Spent a fun couple of hours in my friend Shawn Kelley's backyard in South Park Slope a couple weeks ago, organizing a shoot to illustrate a piece about Patrick Janelle and Maxwell Britten's new cocktail app, Liquor Cabinet, for NYT T Style. Photographer Collin Hughes came round and Patrick styled up a nice little cocktail party for him to shoot. Above, Patrick's partner in Spring Street Social Society Amy Virginia Buchanan relaxes while Collin shoots.
There was a lot going on at Shawn's that afternoon. The previous day had been her annual carnivore & rose BBQ, when a boisterous gang of folks from the spirits and cocktail world descend upon the backyard and feast on meat and a seemingly endless array of bottles of rose--200 bottles by my count, and that's doing the math around 85 guests, all of whom brought at least 1 bottle, many who brought 2, and some who brought 4 (kudos to them). The party had gone strong from 2:00 PM to 2:00 AM, and yet somehow the place was all tidied up and basically spotless when we came in to shoot at 5:00 PM on Sunday. Shawn had already ducked over to Quarter Bar, her neighborhood spot (that had just happened to make Wondrich's Best Bars list in Esquire) for their 9th anniversary party. David Moo, one of the owners, showed up to heat up some food for the party in Shawn's oven. Photographer Doron Guild came through to grab the phone he'd left behind the night before (he wasn't the only one to do so.) The place was a bit of a beehive.
Maxwell zested limes onto watermelon wedges as Patrick looked on Collin shot.
Shawn showed up as we were getting underway and offered Patrick a look at her extensive silver and glassware arsenal, which had recently been neatly organized and labelled in her basement by personal organizer Lisa Grant. Patrick took to this silver platter that wound up featuring in the shoot.
It was cool to watch another photographer do what I find myself doing frequently--shooting groups of people enjoying cocktails, and trying to capture some defining moment, or moments. You look, you move around, you read the group without even thinking about it, you're imagining what could work, you're in constant motion as you assess and reassess the possibilities, and search for that one shot that says it all.
Capturing Patrick & Maxwell.