Back from Africa

One of the items on my bucket list was to visit Africa. Check it off. My wife and I, along with a friend, visited South Africa, Botswana and Zimbabwe. What a fantastic trip. The wildlife photography opportunities were amazing.

Even though it was more than 24 hours to get there and more than 24 hours to get back with transfers and layovers (and I don’t sleep on planes) I found myself wanting to plan another trip to Africa. We saw well over 100 species of birds (I photographed many of them) and almost all of the animals we hoped to see.

We did not see painted dogs, hyenas, or a cheetah in the wild. We did see Sylvester, a cheetah in captivity but I don’t think he was in a very good mood.

HERE is a photo book of the animals we saw and HERE is a photo book of the birds we photographed. Enjoy. As always comments are encouraged.

By the way, we took a traditional tour, not a photo tour. I can’t imagine what a photo tour would be like. I can’t wait for Kenya and Tanzania next.

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Products, Products, Products

A picture is worth a thousand words, a great picture is worth a thousand times more than that.

New Jersey Product Photography Gold Bag

New Jersey Product Photography Chocolate Bars

My goal in photography was always to become a food photographer and to be the best food photographer that I can be. Food photography has been my passion since the mid 1980s. What I had quickly learned is that while there are food photographs everywhere you look,New Jersey Product Photography Ice Bucket most of the work is going to the big names or to portrait/wedding photographers that don’t specialize in food photography and don’t have all the necessary skills needed (a classic case of you get what you pay for.) Especially when the little guy with the needed expertise and experience is in a small market that is right next door to the largest food photography market in the world.

New Jersey Product Photography Candle

To pay the bills, I started taking on product photography work. I showed some product work on my website but, I never promoted it.

New Jersey Product Photography Dust Mop Manufacturing

Now, I do much more product photography than food photography (something that I wish was the other way around.) From bags to bottles, centrifuges to cleaning supplies, I get it all. I guess that it’s time to start a promotion for product photography.

New Jersey Product Photography Janitorial Supplies

New Jersey Product Photography Jewelry

If you are following me, you have probably already seen my Food Photography Photo Book. Now, I have also created a Product Photography Photo Book. Please take a look at my new book and let me know what you think.

New Jersey Product Photography Food Products


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_MG_8183 Low ResFood stylist and chef Michael Giletto and I have been collaborating on creating awesome food photography since March, 2010. We met when I advertised on Craig’s List for a food stylist and Michael answered the call. We share a vision and when The Belmar Arts Council announced its art exhibit “TOGETHER: Artists Sharing a Vision”, I knew immediately that this was custom made for us.
Selecting just 3 images was a challenge. We wanted to choose images that were not shot for clients and that were a little out of the ordinary. The images we selected are below.

pickled beet saladThe exhibit will run from Wednesday, October 18 though Friday,November 17, 2017. The reception for the event will take place from 5pm until 7pm on Saturday, October 28. 

Chocolate SwirlThe Belmar Arts Council is located at 608 River Road, Belmar, NJ 07719. Michael and I are looking forward to seeing you at the reception.Pork bites vertical

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What’s New?

I’ve decided to dive into a new business venture. This new project won’t affect my food and product photography business…it adds to it. I am now going to sell prints of images that I have taken of birds and have manipulated with a painterly effect using photoshop.

You can find my bird images at Or, you can simply click “Bird Portraits” on my portfolio page. Please click on the thumbnail and then click on the square image to see the entire image.

Most of these images have been taken from my bedroom window, looking at the feeders in my back yard.  This is where you can find me when I’m not shooting food or products.

I would really appreciate it if you would let me know what you think, if there is anything that really strikes your fancy and if you wouldn’t mind, forwarding this post to someone that you think might appreciate seeing these images.


Please visit my food and product portfolios at and I hope you enjoy viewing it as much as I did shooting it. My latest photo book can be seen HERE. To learn a little bit more about me personally, you can visit my blog at I published a four part article on “What to expect at a professional photo shot” on my blog. Please check it out and feel free to share it with anyone you know going for their first photo shoot. You can always contact me by e-mail at Thanks for reading.

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First Show

I’ve participated in group photo shows before but, I’ve never had my own show. I am very excited to tell you that 14 of my food photos are on exhibit at 12 Farms restaurant in Hightstown, NJ. This is a farm to table restaurant and they exhibit images related to either farms or food. 

The show should be up for at least the next 6 weeks. At that time, I will be asked to remove my images as soon as another artists requests the space.

I have also just booked the Monmouth County Library Headquarters in Manalapan (across the street from Wegman’s) for a show for July 2018. It’s quite a bit away but, I’ve already started to organize my images since, I can have 30-50 images there.

Here is my dilemma. Do I exhibit bird photos, food photos or both. My first instinct was to exhibit food images to help promote my business. Then I thought that bird images would have a greater public appeal and a remote possiblity of a sale. I would be interested to hear what you think.

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Size Matters

When it comes to lenses, size matters. I have been doing bird photography with my 100-400 mm f/5.6-6.3 Canon lens and loving it. 400mm is big but not big enough to really get the birds at a distance. So, I took a loan of a 600mm f/4 Canon lens and was very excited when it arrived. The images it produces are excellent but there is one big problem…the lens is enormous. Hand holding this lens is difficult. I was able to do it on a bright sunny day at a very high shutter speed but, there has been no sun all week. I was only able to use the lens on a tripod. Normally, that is not a problem for me (I do have 4 tripods) but when trying to shoot song birds, you have very little time to find the little fellow in your viewfinder, focus and shoot before the bird flits to another branch. The woodpecker and cardinal were shot at my bird feeders in the back yard while I am crouched in front of an open bedroom window waiting for them.

I took the lens to Sandy Hook, hoping to find some migratory birds and water birds. Water birds were much easier, as they stay in one place for longer. They were just very far away. The only migratory bird I found there was a cedar waxwing.

So, today I shipped the lens back. Fedex wanted $400 for insurance so I took a chance and didn’t buy it. Now that I had a chance to use the big 600, I can stop having lens envy.

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Wishing You a Wonderful 2017

So many people have been anxious for the end of 2016. So many of our friends had left us.

The election left half the country upset (and would have been that way no matter who won.) With Russian hacking, Syria at war, ISIS, disagreements with Israel, terrorist attacks around the world, and the loss of so many public figures, I fully understand the depression and the need to start anew.

champagnePersonally, I’ve had a good year. I, as well as my family and friends, have been fairly healthy. I’ve travelled to exciting places and have made plans to travel to even more exciting places. I’ve met so many wonderful new clients. My business was good and to top it all off, I got a new laptop 🙂 While feeling the stress of the world as a whole, my little world is doing fine. I hope that yours is as well.

So here’s to a wonderful New Year. I hope that 2017 brings you everything you hope for. Cheers and Happy New Year.

Please visit my portfolio at and I hope you enjoy viewing it as much as I did shooting it. My latest photo book can be seen HERE. To learn a little bit more about me personally, you can visit my blog at I published a four part article on “What to expect at a professional photo shot” on my blog. Please check it out and feel free to share it with anyone you know going for their first photo shoot. You can always contact me by e-mail at

I’m experimenting with a new App that acts as a portfolio and can estimate a job (roughly). I am unsure whether this is a good idea or not and would love your input. Please check out the FOOD PHOTOGRAPHY app and the PRODUCT PHOTOGRAPHY app and let me know what you think.

Thanks for reading.

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Food Photography and Product Photography

cookie0042-low-res-squareI advertise myself as a food and product photographer, but mostly I push the food photography. I LOVE food photography. Shooting food has special challenges and therefore special intrinsic rewards when you get those awesome images. (And the food left over from the shoot is an added bonus.) I like to think that I justerwyn00478-small do food photography and that is what I say in my elevator pitch (which I have yet to use in an elevator.)

The truth be told, I do as much or more product photography as I do food photography. As a matter of fact, the number of product photography clients is growing rapidly as a product photographer, from my neck of the woods, has moved away. Many of these shoots are simple products on a white background. erwyn00309These usually have to be clipped (also called silhouetted.) This means that they are cut out of the background, leaving the pure white background often found on websites and required by Amazon.

acandleco00048-low-res-banner-pixelsMany of my product images are from food clients that manufacture and sell food in bottles, jars or boxes. Many of those stello-0087-pinks-2-low-resalso create recipes from their products and we shoot the recipes as well. I’ve got a great team which includes a food stylist and a recipe developer.

My latest two clients are very different from things that I’ve done before. One of them produces scientific lab equipment and the other produces supplies for hotels. The scientific equipment presents its own benchmark00069-hi-resinteresting challenges. Often there are lit up displays that need to be shot with the rest of the image properly exposed. Thiserwyn00387 requires the blending of two images…one of the product and one of the glowing panel. In one case, the light was ultra violet (black light) and it created a purple glow.


If you have never been to a professional photography shoot and anticipate that you will need to do one in the near future, take a look at my four part post: What to expect at a professional photo shoot and don’t forget to look at my website, send me an e-mail or give me a call.

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Cranberry Muffins My family never did this but, as I watch families on TV, they have a tradition of going around the table to say what they are thankful for. I would have a hard time with this one…too many things to be thankful for. Family, friends, health, comfort, travel, and freedom to do what I love.

What I love to do is photography. It started as a hobby back in high school, became a part time job in college as a wedding photographer’s assistant, a part time career as a wedding photographer and then I gave it up. Wedding photography is difficult work.
During that time, I spent three summerIn Thyme White BG 2014-05-21 Low Res-28s as a commercial photographer’s assistant. I fell in love with commercial still life and wanted to become a professional food and product photographer. But, unlike wedding photography, you can’t do that on weekends so I just did photography as a hobby again.

When I retired from my career as a chemistry teacher in Brooklyn, NY (no, don’t feel bad for me, I was in a great school and I had the best students) I began my career as a commercial still life photographer specializing in food. And believe me, I am very thankful for that opportunity…I love it. I still travel (going to Vegas soon and then Cuba) and I still do photography as a hobby but, the challenge of food photography is what keeps my juices flowing. So, I am really thankful for my clients, my team and my wife for giving me about 1/4 of the house to do this.

Please visit my portfolio at and I hope you enjoy viewing it as much as I did shooting it. My latest photo book can be seen HERE. You can always contact me by e-mail at Thanks for reading and have a great holiday.

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If you’ve been following me for a while, you know that I am diabetic. My personal hell has been that many of my clients make high carb products. I do lots of chocolate, cakes, cookies, eclairs and all delicious things that diabetics must avoid. But, there is one high carb food that I cannot give up, and that is bread. I LOVE bread. So, of course, I have a client that bakes the most fantastic bread. The wholesale division of the bakery is going national and I photographed their brochure. We did product shots of each bread and then, working with my food stylist, Michael Giletto, we did beauty shots for each type of bread. One word comes to mind every time I look at these images…YUMMM! We are discussing doing a retail catalog. I can’t wait!








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