Photographer Dick Patrick is based in Dallas, TX but was born and raised in New Orleans, LA. The ‘Crescent City’ is known for its jazz music and historic architecture, but its true character is embodied by its uniquely southern food and the experiences it offers on its streets, and its many local establishments.
In his new 36-page book, Dick collaborated with his team to create a work of art that combines photography with innovative printing techniques to give us an insider look at his hometown through a New Orleans native’s eyes.
When it’s good, it’s worth sharing. When it’s great, you must. New Orleans, my home, is a work of art.
Every year or so, Dick produces a creative project that can double as a promotion for the studio— this year, however, Jesse Chacon, Dick’s studio manager, gets the credit for coming up with the concept. Inspired by his love for his hometown, Dick wrote an essay that was handed out to all of the creatives involved, and from there, it all quickly began to take form.
I find it helps us flex our creative muscles and allows a level of collaboration (as a studio) that we don’t normally get in our commercial assignments.
The Matchbox Studio, who designed the book, has been working with Dick for over 20 years, and they were naturally part of the process from the beginning. Dick provided some sample shots for them to work with, and they used those to develop a few concepts. The team aligned on the book’s creative direction and everyone worked together on the shoot to make their vision come to life.
They [The Matchbox Studio] get me. Including the passages in my handwriting was all their doing. They felt it would bring a personal touch to the piece, and I agree.
To capture the food images used throughout the book, Dick worked closely with food stylist Paige Fletcher. They collaborated in many ways, from choosing the dishes that would be photographed to determining the exact composition they wanted to achieve for each vignette. The resulting images are appetizing and beautiful portrayals of classic New Orleans cuisine. When paired with printed menus in the book, often in contrasting colors, the imagery produces a sense of nostalgia – as if it was showing you a glimpse of a not-so-distant memory.
Paige works with a bunch of studios, but I feel that we have a special connection on set. She has equal input on the dishes, and we work back and forth until we are both happy with the shots.
Dick and his team also wanted to capture images of the French Quarter, one of the most iconic and most visited areas in New Orleans. The French Quarter is so often photographed by tourists, so it was important to them that they approach this capture differently. Drawing on Dick’s memories and his personal connection to the city gave the images (and the project overall) a distinct perspective.
From the images to the recipes, we tried to bring a personal point of view to the piece and not one you’d be likely to see from a visitor or tourist.
The printed book is visually stunning and perfectly complements Dick’s imagery with its various textures, colors, and techniques. It also has a high-end scrapbook quality to it as it encapsulates more than just images and text, but memories and personal connections.
After all the years of working in this business, I find that the lessons learned from these kinds of collaborations are less tied to the craft of photography and more connected to the value of teamwork and listening to others while making new work. I like allowing everyone on the team to have a voice.
Food Stylist: Paige Fletcher
Studio Manager and Producer: Jesse Chacon
Design: Matchbox Studio
Creative Director: Zach Hale
Designer: David Broderick
Printing: Millet The Printer
Paper supplier: Clampitt Paper
Paper stock: Mohawk Paper
See more of Dick’s work at dpatrick.com.
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