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Shoot the Food

continued (page 3 of 3)

Evening approaches, and outside the studio, the red taillights of cars waiting to enter the Lincoln Tunnel glow moodily in the darkening light. But Fink is still shooting, and the photographs of a pulled pork sandwich he’s now turning out look as if they were taken at 2:00 on a sunny summer afternoon. His exposure time is up to eight seconds, and he is working with concentrated speed. Smart and Ruggiero keep out of Fink’s way as he gives a plate a quick quarter-turn, tucks a piece of pork back under the bun, and angles a bottle of beer. He is—still—clearly enjoying himself.

Forever inspired by the arts, Fink studied music when he was young, taking an early shine to Bach. And there is indeed something calm and precise, even lyrical, in the way Fink composes the last shots of the day in the fading light.

The client is now on the phone, his attention shifted to making dinner plans. But Fink is still immersed in making this final shot as beautiful as it can be. He nudges a plate a quarter of an inch, refolds a corner of a napkin, and checks his exposure. He bends over his camera, glances up, and then says softly, “I can’t believe I get to do this for a living.”


Adam Harrison Levy is a documentary filmmaker, a contributing writer for Design Observer, and a teacher at New York’s School of Visual Arts. His most recent story for Gourmet Live featured celebrities’ most prized kitchen utensils.

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