I am passionate about the history and consumption of classic cocktails. I recently began working on a long term project documenting the passionate and skilled bartenders who, over the last ten years or so, have been reintroducing classic drink experiences to patrons in fine establishments across the country.
For a number of years now I have been creating portraits of people who bring a great deal of passion to what they do either as a job or a hobby. Subjects like hand crafted bicycle builders, wood workers and chefs (Kuni, Sushi Chef). This was about the same time I was visiting my friend Tim Stevens (I wrote a post about Tim last year) in San Diego – He was managing a bar called Prohibition at the time, and that’s where I was introduced to my first vintage cocktail. I was hooked from my first taste.
It took a few more years for the craft cocktail movement to make its way to Buffalo – In fact it took until 2011 when Vera Pizzeria became the first subject for my project (see post here). This was our city’s first real cocktail bar.
Vera set the standard really high and is still pushing the envelope. Over the last 6 years buffalo has had more incredible bars open, like Ballyhoo, Buffalo Proper, Mes Que, and more. Shooting the bartenders at Vera eventually led to the idea for my current project, Keepers Of The Craft: Cocktails Across America which is both the name of the story as well as the photo book I am publishing after me and my dog Luke spend a year rambling across the roads of the entire US in a travel trailer, documenting cocktail culture.
There are hundreds of really awesome cocktail recipe books out there, but no one book exists that has sought to capture the current state of the culture. My hope is that 100 years from now, this book will help serve as a historic record that will illustrate the style, taste, and personality of our era’s cocktail movement.
I am putting my years of photographic skill and experience to work to create this record in the form of stunning photo book that celebrates this aspect of american culture.
Take a look at the Facebook page for the project for maps, and other details. I’ll be updating a few of my social media outlets as the project progresses. In the next week or so, I will have a kickstarter go live to help fund the expenses associated with putting together the book and travel.
This is my boy, Luke. He’ll be my road companion and photo assistant…he works for treats.