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  • Writer's pictureNicole Hansen

Photos for Punch Drink

A few weeks ago, my studio mate Paulius, had referred a potential client my way. We do that from time to time - refer clients to each other. Usually because we're too busy to take on the work or it's a job that we're not interested in - some money is not worth making. Paulius usually sends me any food and product inquiries as his primary work is portraiture. He is the best portrait photographer in town (and you can check out his work here).

Anyway, the email came in from Lizzie Munro, a photographer based out of New York. I was familiar with her name as she is one of my favorite photographers that I follow on Instagram. However, I was not aware that she also is the art director and photographer for PUNCH, "a James Beard Award-winning media brand dedicated to drinks and drinking culture". At first I was a little bummed that she didn't reach out to me initially, but turns out she did look into it but I had noted on my instagram account that I was taking a (much needed) pause from clients. Whew.

The assignment was for two different articles. One featuring Winslow Wise from the Caribou - it was part of their OG series. And the other about places to drink in Madison, WI. First I took photos at the 'Bou, portraits of Winslow, a few interior shots, a couple different action shots of him mixing up a couple different versions of Old Fashioneds and lastly cocktail portraits. This assignment was right up my alley. Portraits, interiors, cocktail photos. Perfect. I was excited.

Winslow told me he prefers to use sugar in his Old Fashioneds instead of a simple syrup because he enjoys the texture/grittiness that the sugar adds.

We chatted about the differences between a sweet vs. a sour, I told him I like mine half sweet and half sour, because I'm one of those people that thinks I am an easy customer but actually knowing what I like does not equate to being easy.

Nikon D850 35mm 1/250, f/3.5, ISO 80; two Flashpoint eVOLV 200 Pros, both off camera

I used to think that my shutter speed was responsible for stopping movement in photos, but when using a flash it's actually the flash power setting. Using too high of a power does not work well, you'll need to dial it back to 1/16th or less, generally speaking. Sometimes that means you need to increase your ISO, decrease your shutter speed or add another flash if you need more light.

I like to turn my flash off and use natural light during my photoshoots, which is why I always travel with my tripod. I feel like it gives my clients a larger variety of photos to chose from.

Nikon D850 50mm 1/10, f/8, ISO 50; used a tripod

Interior and exterior photos are always shot with natural light and mounted on a tripod. I have a $150 one I purchased off of amazon, but I definitely need to invest in a nicer one.

After I was finished at The Caribou, I had photos at Leopolds. I recently took my husband there because he likes everything they have to offer; books, beer, cocktails, coffee. He's into it. I have never gone there and it not be busy. I always find it awkward doing photoshoots when customers are present. Especially with my soft boxes set up. I try not to make eye contact with the patrons, unless they are giving me looks of concern - the ones where you can tell they really do not want to be in the photos. I reassure them they won't be, although sometimes I'm lying about that. I do try to make sure I am shooting with a shallow enough aperture that they will be blurred out or a drag my shutter for the same reason.

The assignment was to photograph the interior and the process of a grasshopper. Easy Peasy.

Nikon D850 50mm 1/200, f2.5, ISO 50; two Flashpoint eVOLV 200 Pros - one to my back left in a strip box and one front right (behind subject) with no diffusion

Nikon D850 100mm 1/100, f/22, ISO 500; Flashpoint eVOLV 200 Pro - off camera with no diffusion

Nikon D850 22mm 1/15, f3.2, ISO 320

If you want to read the articles on Punch they are here and here. It was truly an honor to take these photos and to have Madison featured in "Where to drink in 2023" - they only featured five cities in the entire world!

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