Vince Foti, proprietor of Vinnie’s by the Sea and Kitchenetta restaurants recently challenged me to shoot some off the cuff images for an upcoming story he was going to be mentioned in along with several other restaurants. When the magazine suggested they send their photographer, Vince suggested he provide his own and forwarded a link to my site. I jumped at the opportunity to shoot in trade for Vince’s fabulous food and dining experience when asked. Vince’s cooking is amazing! Though I rarely get the chance to shoot for “Local” restaurants or small businesses, working for food on a shoe-string budget and without models, stylists, a producer, was very rewarding! Did I mention the raw oysters… It’s refreshing for me to show up with one assistant and my wife Sherryl who acts as coordinator, model, and art director to shoot fun and off the cuff imagery. We utilized my daughter and a few of her friends as models for trade as well! Being the entrepreneur that Vince is, of course he had his eye on the cover and a feature, not just a mention. He challenged me to create pics that the magazine would use for the cover and a feature and that he could use on social media, advertising, etc.... In the last few years I’ve been getting back to my roots as a photographer and relying more on the moment and less on the “Encumbrances” inherent on usual advertising gigs. I love the intense craziness that I’m thrown into when it’s just us capturing a few frames per set up, bouncing off of patrons, loud music, and the crazy frenetic spontaneity of the moment. I’m very fortunate to have my wife Sherryl work with me in so many aspects of our business and my daughter Alex, who is in the catering business and has a beautiful group of friends that love an impromptu cocktail party modeling. I have a couple of great assistants that are willing to trade work for food too! Take a look at the shots and videos we were able to create at 2 different restaurants in one afternoon/evening and the dawn shot of Vince, who rolled this giant fish on a cart down to the beach exactly 5 minutes before the perfect light peaked through the clouds! And if you’re in Ft. Lauderdale, make sure you stop by Kitchenetta and Vinnie’s by the Sea. Tell them George sent you! To see more of My Friend Vinny click here.