Who is Pigford? ( So now you know Pigford, my buddy and terrorizer of dogs and house guests.)

Pigford Fine Art project.

Pigford Fine Art project.

Who is “Pigford” you may ask? Pigford came to me years ago as a Christmas gift from my (at that time) girlfriend’s daughter. I’m guessing it was about 10+ years ago he appeared under the Christmas tree and has been in my home ever since. Now you must know I own a BBQ catering business and the mainstay of the business is “on-site pig roasting” and because of this many people for whatever reason feel they have to give me “pig” gifts and it is actually quite annoying. Do electricians get a piece of wire or a light switch? Do plumbers get a piece of pipe or a pipe wrench as a gift? Well I certainly hope not. With that said; I fell in love with this creepy little guy and I wouldn’t part with him for nothing. I named him Pigford and I just think he is so damn cool because the look he has epitomizes how I feel about my BBQ business. 19 years is a long haul in a business that I never intended to be in. I was laid off from a job and I used what resources were available to me to save myself from poverty and unemployment and cooking was something I knew how to do. Now today, sure I love BBQ, I love my BBQ the best; I have honed my craft over the years to be the best I can make it. Now as I move on to more creative things in life my wife and I still have the catering business and she loves it.

So to it was time for Pigford to step up. He has spent the last three years in my living room and there were times the poor guy was put into a storage unit while I was transiting from place to place. He never says much and I hope he doesn’t because that would be scary. However I wanted to use Pigford for a Fine Art project and this time I was successful. I say this time because in the past I have photographed him and it just didn’t work, it seemed dead and flat. However this time I put him in his element, a kitchen. I realized right away that this is what Pigford needed, he is a chef and he needed to look like a chef.

So I feel the final image although not 100% complete yet, it will be a great image to blog about and discuss the techniques I used for making the final image.

So now you know Pigford, my buddy and terrorizer of dogs and house guests.

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Telling a Story For Business (…“if I could only show them what I do” it would be so much easier.)

1/800 sec at f/2.8 ISO 160 at 6mm with no flash. Canon G-15

1/800 sec at f/2.8 ISO 160 at 6mm with no flash. Canon G-15

I think this is the best commercial image I have taken this year (2015). It was taken for my own catering business & website. I say it is the best photo because it has gotten me so much business and it visually makes a statement to my potential customers that I could never describe using mere words. Even though we say (hold on… incoming cliché) “a picture is worth a thousand words” and yes that is so true, most often it is best if the photo speaks for its self rather than us trying to talk for the picture.

I have a catering business that is going into its 19th year, it is predominantly an “on-site pig roasting” business although we do many other things, but all in the vain of authentic “wood-cooked” barbeque. So while I have many return customers I also have many first time customers. Now before they are a first time customer they are just another statistic passing by my website. Before I had a website I used “yellow page” adds in the local phone book (remember it was 19 years ago lol). So at that time I received a lot of phone calls and they were not all customers, they were… as I call them “finger shoppers” just flipping through the phone book and making calls. Now at that time I was not the “people” person I am today, but even if I was it was so hard to sell what I do over the phone if you didn’t know exactly what I do. Many times I hung up the phone thinking “if I could only show them what I do” it would be so much easier. An easy sale was a person who called and either said that a friend recommended me or that they had been a guest at a pig roast I did and they already knew what to expect.

As time rolled on I jumped on the web about year 2000 with a rough cut personal page that was the precursor to what we know now as “blog sites” similar what you are reading at this very moment. I think that first site was “Xanga” and it was so damn hard to use. But as soon as I hit the web I needed photos and I started scanning in prints. The trouble was I never really had a single photo that told the whole story the way I wanted it told. As years went by and my cameras and composing got better and I was always looking for that special photo. It is not always easy or even possible because of environment. But this image really hit me and I’m ashamed to admit it, but it did not hit me right away. I was going back through all the photos I had posted to my Facebook catering page and looking for website content when I came across it. Most often I will work out in the heat all day, come home late at night, download the images, edit and post to Facebook ASAP so the customers can see their party images the next morning (you must know social media is all about what is happening or just happened). It is easy to overlook something. My main objective at the moment is “do the people look good” because they’re going on the web and around the world. I did really look at the whole scene the way a viewer who first arrives at the website would look at it.

The photo breakdown:

Because I knew I was going to be in a situation where there was sand and water I left the DSLR in the vehicle and I grabbed my wife’s trust Canon G-15 point & shoot. Yes believe it or not this was captured with a point & shoot, but it was shot in RAW. It was captured at 1/800 sec at f/2.8 ISO 160 at 6mm with no flash.

The story:

We have my wife who is the chef for the day and she is posing with a very happy customer and we have the roasted pig. The pig cooked very nice this day and we have prime weather and lighting. As can be seen in the background the sky was overcast but bright. Behind my wife’s shoulder is a volleyball game that is actually on hold because Matt is posing with the pig. Behind Matt you see a gathering of friends, some sitting, and some standing. The whole scene takes place at the waterfront and everyone is dressed in summer attire. It was July 4th weekend as can be seen by the American flag growing out of the top of Matt’s head (no photo is perfect lol).

So for someone coming by my website I feel without a doubt that this image conveys what it is that our catering business does and is. So now that I might have made you hungry talking about BBQ you may like to see the website www.havepigwilltravel.com or www.porkwizard.com

Thanks so much for reading.