Dick Patrick’s Personal Project Makes PRINT Magazine
Dallas-based food photographer Dick Patrick was recently featured in a story by PRINT Magazine: "Award Winning (But Don't You Call It) Self-Promotion | Patsy". As a design and visual culture brand, PRINT Magazine was the perfect platform to showcase Dick’s thoughtful project involving his step-mother’s southern style cookbook. PRINT adored the project, to the point that they decided it would win 'Best of Region' for the Southwest in PRINT’s 2018 Regional Design Awards.
Every year, Dick produces an in-depth project to market his studio. This year’s involved his step-mother, Patsy, and her love of cooking. Her southern-style cookbook Patsy: The Warm Southern Tale of a Southern Life Told Through Southern Food is more than nutrition; it is tradition, love, duty, and caring for others. Sustenance is almost a byproduct and serves as a metaphor for a loving and productive life.
For Dick, photographing his step-mother’s cookbook was deeply personal as much as it was an opportunity to stretch his creative legs. Patsy is an 80-page, casebound photo journal that encapsulates the roots and traditions of Patsy’s southern-style cooking. With the inclusion of recipes and other meaningful morsels of her life, Patsy’s story is told alongside beautiful photographs that are sure to make your mouth water.
Dick collaborated with food stylist Paige Fletcher, picking out recipes and choosing a visual language that would remain consistent throughout the book. Once the team was happy with a handful of images, Dick pitched the project to old friends Liz Burnett and Jeff Breazeale at The Matchbox Studio. From there, Liz, Jeff, and their talented group of designers took over, coming up with several design directions that Dick and Paige loved. The team decided that they would include photographs of the environment Patsy grew up in, as well as details plucked from the story, in order to balance out the studio work.
The team took trips to both Mississippi and Alabama, putting in hundreds of miles searching for country homes, cotton fields, and churches. One of their key assignments was to photograph a cotton field. The problem was, cotton in Mississippi was being harvested. The crew desperately hoped that there would still be enough in the fields for them to capture on camera.
“I made a call to my aunt and uncle who live in Puckett, Mississippi and asked them if they knew any farmers who had a nice-looking field that was waiting to be picked. As luck had it, they knew a farmer that had gotten behind due to rain. If I could get there in the next day or two, I might have a good shot at getting the picture. I left for Mississippi the next day and got there in the nick of time!”
Did you face any challenges with this project? If so, how did you overcome them?
“All of the things that make a photograph speak to you come out– composition, lighting, mood– regardless of whether you are shooting a vintage whisk, a cotton field, or a plate of homemade biscuits. That said, it does take some skillful editing to whittle the body of work down to a collection that feels right together. Deciding how to make the exterior landscape, architecture, still-life and food photographs feel like a cohesive body of work was a challenge.”
Any future plans for this project?
“If there was a publisher out there that would like to expand it, I’d be all ears. The South has an ambiance all its own, and being born in New Orleans, I’d say I’m a Southerner, through and through. The atmosphere, the food, and the Southern way of life are a part of my DNA. I’d love the opportunity to take those elements and combine them into a definitive book about Southern food and its appeal.”
“My feelings and emotions in this piece are personal and run very deep. I hope people enjoy it and I also hope the authenticity of it shines through.”
Studio Manager: Jesse Chacon
Food Styling: Paige Fletcher
Design Firm: The Matchbox Studio
Creative Director: Liz Burnett
Designer: Ryan Rashbaum
Writer: Amy Bickers
Check out more of Dick Patrick at https://dpatrick.com/!
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