After working together on a previous project, chef Evan Funke approached Los Angeles based photographer Alan Gastelum to create images for his new restaurant, Felix.
Alan met Evan through a mutual friend and fantastic baker, Nicole Rucker. Nicole and Evan had collaborated on a one-night, pop-up event that Alan was asked to document. Evan loved the images from that project, and they stayed in touch. So, when it came time to create images for his new restaurant, Evan knew that Alan would be the right man for the job.
During the planning and pre-production portion of the project, Alan went to the restaurant to scout the location. He created a plan of action based on the available light during different times of day since natural light is essential for Alan to get the feel he wanted. After a few phone calls back and forth with the restaurant, they had a plan laid out and were ready to go.
The day of the shoot was a fast, exciting 10 hours of non-stop shooting. Alan planned to arrive early before the staff so he could have the restaurant to himself. He planned to grab some interior shots at this time because he knew that once the doors opened, it would be difficult to get a photo of an empty dining room or bar. Since this restaurant is brand new, people were always running around, and deliveries were being made at all times of the day. This made it almost impossible to get a shot with no one in it. But, since Alan is an experienced photographer and knew he only needed a few seconds to get the shots, he improvised and got what he needed.
The shoot was incredible. A well-managed restaurant runs like a machine and the only way to keep up, is to jump onto the moving train.
Throughout the day, Alan was busy, either shooting still life images of the food and drinks or documenting the kitchen staff working in their natural habitat. Alan loves to operate in this type of fast-paced atmosphere.
My favorite part of making photographs with chefs is the reportage aspect. I feel some of my best imagery has come from watching a restaurant in action and capturing the perfect moment that we couldn’t of planned otherwise.
Combining the right light with an artistic eye, Alan captured many amazing photos of the food and drinks, restaurant interior, and chef portraits. He and everyone at the restaurant were super pleased with how everything turned out.
The original intent for the photos was for Felix’s website, but since the release, a few editorials have picked up the images. With such positive feedback, more ideas are in the works for future projects with Felix.
See more of Alan at alangastelum.com!