Good barbecue is a rare thing. It takes a seasoned (pun intended) chef to whip up barbecue sauce with just the right amount of tanginess, and cook tender meat with that perfect smokey flavor. Georgia-based photographer Greg DuPree recently shot a cookbook for a man that definitely knows his way around a smoker—pitmaster Chris Prieto of Prime Barbecue in Raleigh, North Carolina.
If you’re not vegetarian, Greg’s photos for the “Ultimate Book of BBQ” cookbook will make your mouth water. The dark, moody images fall into the “food porn” category—think “50 Shades of Grey,” but with grills, sauce and smokers instead of whips and chains.
Greg had been working on a barbecue series for a while before being contacted by the publisher. He already knew of Chris Prieto from the BBQ Pitmasters series on TV, so he was excited to be brought in for the project. The biggest challenges were getting the light right during an outdoor shoot, and keeping people from pouring onto the set because of the delicious smells!
My biggest challenge was keeping it fairly dark with mood while shooting outside. Where we were we had to set up shop next to all of our grills and smokers. That and keeping everyone from taste testing all of the que!
There were a lot of shots, so Greg and the client had a bit of back-and-forth during pre-pro. In the end, Greg said he had a great deal of freedom, and ultimately a ton of shots that weren’t on the original list made the book and helped shape the book’s final design.
The book is doing great, so I guess the reaction has been good. I still speak with Chris pretty regularly … he’s on the book tour right now and he said people are going nuts over it. So that’s always good!
Greg plans to make this part of an ongoing project, and possibly a smaller scale promo piece. He claims that the food made for this particular shoot was the best barbecue he’s ever had…by far!