"Chefs Hits and Misses" - article for SB Seasons Magazine

I was thrilled to be asked to shoot five of the fabulously talented chefs from Santa Barbara county for the spring issue of Santa Barbara Seasons Magazine.  They were all gracious, and wonderful to work with. 

Luca Crestanelli - SY Kitchen

Luca Crestanelli - SY Kitchen

Alessandro Cartumini - Four Seasons Santa Barbara

Alessandro Cartumini - Four Seasons Santa Barbara

John Downey - Downey's

John Downey - Downey's

Matt Johnson - San Ysidro Ranch

Matt Johnson - San Ysidro Ranch

Jason Paluska - The Lark

Jason Paluska - The Lark

Weekend in NYC

My fiancé and I recently took a 4 day trip to NYC for a quick getaway.  Prior to leaving sunny California I checked the weather forecast for the city and saw that rain and cold was expected.  What surprised me when I got there was how little I minded the weather.  One day it rained the entire day, but we bravely set out with oversized umbrellas, and walked across central park from the upper west side, to the Metropolitan Museum of Art on the east side of the park.  It was magical.  The colors reflecting off of every surface of the rain-soaked city became a cornucopia of imagery.  For the first time in a while I was inspired to shoot, just to shoot, but I didn't have my camera, so I joined the world of "phone-photographers" and set out to document the day.   These are some of my favorite rainy images from the weekend:

© Amy Barnard Photography

The day after the rain we woke up to a very brisk 34 degrees, but bright sunshine.  Once again we set out into the city, this time in Chelsea, and these are the images that I came away with:

© Amy Barnard Photography

Product Review: Choctal Ice Cream

© Amy Barnard Photography

© Amy Barnard Photography

Recently I was introduced to the amazing, single-origin ice-cream created by Choctal.  The company's mission is "to make the highest-quality product with the most delicious, single-origin chocolate and vanilla flavor profiles the world has to offer."  They travelled to the different rain forests of the world to find eight, distinctly different types of beans to launch their flavors, four vanilla, and four chocolate.  

I had the fortune of being invited to a tasting event to sample all of the flavors, and I can say with confidence, that they are some of the best ice creams I've ever tasted.  You might wonder, "how can chocolate and vanilla taste that different from each other?"  Well, it's a bit like wine tasting.  The chocolate or vanilla beans pick up subtle nuances of flavor from the environment in which they're grown, giving the final products their own unique undercurrents of flavor. 

The Costa Rican chocolate has hints of coffee, caramel, and butterscotch.  The Ghana chocolate is more of a milk chocolate, with a touch of rich, fudge flavor.  When it comes to vanilla, the Madagascar is intensely creamy, speckled with vanilla seeds, and has a trace of a bourbon-like flavor to it.  And the Mexican Vanilla is subtly infused with cinnamon.

I would recommend tasting them for yourself, but don't blame me if you find out you have a new addiction.

Interview with architectural photographer Russ McConnell

I was very happy to have the opportunity to talk with architectural photographer Russ McConnell and ask him some questions regarding the industry.  His commitment to excellence from pre through post production ensures that his images are some of the best in the industry.  As a photographer aspiring to the same types of jobs, I was grateful to get some insight into this field of photography.

1. What was your first significant job and how did you get it?

It was to shoot a feature story in SB Magazine.It came through a connection with the SB Magazine photo editor who was a Brooks Grad.Itwas the first tungsten architecture shoot I ever did so I hired an assistant that was experienced with it and asked him to not let the catout of the bag while shooting (I had to look in control).
2. What did you learn from that job that improved the way you work?
It effectively taught me how to shoot tungsten by throwing me right into the mix in a rather sink or swim way.More importantly it taught me to never say no...that there is a way to get it done if you use the contacts we all have properly.
3. What was a snag you encountered on a job and how did you trouble-shoot it?
There have been many since architectural shooting is always different but once on a job I had not had time to scout that required a lot of lighting the power was maxed and only one light could be plugged in or the circuit breakers would trip.It forced me to try for the first time to use just one light and 23 different exposures with the light aimed at various parts.This was the beginning to how I now light everything.
4. What is one thing you would advise someone starting out in the business?
To focus your marketing...research and come up with a short list of who you really want to work with and spend the time on them....don't spread yourself too thing since hard to follow up on a mailing list of 1000!
5. Do you have a dream job you would like to do, or have you already done it?
I'm working on a lead for a major project in Bali that is a green sustainable living resort.
© Russ McConnell

© Russ McConnell

You can view more of Russ's work by visiting his website: http://www.russmcconnell.com

Photoshop Tip

To copy a retouching layer from one image to another:

1. Open both images side by side in your work area

2. Drag and drop the selected retouch layer onto the new image

(to automatically align the layer onto the image hold the "shift" key while dragging)

Brooks Institute Open House


This is a still from a recent Brooks Institute Open House where I did a presentation about shooting a bottle of alcohol for commercial/advertising purposes.  There were about 200 people who attended the event.  Rob Winner welcomed each of the groups that came through, giving them a quick rundown of the equipment and set up before introducing me, and then I would discuss what the shoot entailed, and how the photographs would be composited to create the final image.  I was assisted by Albert Salgado and Jeremy Spaunhurst.  It was a great day!

Kay Gautraud from Chiat: What Keeps Her Inspired. It’s Not the Obvious.

An amazing interview with Kay Gautraud. Her passion and knowledge about the advertising industry, and her outlook on life, is wonderfully inspiring.


Originally posted on Notes From A Rep's Journal:

Back in February, I visited Los Angeles with Kate Chase where we hosted group portfolio shows.  Along the way, we saw old friends, met new people in the industry and hosted a very fun party where everyone got caught up and looked for ways to do this more often.  Right in the middle of it all was Art Producer extraordinaire,  Kay Gautraud.  For those of you who do not know her, she is an amazing producer at TBWA Chiat Day in Lost Angeles.  She is smart, funny and easy to be around.  She knows her stuff and has great opinions on the future of our industry.  As we solved all the world’s problems at the party, I realized she would be a fantastic addition to our Art Producer Series of blog posts that celebrate the producer for who they are and where they came from on the… (continue reading by clicking link to: Notes from A Rep's Journal above)

Breaking The Chains – “My Worst Enemy” Video

© Amy Barnard Photography

© Amy Barnard Photography

This is a behind the scenes look at a photo shoot I did for the charity Breaking The Chains, a global campaign to help those who are affected by eating disorders.

Producer: Debra Hopkins

Assistant Producer: Annabelle Munro

Photography: Amy Barnard

Talent: Jillian Rose Reed/Erin Sanders/August Emerson

1st Assistant: Grant Flanagan

2nd Assistant/Computer Tech: Sara Strimpel

Makeup/Hair: Dawn Sorenson

Wardrobe Designer: Linda Tabbouch

Foodie Inspiration

I admit it, I love food and I am inspired by films about food, books about food, and those who make good food, in particular: the movie Julie and Julia, the book A Moveable Feast,  and Chef Ricky Moreno at Capo restaurant in Santa Monica.

In particular though, I love desserts (I actually used to be a pastry chef in NYC.) I don’t splurge that often, but when I do I’m drawn to fondant covered petit fours, French Macarons, and chocolate truffles.  I’ll pretty much eat any dessert, but those are some of my favorites. In homage to my taste buds, I have included this diptych of two desserts I photographed including Napoleon’s French Macarons, and Starbucks Birthday Cake Pops.

© Amy Barnard Photography

© Amy Barnard Photography

My First Post

© Amy Barnard Photography

© Amy Barnard Photography

With the significant presence of social media in our lives today, I have realized how crucial it is that I become a more committed participant in the conversations that are going on in our world.  But more importantly, if I am going to speak, I want to say something that doesn’t just inform, but inspires as well.  Now that doesn’t have to mean some long-winded view of life and its lessons, it could just be about a great piece of art.   When I read, watch, or listen to something that inspires me it immediately changes my outlook and emotional well being for the better.  And when I feel that way, it makes me want to share that feeling with others, which leads me to why I’m here today.

Prior to this first blog, I wrongly assumed that I had nothing to say that hadn’t been said already.  Therefore I’ve said very little.  I came to recognize, however, that each person holds a perspective that is unique and distinct.  Through my own personal history, and view of the world, I will describe something in a way that no one else can.  That must have some intrinsic value.  So upon further reflection I am now ready to join the world of bloggers, and challenge myself to think more deeply about the topics that I am interested in, and contribute to the discussions regarding them.

I guess that today’s post is about bravely joining the ever-growing fabric of our global discussion.  I am glad to be here, and would like to share something I saw today that inspired me, a discussion with Jonathan Harris about social media and its effect on human beings.  It is both thought provoking and fascinating.  And lastly, I’d like to share a link to Renaud’s Patisserie in Santa Barbara, they make the yummiest French macarons.  The photo I took (shown above) is of an assortment of three flavors that they offer: raspberry, pistachio, and black currant.

So, welcome to my blog.  I hope it becomes a place that has something useful to say, and puts a smile on your face.