Editorial

Print The Love Benefit | Artist Talk with Eliesa Johnson

 

I'm super excited to be the keynote speaker for Print The Love's 2018 benefit. If you're not familiar with the organization, I'd love to introduce you. Print The Love is a non profit that serves the world with instant photographs. They focus on celebrating the value and dignity of individuals in under-resourced communities through the gift of a photograph. Obviously, the mission of this organization resonates with me, because it is what I practice on a daily basis. I greatly believe that a photograph captures a valuable moment in time. I also believe that photographs are one of our most prized possessions that we have in life. Print the Love gives the gift of photography and moments to those who otherwise would not have access to ever having their lives documented - how cool is that?

In thinking about what to talk about for this evening, I landed on "The Power and Purpose of an Image". It will be a reflection upon creating images that have moment and the impact they can have on a community. This will be a great talk for artists who are professional photographers, as well as those who are hobbyists. All are welcome and I hope everyone can walk away a little inspired. 

Proceeds from the evening will go towards Print the Love's work around the world as their team heads to Cambodia on November 1st! I look forward to seeing y'all there! 

Nordic Ware | Bake from Scratch Magazine

 
  Portrait of Dotty Dalquist in her home kitchen for Bake From Scratch Magazine

Portrait of Dotty Dalquist in her home kitchen for Bake From Scratch Magazine

One of my favorite editorial stories from this summer has hit the news stands! Bake from Scratch Magazine wrote an incredible article about Dotty Dalquist of Nordic Ware. You know the classic bundt pan? Dotty and her husband Dave created this baking staple in 1950. Dotty is now 92 years old and still the matriarch of both her family and the company. I had the pleasure of hearing her tell the stories of how they built their business, raised their family and brought over 400 products to people's kitchens that sell out still to this day! There is so much knowledge, inspiration, nurturing and hard work that has gone into making Nordic Ware what it is today and I loved being a part of sharing this story with the world! If you get the chance - definitely pick up the September / October issue for a full read! 

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Behind The Scenes//

Kelly Janke | Food Stylist

 
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I first met Kelly this past year on one of her trips home to Minneapolis. Kelly is a wildly talented food stylist on ABC's The Chew and she wanted to start building her own personal brand, in addition to the work she does for TV. I was honored when she asked me to photograph this for her and as we began to talk, her energy just started to shine through.

Kelly is playful, fun and truly loves food. She also understands how to make basically anything look and taste beautiful, so photographing her food wasn't hard at all. She did want to bring a minimalist theme + color theory to the shoot, only focusing on a grey and white color scheme so the food can shine through. I love the way these all turned out! You can check out more of Kelly's work on her new site!

LOVEe

Behind The Scenes

The Bold North

 
  February 2018 Issue of Food & Wine Magazine

February 2018 Issue of Food & Wine Magazine

The Bold North. It's a mission and a movement that people in Minneapolis have been embracing for years and is now at the forefront of our culture - largely due to the 2018 Super Bowl being hosted in our city this year and also to Eric and Andrew Dayton's agenda to Keep the North Cold and help fight climate change. In fact, there is more pride than ever to be from the North and embrace it. 

Last year, I was on assignment for Food and Wine Magazine to document the culture of Minneapolis and St. Paul during the winter. This covered outdoor dinners, some of our best chefs, cozy moments inside and all the activities in the great outdoors. This story was also written by one of my favorite writers who hails from Minnesota, Julia Heffelfinger! It was such a fun collaboration and it's so great to see the feature come out a year later! 

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Below are some of my favorite unpublished images from this assignment! There is just so much depth to the Twin Cities and I want to share it all!

Mpls / St. Paul Magazine | Best of Restaurants 2017

 
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We were so proud to be a part of Minneapolis / St. Paul Magazine's Best of Restaurants issue this year! 2017 brought some new names and old favorites to this list and it was so much fun to photograph. We also captured some fun human elements to this story that I think are pretty special. A big thanks to the following restaurants for inviting us in: Young Joni, Restaurant ALMA, Terzo, India Spice HouseLucia's and Travail Kitchen & Amusements

This post includes some images from the feature and also some unpublished images that I just adore. Seriously - the deconstructed Bibim Grain Salad from Young Joni - how cool is that? Enjoy!

Mpls / St. Paul Magazine | North Awards Feature

 
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This past January, I photographed some portraits for Mpls / St. Paul Magazine's Made in the North story. It featured stories and profiles on the makers behind some of our favorite handcrafted food and products! 

What I love about photographing stories like this is learning so much about the people behind the goods. There is so much thought, time and intention behind each of these businesses - it's inspiring. For this article we meet Tim Shore of Shoreboards, Jim Sannerud of J. Sannerud Studios, Mike Phillips of Red Table Meat Co. and Danielle Sakry of Danielle Sakry handbags. 

Below are some of my favorite images from this feature - and you can read all about it here. 

 Tim Shore |  Shore Boards

Tim Shore | Shore Boards


 Jim Sannerud |  J. Sannerud Studios

Jim Sannerud | J. Sannerud Studios


 Mike Phillips | Red Table Meat Co. 

Mike Phillips | Red Table Meat Co. 


 Danielle Sakry |  daniellesakry.com

Danielle Sakry | daniellesakry.com

PLATE Magazine x SURLY

 

A recent feature we collaborated on with PLATE Magazine is out! It incorporates some of our favorite people behind the magic at Surly - both the Brewer's Table and the Brewery! Photographing food is obviously a big part of what I do, but I more enjoy the people behind it. For this shoot, we were able to focus on Jerrod, Ben and Jorge for this article and it was an absolute blast - and they let me put them in some rad light! 

Some Recent Portraits //

 
  Erik Eastman of Easy and Company

Erik Eastman of Easy and Company

I've been pretty busy lately - and happily so. We have some really wonderful projects that are coming up. I was going through my archives the other day and I realized that there is SO much work from the last year that I would love to share.

For starters, I have really been loving many of the portraits that have been created this past year. I have the chance to photography so many truly amazing people and I wanted to take a moment to show you some of my favorite images. 

LOVEe

  Ann Kim of Young Joni

Ann Kim of Young Joni

  Bob Edmond of Big Daddy's BBQ

Bob Edmond of Big Daddy's BBQ

  Alex Roberts, Lucas Rosenbrook and Mätti Sprague of Restaurant ALMA

Alex Roberts, Lucas Rosenbrook and Mätti Sprague of Restaurant ALMA

  Gavin Kaysen of Spoon & Stable and Bellecour

Gavin Kaysen of Spoon & Stable and Bellecour

  Daniel Boulud

Daniel Boulud

  Jorge Guzman of Surly Brewer's Table

Jorge Guzman of Surly Brewer's Table

  Adam Eaton and Laurel Elm of Saint Dinette

Adam Eaton and Laurel Elm of Saint Dinette

  Mike Phillips of Red Table Meat Co. 

Mike Phillips of Red Table Meat Co. 

  Steven Brown of Tilia and St. Genevieve

Steven Brown of Tilia and St. Genevieve

The Restaurant Project

 

I want to take a moment and introduce you all to The Restaurant Project.

It is an idea that struck me a couple of years ago (and frankly an idea that wouldn't go away). I actually tried to push it away, but the idea was persistent; it challenged me and so I listened. For the last year and a half, I have been working to develop the structure, concept and creativity behind this business and I am so happy I did. 

I started The Restaurant Project because I believe it is time for a shift. Imagery, video and self marketing have never been more important. Many people are doing parts of what we do, but we want joining The Restaurant Project to be different. Essentially, I am asking restauranteurs to rethink the way that they have ever spent their marketing dollars before. A bold statement? Yes, but someone has to make it. I think it is time for restaurants to invest in themselves. So what's included in the investment? So many beautiful things.

"So, you like take food photos and video for social media, right?" -- Wrong.

Let's break it down:

The Restaurant Project offers an easy, one button solution for restaurants to tell their stories. Through Photography, Videography and Strategy, we provide a steady stream of gorgeous content and then empower you to use this content in a big way. 

First, our clients will own full licensing rights to all of the photo and video work we create for them. Did you get that? Unlimited licensing rights. We want our clients to be able to use their content freely - for websites, social, press opportunities and beyond. We offer Monthly + Quarterly subscription services to keep your work fresh! When it comes to photographers, we have the best (award-winning in fact). 

Secondly, we want to educate and empower our clients. You have all of this beautiful content, so let's talk about how to use it best.  I teamed up with Annie D'Souza to be our strategist and I can't begin to tell you how damn perfect she is. Annie is a leader. She is experienced and has an approach to building communities and connecting with people that is inspiring. Do you feel a little overwhelmed with exactly how to use Instagram these days? Great, we can help you with that. Does your PR team want to develop a more helpful strategy for your marketing plan? We've got you. 

Lastly, we want to look towards the future. Video is proving to drive action and putting video on your website alone increases conversion by 80%. Eighty Percent. That's huge. Lauren Schneck is leading video for The Restaurant Project and she is amazing. Her background in reality tv lends a very authentic, yet refined approach to video that translates perfectly to food and the kitchen. 

I have lofty goals for The Restaurant Project. I know it's bold and I know it's not cheap, but I also know it is a game changer. It's an opportunity for better work and better connection with not only your guests, but also the media. It's the chance to grow from within and tell your own story. 

Can you still hire me outside of The Restaurant Project?

Of course. It's business as usual for eliesajohnson.com for our editorial and private client work, but this new project is an extension of our services. I hired the best to implement video and education sessions for our restaurant clients, so your team can be empowered to work better for your business. 

Without further adieu, I would love to introduce you to The Restaurant Project:

Website: therestaurantproject.co

Instagram: @the_restaurant_project

LOVEe

 

Mpls / St. Paul Magazine // Citizen Style

 

For the September issue of Mpls / St. Paul magazine, I was asked to photograph a set of portraits for their fall fashion story. It turns out that I had a connection to all of the people, which made photographing this all the more special. 

When it comes to photographing real people in a 'fashion' sense - I love to still make it feel real. I wanted the portraits to be authentic to who our subjects were and why they had been chosen to highlight their personal style. 

I wanted to share some of my favorite outtakes and behind the scenes from this shoot, because the energy with all of our subjects was absolutely amazing! A big thank you to Betsey Kershaw, Kimberly Ferguson, Linda Kaysen and Paul Buttenhoff for all the great moments! You can check out the full story here


Behind the Scenes//