Brooklyn Bar Bites definitely diverges from your average cookbook, with cocktails from top Brooklyn mixologists to anecdotes about local eateries and their regulars. And the photography for the book is equally as diverse. New York photographer Jennifer May teamed up with author Barbara Scott-Goodman to create some vibrant and varied images to accompany this lively, inventive book.
Because Brooklyn Bar Bites encompasses the whole lifestyle surrounding Brooklyn eats, Jennifer had to to delve into the photography in a more holistic way, shooting food still life but also photographing restaurants landscapes, cocktail creations, and memorable wait staff. The author, Barbara, had a list of about 25 bars throughout Brooklyn that needed to be photographed, but from there, she gave Jennifer complete creative freedom for the images. Jennifer photographed the dishes and drinks whose recipes were to be included in the book, as well as atmospheric shots to capture the style and feel of the bars.
The author wasn’t afraid to go dark and moody, or to get messy, or to keep it clean…. We just had fun, and tried to represent the restaurants and neighborhoods honestly.
The team, made up of Jennifer, her assistant, and Barbara, went to 2-3 locations a day, Barbara having scheduled everything well in advance so that each chef was ready and had prepared the dishes to match the recipes in her book. Jennifer says it was great to just explore the neighborhoods in Brooklyn, getting a sense of the food culture and capturing it in this book.
It was like an extended pub crawl, although a remarkably sober one.
The team had to be quick on their feet to navigate around busy wait staff who were preparing to open or who already were open. Jennifer loves a project where she’s working with real people in real situations, so this was a fun challenge.
It was a constant dance of making sure we got what the writer needed for the book—all of the recipes, drinks, and environmental shots—and people and detail shots that attracted my eye and I knew would fill out the book’s pages in an exciting way.
Brooklyn Bar Bites hits stores tomorrow, March 29th, so if you’re looking for some fresh cocktail ideas, scrumptious recipes, or hot spots in Brooklyn, be sure to check it out!