Baron Ambrosia invites you in…
Pulling up onto his street, I see lines of houses with a elegant Victorian Style, circa late 1800’s welcome appeal, you know the kind of neighborhood that causes cars to slow down and take in the scenery, so that's exactly what we did.
When I have photo shoots at my studio, I do the usual routine of taking the steps to make sure I put together a set that fits and mingles with the client. I adjust the lighting, double check my camera lens and setup the equipment to make it happen. I continue to choose a background setting that really shows who the client is, their personal image that speaks their thousand words message… I see the photos before they become photos.
I park in front of this Victorian built home with this wood siding floor-to-ceiling sized door that's hard to miss. Man, I knew going in that my usual photoshoot routine was going to require some serious adjustments.
We meet outside with friend and founder of “The Alchemist – Eat NYC Food and Wine” Magazine @eatnycfoodandwine, Executive Chef John Denizard. Baron Ambrosia invites us all right into the foyer entrance of his home & come across two curious cute pug dogs and it reminds me of an old-house museum so already my photographer senses are tingling at the many ways I can go about this.
I set up the equipment after it's carried in from the car and we are already into mid conversation on how he envisions his look to go and what his journey has been like. I take in who I see in front of me as I look around at the complex ornaments filling the rooms as his collected treasures from his travels around the world. Yes, I'm definitely in awe but you know I gotta keep my cool... For the fog images, we had a classic fog machine, but I wanted to keep the fog from spreading upwards like a traditional machine would do, so I "MacGyvered", a tube with some dry ice inside to cool the smoke as it came out. Hey, there's art to making an image happen you know. To get a real dramatic feel, I added some lit candles on the desk in his office and dim lighting. You wouldn't believe the things this room was made up of. First off, the windows were draped with heavy thick curtains that made a great lighting addition and the walls were royal purple, textured with velvety floral patterns holding up an Anthropoid coffin in one corner and a NY Emmy Award in the other, yes you heard me right. Need I say more?
We start in his sitting room lined with jungle green fleurs-de-lis patterned wallpaper you wouldn't see in your average everyday home yet my eyes go straight to the props that will accent his wardrobe. Barron got this long Indian Sherwani on giving this dignified confident look with his wild eyes and styled hair to bring it all in. In the back corner sat a pianola, yes, I got to see it in action and it was so cool. In the center of the room laid out an actual bed of nails, apparently it's a tool used in ancient times to heal the mind and body but at the present time, I was anxious. The embalmed animal used as an old smoking pipe didn't help to ease me up but it sure made use sitting next to a rotary phone set up behind him as he postured himself into a Victorian upholstered armchair for one of his images.
This house couldn't have been any more perfectly complex for the Baron Ambrosia look. The inspiration behind the images came from his personality laid out in his personally styled interior designed decor. “Baron Ambrosia” was in one of the many pieces like the random meat cleaver sitting around or the preserved bear claw jarred atop of his liquor bar as great conversation pieces to our random afternoon Tree Bark-sap infused glass of homemade wine/beer.. you know just a casual day in the life of the Culinary Ambassador. I Loved this entire session so much, because at the end of the day, It's photo shoots like these that remind me…
It all begins in the pieces that make up who we are as different individuals that are placed together in such a way it makes us unique so don't forget;
Be Creative, Be Courageous, Be YOU!