Photo Director: Alex Pollack
Photo Editor: Elizabeth Jaime
Photographer: Dominique Lafond
Heidi: How many days did you have to shoot this project?
Dominique: The magazine gave me the assignment a few weeks in advance so I could schedule the restaurant visits to my liking. I really wanted to take my time on this one: Montréal is my city, I already knew most of the restaurateurs and LOVE their restaurants. It was important to me that the photos showed them in the best light possible, I didn’t want to rush anything.
It took me 8 days to complete my visits. Shoots in restaurants need to be carefully scheduled when you have to shoot dishes: you don’t want to bother any clients so you have to arrange to shoot the food when the place is empty. I then stayed longer to capture the restaurants in action.
What specific direction did you get from the magazine?
Bon Appétit gave me a list of 12 restaurants + dishes to shoot in every place. I also had to shoot busy interiors, details, etc. They already knew I would give them a lot of choices since we had worked together before (I sent them about 600 photos for this shoot). I also had to be careful about the season: the shoots took place in September and the story was coming out in winter.
The exterior shoots (ice skating) were taken last winter.
How much directing are you doing during the shoots?
The directing only happens on the food shots when I have time to decide where every element will go.
There’s no directing on the people shots: I only ask them to continue about their business as if I wasn’t there. I’m also very careful not to disturb any client and work very discreetly.
Are you turning in all your edits with captions?
The magazine only asks the captions for the photos they take to be published.
How did the magazine find you, did you send them promos?
I have been a Bon Appétit collaborator for about 8 years now. They found me when they were looking for a photographer in Montréal. We have worked together a few times over the years, always on shots where I had to capture food and the spirit on the places/restaurants.
Did you submit black&white and color?
I always like to mix color and b&w photos in projects so I included a few b&w options when I sent the selection. I’m very happy they kept the idea and used both in the article!