In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Treat.”
One of the biggest treats of my photographic “career” was getting paid on a regular basis for doing photography. I do a lot of photography, but it isn’t strictly speaking my profession. My actual education and profession is in Park and Recreation Management, which is why I’ve been able to travel across the country and do so much photography in interesting places.
At one point between conventional jobs I worked as a contract photographer for an app named Gratafy. They are in the business of making it possible for you to buy meals, bottles of wine or drinks for people via your phone, either across the room or across the country. When they first expanded into the Houston market (remember, Houston is the 4th largest metro in the country) I was one of two regular photographers they had in the area.
Not only did I get to meet a lot of interesting people, get paid for doing photography (and learn a little about food photography) I also got to eat what I photographed. Unlike some food photography productions this was done with actual food that you’d order from the restaurant. It wasn’t hair sprayed to make it hold and keep it glossy, it was photographed in the light that was present instead of with off camera flashes. Aside from some minor white balance adjustment afterward what you see on Gratafy’s app is what you’re ordering.
In the end I shot about twenty restaurants, and had something at just about all of them. In one case I was there before opening and between me and the staff we ate EVERYTHING. Usually I would shoot either just before the lunch rush or after it, so regulars would end up with a free plate, or it would be fed to the busboys.
I’ve gone back to a few of the restaurants since then just because I happened to be in the area. I’m not sure how Gratafy has worked out for them, but I know I never ran into a restaurant staff that wasn’t happy to have me there. Of all the stuff I ate, I think my favorite was what you see below. The Mosquito Benedict from Mosquito Café in Galveston. Eggs Benedict is one of those dishes that you love but don’t have very often because it’s not very good for you. This adds shrimp to the mix, and although it’s hard to improve on Eggs Benedict, shrimp does the job.