Everyone knew Gadiel. He was the guy with an eight-foot-long table-spread of local honeys, offering smiles and samples to all passersby. And it’s hard to say with which is more compelling, his smile or his honey. As I’d learn, they’re really hard to separate.
I took some on-location images for him, and made plans to shoot at his shop. Naturally, that day, he paid me in honey. And my word, what honeys he has. Avocado honey, buckwheat honey, sagebrush honey, red chile honey, carrot honey. I could go on. They’re all farmed and gathered sustainably with a group south of Albuquerque, of which Gadiel and his wife are a part. These delicious jars come from robust, well cared-for, very happy bees.
I worked with Gadiel first on the shop’s web-store. I moved pages and images on pages, changed menu orders and items, and suggested methods to keep the site updated and alive without weighing on his already demanding schedule. As he had already developed excellent identity design and descriptive copy, these changes quickly created a more intuitive shopping experience for users, which easily increased his sales.
Then came time to photograph. As the light was so beautiful in the shop’s garden-bungalow porch, we set up right out front. Over one summer morning, I shot honeys, drinks, soaps, sprays, pollens, waxes, tinctures, and some interiors/exteriors. A few months later I returned for another morning shoot, repeating our setup on the porch, to guarantee a full stock of images. While I was there, he kept me plied with hibiscus coolers and jovial conversation.
Gadiel has used these photographs in all his marketing, and extensively on the shop’s web-store.