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I was recently hired to document the happenings at the Nova Cafe, a popular breakfast restaurant in downtown Bozeman, Montana. Between documenting the culture and atmosphere of the diner, I also made professional business portraits of the awesome Nova boss lady Serena Rundberg and her partners. The Nova Cafe has become the breakfast staple that it is due to their commitment to serving the highest quality, most sustainable ingredients sourced as close to Bozeman as possible and making everything from scratch here in their kitchen. This shoot was a lot of fun. Here are some of my favorites. -M

“Primeiro você deve comer com os olhos”

Years ago, I was out to dinner with my Brazilian friend, starving, fork in hand and about to dive into my just-delivered, fancy restaurant dish. Before I could take a bite, she interrupted me with a smile, put a hand on my forearm and repeated a Portuguese phrase. It’s translation… “First you must eat with your eyes.”

The concept of giving your body food was something, up until that point, that I had taken for granted and had given little thought to why my brain was attracted to whatever meal I was about to eat. Things looked and tasted good; simple as that. Now a more mature cook in my thirties, I’ve started to think about the psychology of food. Of the chefs I’ve met over the years and the books I’ve read about cooking, the consensus is that the better looking a dish, the better you expect it to taste. For the past week, I have been ruminating on this concept and her phrase as I’ve watched the morning sunshine creep through my kitchen windows and illuminate my countertops. Not being a seasoned food photographer, I was interested in the idea of what makes our food look so appealing and realized it’s not so different as to what makes a successful photograph. Color, light, mixing up textures, shapes and the arrangement. Highlighting a natural focal point that draws in your attention to the dish. As a working photographer, I’m constantly observing and studying how light illuminates everything around us. I decided to do a visual study. With my limited window of good sunlight, I started documenting my go-to breakfast scramble I routinely prepare with the goal of slowing down and seeing why my taste buds salivate with anticipation of this dish again and again. Bon Appétit! -M