Recently I was given the task to create a series of portraits for TK (Tasting Kitchen) magazine featuring twelve of the incredibly talented chefs currently working for the two Wynn resorts located in Macau. The task was not simple and one that I made doubly challenging by suggesting that we do both a restaurant location as well as a studio type portrait of each chef. Scheduling was the first obstacle which was handled beautifully by Dorothy Ip and her team at Wynn Macau. Coordinating all these schedules is no easy matter. All these chefs have busy schedules and finding a free block of time at a specific time for each chef all on the same day was a logistical headache. Fortunately I didn’t have to deal with that issue. My challenge came later when I was shown the schedule and was told that I had to shoot both the location portrait and the studio shot within 1 1/2 hours for each chef. All twelve portraits, as well as a group shot, had to be done in two days.
The shoots were done at the two Wynn properties in Macau. Six chefs were from the original Wynn Macau resort which located on the Macau peninsula and the other six work in the restaurants in the recently opened and much bigger resort called the Wynn Palace which is located on a reclaimed stretch of land called Cotai where many of the new and large casino type resorts are located.
A scouting day helped me to plan how I would shoot each restaurant location portrait so on the day of the shoot I had a pretty good idea of what I would be doing. On the actual day of the shoots we began by setting up our studio in a location that was in a convenient location for all concerned. In the case of Wynn Macau this was in one of their banquet rooms while at the Wynn Palace in was located in the SW Steak restaurant since it was not open on the planned day of the shoot. The one thing we could not have planned for was that maintenance crews also needed to do work on the same day in SW so we had to deal with workers setting up ladders and other such things in and around our studio setup. Fortunately we managed to coordinate things so we all got done what needed to get done.
Once our studio was set-up we would then meet each chef at their particular places of work and shoot a series of portraits and then move to the studio for round two. In the studio I wanted to bring in elements related to each chef and hopefully create a fun and visually interesting portrait. All the chefs were game and got into the concept and provided me with some great suggestions and moments. In both situations we made some wonderful portraits, such as the location images you can see above, but the studio shots ended up being the stronger package. In the end the spread ran 16 pages with each chef receiving his own page. The following are the results of our studio fun.
To see the printed article and read the profiles for each chef you can view the entire issue of TK by visiting it online. Go to: https://issuu.com/tastingkitchen/docs/tk31_britain_s_bounty__s_