the wine. :)

  • Denver Food Photographer

    Is it weird that I like the contact sheet as much as the actual shots? Totally rad stuff.

  • Lisa

    Hi Dave,
    Thank you. I am honored to receive such a compliment from a professional like yourself. When I get better at our in-house food photo shoots, I’ll post some pictures for you to check out.