Picking His Brain At A Bar

The guy who’s brain I was picking at was none other than Calvin. I have been On Set with Calvin Huang before, where he was the subject and interviewee of our local TV program. Calvin has been invited as guest speaker and judge on food photography for the premier and leading food and lifestyle broadcaster – Asia Food Channel (AFC). He has also appeared on ClickNetwork’s TV show for “Food Styling and Photography” episode which garnered more than 59,000 viewership.

On set with Calvin Huang.

On set with Calvin Huang.

Calvin’s impressive clientele base includes ABR Holdings,  Cold Storage,  Fonterra Co-operative Group, Ippudo SG, Luxury Lifestyle magazines, Lee Kum Kee, National Heritage Board, Select Group Ltd., Singapore Press Holdings,  Swensen’s, Tan Tock Seng Hospital, The Cocoa Trees, World Association of Chinese Cuisine, etc…etc…

Today’s post was an actual on location commercial shoot to revamp a client’s menu. The client wants the food photography to reflect as natural/real as possible to what his establishment would be serving.  Off to work!

Understanding first-hand from the chef how the food would be served and visualising it in his mind.

Understanding first-hand from the chef how the food would be served and visualising it in his mind.

Calvin works very closely with the main chef of the bistro bar:

Assessing and reviewing the work done.

Assessing and reviewing the work done.

This plating will not do and we'll be shifting it onto the board.

This plating will not do and we’ll be shifting it onto the board.

Pan-Seared Australian Tara Valley Beef Tenderloin 200g with roasted white button mushroom, asparagus, vine tomato, gratin potato and port wine sauce.

Pan-Seared Australian Tara Valley Beef Tenderloin 200g with roasted white button mushroom, asparagus, vine tomato, gratin potato and port wine sauce.

Grilled Spanish Duroc Pork Chop with mash potato, broccoli, vine tomato and onion sauce.

Grilled Spanish Duroc Pork Chop with mash potato, broccoli, vine tomato and onion sauce.

Calvin wasn't pleased with the presentation of this Homemade Beef Pie.<br />Something was amiss.<br />In the end, the chef baked some pie crust as requested by Calvin, who then crumbled and sprinkled them around the board.

Calvin wasn’t pleased with the presentation of this Homemade Beef Pie.
Something was amiss.
In the end, the chef baked some pie crust as requested by Calvin, who then crumbled and sprinkled them around the board.

Calvin's take.

Calvin’s take.

My imitation of his take.

My imitation of his take.

Real food as props for the photo shoot.

Real food as props for the photo shoot.

Pan-Seared Salmon with potato & mushroom fondant, broccoli, vine tomato and spicy harissa tomato sauce.

Pan-Seared Salmon with potato & mushroom fondant, broccoli, vine tomato and spicy harissa tomato sauce.

Calvin's take on the Ribeye.

Calvin’s take on the Ribeye.

Calvin asked if I had learnt anything.

Calvin asked if I had learnt anything.
Yes, see the steak above and below?
The details! Salt flakes made the food stood out.

Doesn't this looked more delicious?

Doesn’t this looked more delicious?

Calvin is focused but his mind is always thinking on how to improve the set ups.

Calvin is focused but his mind is always thinking on how to improve the set ups.

I tried to see with my "eye" what he saw. Barbeque Baby Back Ribs with mesclun salad and potato wedges.

I tried to see with my “eye” what he saw.
Barbeque Baby Back Ribs with mesclun salad and potato wedges.

Braised Lamb Shank with roasted potatoes, asparagus, vine tomato and rosemary sauce.<br />A tricky dish to place.

Braised Lamb Shank with roasted potatoes, asparagus, vine tomato and rosemary sauce.
A tricky dish to place.

Cocktails:

I got to taste a sip of of all the cocktails.

I got to taste a sip of of all the cocktails.

Finally, it’s time to wrap up!

And get back to the real world of food that photographers eat if the client didn’t provide any.

Calvin is always alert and smiley even after hours on set without a decent meal and toilet break. This was the second day on the project and he had spent more than 8 hours this day. I am in awe after witnessing the dedication and professionalism in his attitude, the work he produced and will continue to produce.

Thank you, Calvin, for unselfishly sharing the many trade-secret tips with me. I am honoured to be the “apprentice”.

Calvin Huang’s mantra:

Belief Sets Focus,
Focus Sets Direction and
Direction Sets Success!

Happy learning 🙂

If you or someone you know have a need for Calvin Huang’s professional services, you may contact him at:
Glamour Wave Photography
calvin@glamourwavephotography.com
Tel: (+65) 90907241

See more of his work at: http://www.glamourwavephotography.com

See other post on Calvin Huang by clicking on links below:
Here We Go Again
On Set With Calvin Huang

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Comments
7 Responses to “Picking His Brain At A Bar”
  1. Well done (pun) article…
    Also, a belated happy valentines day to you and yours,
    Also, if I haven’t done so before, wishing you a happy wooden horse New Year…
    Love, hugs and blessings … ME and the Boss

  2. Jessica says:

    Really neat, Sam! I am so impressed both by Calvin and by your ability to come up with so many amazing posts yourself, Sam! What a great idea to get in touch with someone like Calvin. Too cool. 🙂

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