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I recently photographed chef Michael Scelfo at his restaurant Alden & Harlow at 40 Brattle St, Cambridge, MA. I setup a white sweep to capture him against as well as various spots in the stylish and moody restaurant. Michael was game for letting me come up with the ideas for compositions, posing and expressions. Have a look at the photos from our photo shoot below!
Photographing a chef can be a fun and creative project, and here are some tips for getting the best results:
- Find the right lighting: Good lighting is key to any photo, and in a kitchen setting, it’s important to find the right balance between ambient and artificial light. A combination of natural light from windows and overhead lights, along with soft box lights or reflectors, can help create a well-lit, flattering environment.
- Show the chef in action: To capture the essence of a chef, it’s best to photograph them while they’re cooking. This can help to tell a story and show their personality and expertise.
- Experiment with angles: Try shooting from different angles to add visual interest to your photos. For example, shooting from above or at waist level can help create a dynamic and engaging image.
- Capture the details: Pay attention to the details of the kitchen environment, such as the ingredients, utensils, and dishes, to create a more complete and authentic image.
- Get the chef involved: Encourage the chef to be expressive and engage with their work, whether it’s by tasting a dish, stirring a pot, or smiling for the camera.
Remember that every chef and kitchen is unique, so experiment with different lighting setups and perspectives to find the approach that works best for your subject and situation.
Shooting portraits on a white seamless background can be a simple and effective way to create clean and professional images. Here are some tips to help you get started:
- Lighting: Proper lighting is essential when shooting on a white seamless background. You will want to use at least two lights: one as the key light and another as a fill light. The key light should be positioned 45 degrees from the subject and the fill light should be positioned on the opposite side to balance out the shadows.
- Camera settings: When shooting portraits, it’s best to use a wider aperture such as f/2.8 to create a shallow depth of field and blur the background. This helps to draw the viewer’s attention to the subject and make them stand out from the background.
- Positioning: Place the subject about 3-4 feet away from the background and make sure that there’s a clear separation between the subject and the background. This can help to create a clean and defined image.
- Post-processing: After you have taken the photos, you may want to remove any wrinkles or blemishes in the background by using post-processing software such as Adobe Photoshop or Lightroom.
Remember to communicate with your subject and direct them to ensure the best possible results. Experiment with different lighting setups and camera angles to find the look that you want to achieve.
High-profile chef Michael Scelfo is adding another restaurant to his growing Boston empire. Josephine, an Italian restaurant dedicated to pizzas, Roman street snacks, and recipes from Scelfo’s Italian American upbringing, is opening inside Somerville’s Cambria Hotel, at 515 Somerville Avenue, this spring.
Deep and thin-crust pizzas are at the center of Josephine’s menu, according to Scelfo. The lineup will be rounded out with “what I consider to be Italian classics inspired from family dinners, generational cooking, my travels, and growing up as a third-generation Italian American kid,” Scelfo says in an email.
Josephine marks the fourth restaurant for the acclaimed chef, who also owns the chart-topping Alden & Harlow, the accompanying Longfellow Bar, and Waypoint in Harvard Square. He’ll be helming the kitchen alongside Alden & Harlow alums Stephanie Barrett and Owen Macca. The bar, which will be stocked with Italian classics and offer martini service, will be run by Welitom Ramos, an alum of both Alden & Harlow and Longfellow. Sydnie Loboda, formerly of popular chains Barcelona Wine Bar and Tatte, will be leading the dining room operations.
Josephine is the chef’s first foray outside of the Cambridge neighborhood where he built his previous three establishments, which have received acclaim from national publications including Food & Wine, Bon Appetit, and Conde Nast Traveler. The Cambria Hotel in Somerville, where Josephine will be located, is on “what I consider to be a buzzing corridor of Somerville,” Scelfo says, noting that he’s excited to expand into the “rapidly-growing” area.
This will also be the chef’s first Italian restaurant in a town already full of them. But, he says, his Italian American family upbringing will play a large role in setting Josephine apart from the pack.
“This is a project that’s built on Italian family roots and real experience, which I really feel I have an honest voice in,” Scelfo says. “Italian food is nuanced, and I’m ready to showcase that at Josephine. Our community is blessed to have plenty of great Italian restaurants, and I’m excited to bring a true Italian American perspective.”
The opening is currently slated for March 2023.