On The Job

by Matt on April 9, 2008

This isn’t food related but it’s photo related. I do hope that’s ok.


I recently completed my first big ad agency shoot on Monday (that picture above is from last month) and man oh man I couldn’t be happier. I don’t want to get in trouble by revealing too much about who it was for and all that stuff just yet but here are some of my initial observations:


1. Accept the fact that the prop stylist will bring things you covet and drool over and no, you cannot keep them and take them home. Including that perfect little glass you’ve been looking for for about 6 months. This makes my heart hurt.


2. My first time around and the big wig agency people were dreams come true; gorgeous, warm, all smiles, friendly with an idea of what they wanted. It was magic.


3. After all this time I actually feel like I know what I’m doing. Who knew?


4. Do not tease, provoke, annoy or trip the food stylist. You’ve been warned.


5. Mary Sue Milliken is as nice in person as I thought she’d be. She rocks.


6. Staring at avocados for 10 hours did nothing to diminish my unshakeable love for those things.


7. Do not leave obnoxiously-sized muffins laying about in the late afternoon. They will be consumed by me until they’re gone. So much for my recent pattern of healthy snacking.


8. When technology and creativity work together it’s a beautiful thing. When they fight or argue, well, I never realized I knew so many swear words.


9. Ok, I give up, I admit it. I WILL hire an assistant. I promise.


10. When you love what you do and have the best significant other in the entire world, well, let’s just say life is a blessing and the work has meaning. I couldn’t ask for anything more.

Please forgive the hokey illustrations. I have never claimed to be an illustrator and just looking at the uneven drawing of the glass in item #1 proves that I should stay away from pen and paper.

{ 48 comments… read them below or add one }

Jen Yu April 9, 2008 at 6:55 am

I love this post! Matt, you are such a sweetheart :)

amy April 9, 2008 at 7:21 am

dude. I just love you!

Sara, Ms. Adventures in Italy April 9, 2008 at 7:25 am

Your “hokey” illustrations are better than half the world and very cute (especially the avocado!). You’ve just earned another “reason to be jealous of Matt” point. Argh!

Kharina April 9, 2008 at 7:36 am

Your illustrations are damned cute and your scribbles scarily very much like mine.

Good to know that dreams can come true. :D

fanny April 9, 2008 at 7:48 am

I find your illustrations beautiful, no matter what you think about them

love xx

West April 9, 2008 at 9:11 am

the food is talking to you…the beer shouldn’t be talking to me this early in the day.

180/360 April 9, 2008 at 9:13 am

I would work for you for FREE if I lived in LA!!! :)

I liked your illustrations. And I hope we get to see some avocado pics. I bet that was an interesting shoot!

Anita April 9, 2008 at 9:19 am

1) the illustrations are charming and lovely. I kept thinking “holy crap, he can draw, too” — so quit yer self-deprecating nonsense, man.

2) I wish I had vacation days to blow so I could offer to pop down to LA on a moment’s notice and be your assistant / intern when you needed one.

Deann B. April 9, 2008 at 9:35 am

Yay! So glad the experience went so well for you. And I loved the illustrations… since your photography is perfection, the illustrations keep you human. :)

jenniferL April 9, 2008 at 10:05 am

i like the “hokey” pictures! i’ve heard horror stories about ad agencies glad to hear yours was a good one!

jen altman April 9, 2008 at 10:07 am

i don’t think that i could adore you more matt… xoox

mimi April 9, 2008 at 10:18 am

as a devoted lurker, i just had to post and say i love your blog! your whismy and beauty come out in every post, and i love the illustrations for this one. and i loved mary sue way back when the foodnetwork was just a blip on tv! i would love to be your assistant, if only you worked here in nyc :)

keiko April 9, 2008 at 10:43 am

So happy that things have been going well for you (and you know I would move to LA if you let me be your assistant ;)) Love the illustrations, hope you are all well. kxxx

kitchenbeard April 9, 2008 at 10:45 am

Have I told you lately that I hate my current job and I’m an excellent exec. assistant with my own camera? Have I? Huh? Have I?

heidi April 9, 2008 at 10:46 am

the illos are GREAT! Can’t wait to see the pics.

kristina April 9, 2008 at 1:17 pm

that’s you looking like you’re gonna smack that food for talking back!!!!!!!!!!!

that’s my favorite picture!!!!!!!! of you…

Linda April 9, 2008 at 7:21 pm

you’re adorable. congrats on the ad shoot! big steps. BIG steps. i think you’re a fine illustrator. they make me smile.

helen April 9, 2008 at 8:00 pm

The illustrations are charming. Please do more!

Suresh April 9, 2008 at 8:26 pm


I absolutely love your blog and I absolutely love this post. Please post more
You are a truly an inspiration.

dana April 10, 2008 at 5:59 am

I’ve been visiting your blog for awhile, and love your food photography. I’m just starting out, and I know you asked this, but I would LOVE more about the photos themselves. I’m having such a hard time finding books on lighting specific to food… my setup seems to be working for now but know it can be better. I’m also thinking of upgrading from the d70 to d200. Anyhow, would love to see more technical, behind the scenes stuff!!!!

andreea April 10, 2008 at 8:31 am

this post made me smile. loved it

chanelle April 10, 2008 at 8:36 am

i LOVED this post! how fun!!! the avocados were my favourite part. i would frame that in my kitchen. seriously. no REALLY – you should make up some prints and offer ‘em on etsy. they would be so cute!

pretty much everything you do rocks.
have i mentioned how much i love you?

Allen April 10, 2008 at 8:47 am

Ha — great post! I enjoy reading your blog and this post is no exception :-)

kathleen April 10, 2008 at 9:23 am

If I lived in LA, I’d apply to be your assistant!

ames April 10, 2008 at 11:23 am

i’ve recently stubbled onto your blog – love this post, illustrations and all, and the beautiful photos! thanks for the fun read and inspirational creativity :)

Liz April 10, 2008 at 12:00 pm

I love it! Deep somewhere in the recesses of my cold black heart, lies a food stylist.

PS: you should have stolen the glass. they never would have known.

adriana mullen April 10, 2008 at 12:02 pm

Matt those illustrations are great. xoxo

James Tracy April 10, 2008 at 3:31 pm


I recently completed my first big ad agency shoot on Monday…I don’t want to get in trouble by revealing too much about who it was for and all that stuff just yet…[/quote]

I think you may have already gave up the info on who and what the Ad shoot was for. So, I’ll take a fork stab @ it.

Could the who and for be -
Mary Sue Milliken http://www.marysueandsusan.com

Chef owner of Border Grill – http://www.bordergrill.com/
and Ciudad – http://www.ciudad-la.com/



winnie April 10, 2008 at 3:55 pm

where do i send the resume? ;D

arfi April 10, 2008 at 3:59 pm

I am new to your food blog and I find it quite interesting, relax and perhaps when I get to know you a bit better I will also say ‘it’s your style’.


Kim April 10, 2008 at 4:11 pm

I adore the illustrations, you are a natural talent! Very charming,a great post!!!

tangobaby April 10, 2008 at 4:52 pm

What a great post. I love your illustrations!

ali April 10, 2008 at 7:03 pm

Matt, Congrats! they’re lucky to have you.

Cakespy April 11, 2008 at 9:41 am

HA! Fantastic life lessons indeed! The ridiculously huge muffin part speaks to me. :-) Hot tattoos too, dude! :-)

Cary Bass April 11, 2008 at 3:06 pm

The part that has me stunned is the dream ad agency “with an idea of what they wanted. It was magic.” … how is this possible??? LOL Could it have really been a dream? These people should be cloned and studied.

Linda April 18, 2008 at 5:11 am

delayed reaction here.. just noticed your bit about needing an assistant. you should convince them to send me over there to assist you:) long shot? i know, i know. you’ll just have to get some jobs in NY.

Philippe April 18, 2008 at 11:50 pm

If I’m only in LBC I’ll be happy to sign up for the job. Cute illustrations.

Philippe April 18, 2008 at 11:51 pm

If I’m only in LBC I’ll be happy to sign up for the job. Cute illustrations.

Philippe April 18, 2008 at 11:59 pm

Is that in LBC or LA? oh well… =)

sara April 20, 2008 at 7:20 pm

oh matt!! lovely post!! :)

i don’t mind uprooting all the way from singapore to LA just to be your assistant!

Candice April 24, 2008 at 5:28 pm

I wanna be you when I grow up.

ana April 24, 2008 at 8:03 pm

Your blog is the BEST !
I love the illustrations ( especially the BIG AD AGENCY, so cute) , what you write, your photographs, and your tattoos too :-)

Alanna @ A Veggie Venture May 4, 2008 at 7:52 am

Just wanted to let you know that your post is featured on BlogHer, Techniques to Improve Blog Writing! ~ AK


Janice May 10, 2008 at 3:54 pm

LOVE love LOVE this post! LoVe!

Cindy Choi May 13, 2008 at 4:08 pm

I love your photos!! You inspire me.
If you ever need an assistant for your shoots, I’m freeee! Even if it’s just to watch. haha



Elaine May 14, 2008 at 7:59 am

Beautiful drawing of the avocado. Oil pastel? Also, I love the Border Grill. The food was fantastic. And it was one of the few normal dining experiences I had in Las Vegas where the wait staff were not dressed like Keno girls, and everything was not deep-fried and double-wrapped in bacon. (My assessment of LV dining.)

xtine June 13, 2008 at 11:43 am

Love the drawings! You should do more (and post them here, and do lots of food ones, and prepare not to be surprised when you see tham framed on ramdon strangers’ kitchen walls…why? Um, no reason…). It’s been a few months…Should I look for your masterpieces on Etsy???

Tameika Coats May 31, 2011 at 3:47 am

I have to say, you chose your wods pretty well.

Leave a Comment