July 13, 2015

Hot Off The Press! Communication Arts Photo Annual Including My Work

 The CA Photo Annual 2015 has just come out and it is gorgeous.  I am so proud to be included in it since so many talented photographers enter it.  If you have time to pick up a copy- it is well worth checking out.  I am also honored to be included ALONG with a few of the other talented photographers that are part of my rep Heather Elder's group.  Congratulations to Andy Anderson, Hunter Freeman, Richard Schultz and Chris Crisman for their awards!

July 7, 2015

Chanel and it's Luxurious Colors

Chanel has always evoked an ooh and ahhh from anyone like myself who has grown up watching their glamorous grandmother or mother take out the black sleek compact or lipstick and apply luxurious color to their face. Chanel evokes that fantasy- of beauty and classic style. It was befitting that I collaborated with my french friend Philippine Scali (former creative director of Pottery Barn) on creating these images. Philippine travels the world, including frequent trips to Morocco to source beautiful things for a new interiors brand. So exotic!



June 22, 2015

Thoughts on Food Photography


Sharing an article my rep Heather Elder just posted on her blog Notes from a rep's journal.  Written by a great Contributing writer from Communication Arts, rebecca bedrossian.

A LA CARTE. LEIGH BEISCH ON FOOD


Author:  Rebecca Bedrossian
Think about food and the act of eating. It involves all the senses. Food, tastes, smells, and meals make memories and daydreams. It’s no wonder that food photography is sometimes playful or even provocative, but at all times it’s emotional.
Photographer Leigh Beisch has an eye for color and texture, and it shows in the delicious images she creates. A juicy piece of fruit or a decadent slice of cake expresses much through light and form. These are not picture-perfect, glossy photographs—these are real, delectable still-lifes.
“My clients come to me for a real, approachable look,” explains Leigh. “Authenticity is something I strive for in my work. It’s why I choose natural lighting and a studio that has a home-like setting.”  Leigh says her workspace helps shape her photography. It feels like home, so it’s easier to create shots that aren’t overly stylized. Leigh adds, “Fake food does not fly these days—real food, real moment, real mess!”
From fine art to food
Some say food is a fine art. So perhaps it’s not surprising that Leigh started out in fine art. Her studies at the Rhode Island School of Design and The Chicago Art Institute of Chicago earned her a BFA, not particularly unusual for photographers. But Leigh also paints. After graduating, she continued to shoot her abstract landscapes and produce paintings, all the while building the commercial side of her business.  A number of years ago, she discovered food as a subject and it changed the direction of her commercial work. “A client approached me to work on a new food catalog for Williams Sonoma, it was a turning point,” Leigh says. “I transitioned to food photography.”
Leigh realized that she could apply fine art principles to food. “Especially,” she says, “exploring the humanistic aspects of a subject and how I, as the artist, relate to it.” In layman terms, this means that Leigh found her sweet spot within commercial photography.
Needless to say, she brings this thoughtful approach to food. “How a person views and enjoys food are as much a reflection of themselves as a self-portrait,” she explains. “Food is sustenance, a point of gathering. It encompasses our primal instinct of sharing. It connects and nourishes us! It is a subject matter that goes beyond the material and therefore requires more that just being physically photographed—it needs to be captured in its entirety—emotions and all.”
Leigh’s philosophy on food is evident in her images: “It has a moment when it’s fresh, hot, or frosty cold that evokes an emotional response. Oftentimes, it needs to be shot swiftly and passionately.”
The Essence of Wine
For Vinography, Leigh set out to capture a timeless subject—the essence of wine. Swiftly and passionately don’t apply to a red or white vintage. We let wine breathe, and then we taste. It’s a mindful process.  “I approached these photos in a more studied and painterly way,” Leigh explains. “Not a quick moment, but something well considered and savored. Author Alder Yarrow’s prose reflected this as well, so I created photography that would be a perfect pairing.”  The result is a book that beautifully reveals wine’s fragrant elements and flavors—from pear, oak, berries, and more—in both words and pictures.
Ready, set, collaborateClients want real food. Leigh delivers this and more with the help of trusted stylists she’s worked with regularly. “I consider stylists team members. I choose them for their ‘style’ and vision based on the particular project,” she says. With trust comes an open mind. And Leigh wants her stylists to be part of the creative process. “I want to hear what they have to say and see how it works with what I had in mind—and what a client had in mind—for a particular shot. It’s all about collaboration.” Leigh’s found that not only do the stylists appreciate this collaborative, team environment, but clients do too. It’s all part of the effort to create amazing images.
“The stylists I choose to work with are very well-versed in current visual language,” continues Leigh. “If you show your client you trust your crew, they trust you. That’s all I ask—trust me and my team and we will rock this shoot!”
Farfalle_Salmon_20063Filleted_Salmon_19598Quinoa_Turkey_Sliders_18639Turkey_Tostada_18573Pancake Bite Out_17456PancakeBfastSKillet_17543PancakeStackOverheadV1_17443Coffee_Cream_Cup_Toast_16081ForkSpaghetti32725TomatoThymeFetaPizza_v2_12543Spaghetti_Tomatoes_32709Plums_v2_21661Champion_Ribs_V2_4088



June 2, 2015

Road Trip: Los Angeles

I am one of those people that can't sit still for too long. I like keeping busy. Seeing new things, meeting new people, being introduced to new ideas. Recently when a photo shoot cancelled last minute, I trekked down to LA to see some agency folks that I have been wanting to meet, and to see some old friends too. Although LA is in the same state as San Francisco, it is a very different place. I have been there many times, but this time I have to say, I had a blast! It was warm and very friendly. I love looking at the retro architecture that is so Hollywood. I also enjoyed seeing the fun interiors of the agencies I visited. I am looking forward to heading down there again. Here are some of my intstagram snaps from the trip.


May 5, 2015

Coffee, My Love

One of my favorite ways to start the day is to have a rich aromatic cup of coffee. How about you?






April 17, 2015

2015 Communication Arts Photo Annual Award

So excited to be awarded a 2015 Communication Arts Photography Annual Award. Communication Arts is a publication that I have always greatly admired and looked at to see top work going on in our industry. I am proud to be a part of the highly competitive Photo Annual this year along with FOUR of my rep Heather Elder's photographers. I am proud of all of us!

Thanks to two fabulously talented stylists Dan Becker and Sara Slavin for their participation on the test shoot that resulted in this photo. It is part of our "autumnal dinner party" series.




April 6, 2015

"The Studio" Gets a Makeover and Gets Noticed By Blogger SF Girl By The Bay


I am a huge believer in the "holistic" experience. Especially when creating art. I think the environment should support the approach and the message that is being communicated in whatever art is being made. My studio has always been a place for inspiration, fun and "sharing"  all qualities that I try to capture in my food photography and in the experience that clients and crew have working with me here. The time had come however to change things up a little at the studio. Everyone loved the studio as it was, but it needed to change a little. Update. I am always looking on Pinterest, at blogs and reading magazines, so really wanted some of the new looks and color palettes to be a part of my workspace. I loved the grey tones that I was seeing, the zinc furniture that was starting to emerge and the BLACK STAIRCASES that create so much drama! So I pulled the trigger and did a re do. The studio has a lot of the same pieces of furniture they just got rearranged and reconsidered- some pieces were painted grey or black which has made them feel totally new. The space works a little differently now, and it feels different. I found that this "novelty" is good - makes my brain work differently too. One thing that was fun, was that my cutting board collection got to be shown off a bit more. I have gotten a great response to this. I was thrilled when Victoria from SF Girl By The Bay decided to feature the studio on her hugely popular blog. Here is the blog posting!

UNEXPECTED GUESTS: LEIGH BEISCH.

unexpected guests: leigh beisch / sfgirlbybay
i’m so happy to introduce you to today’s unexpected guest, award-winning san francisco-based photographer leigh beischleigh has transformed a victorian home in san francisco’s sunset district into one of the loveliest and most inviting photography studios i’ve yet to see. the studio was recently given a facelift — the floors redone with grey, and the space got new paint colors throughout, including a dramatic and stunning black staircase. leigh enlisted help from her friend and interior designer, leann wanninger, who was incredibly helpful in pulling off the re-do during a very small time frame, when the studio was closed for the holidays and between photo shoots!
unexpected guests: leigh beisch / sfgirlbybay
leann is responsible for a lot of the decorative ideas around the studio — leigh is a collector of props and vintage finds — and leann worked with many of leigh’s collections to create an uncluttered space that reflected leigh’s vision, and passions. leann said, “working with leigh and in this truly unique and creative space made me feel like a kid in a candy store! leighhas a discerning eye not only behind the camera but beyond — which i knew the instant i first eyed her collections of glassware, stacks of vintage linens, ceramics and the fabulous flea-market finds she had gathered over time. it’s a hardworking studio space and like any place that’s lived in over time, it just needed a little TLC in the reorganizing and restyle department. above all, i set out to help create a vibe where the creative teams and clients would feel instantly welcome, inspired and comfortable. we worked to organize and arrange furniture to suit the studio’s workflow. we de-cluttered and edited to minimize the furniture footprint which helped to create that open, airy feel. there were ample hidden treasures to be found throughout so the creative display ideas came about naturally!”. together, they’ve created an enviable studio space that i could have moved right into.
unexpected guests: leigh beisch / sfgirlbybay
leigh’s clever eye for detail is no doubt in much part to her studies in painting, and photography at the school of the art institute of chicago and rhode island school of design. moving from new york city to san francisco with her husband, an animator, leigh opened the studio, quickly attracting major clients like williams-sonoma and creating stunning photographs for product packaging, and food — including several gorgeous cookbooksleigh says, “my work as a painter influences my photography,” says leigh. “color, shape, texture and the boundaries of the frame are subjects in and of themselves and i try to capture an emotional response to the subject and the setting, much as abstract paintings do.” her personal work, a series of abstract landscapes, has been exhibited widely throughout the bay area, and is in fact how i first came to know leigh — when i purchased one of her fine art prints as a birthday gift for myself! i can’t wait to get on with this studio tour and share leigh’s inspiring space with you. for more from leigh, be sure to visit her website, and instagram feed.
unexpected guests: leigh beisch / sfgirlbybay
what are a few things about san francisco that make you call it home?
my husband dana and i moved to san francisco from new york city for a better live work balance. when we first got here — we stumbled across sutro heights park and we were blown way by the overlook of such a majestic coastline. palm trees and sparkling waters below. we thought — wow, this is living in the city?!! most of the places we have lived in san francisco have been out toward the ocean, with proximity to golden gate park. being close to the open spaces makes us breathe easier. we love the vibrancy of the city, but also like the feeling of open space — space to think and breathe. san francisco offered that to us and it is one of the reasons why we call it home. it offers such a multitude of experiences — diverse ethnic restaurants and shops, people from all over the world living and visiting bringing their different outlooks on life. again — the feeling of openness and being able to breathe. i think that for my husband and i as artists — that is crucial.
unexpected guests: leigh beisch / sfgirlbybay
unexpected guests: leigh beisch / sfgirlbybay
unexpected guests: leigh beisch / sfgirlbybay
what is the best way to get to know your neighborhood?
walking for sure. coming from new york, we were a bit concerned that we wouldn’t be walking and exploring as much. it is one reason we didn’t end up in L.A. inner sunset is a very walkable neighborhood, in fact if you don’t walk and keep your eyes and ears open you might miss a quirky little shop or restaurant, or that green apple books has joined le video in their old retail spot to create a fabulous addition to the neighborhood! i also love listening as i walk around. you hear so many different languages spoken here. my studio manager’s daughter just graduated from middle school in the neighborhood and there were 20 different languages listed on the ceremony booklet for the languages spoken by the student body!
unexpected guests: leigh beisch / sfgirlbybay
unexpected guests: leigh beisch / sfgirlbybay
unexpected guests: leigh beisch / sfgirlbybay
any secrets about the city you think we should know?
i enjoyed finding out that my neighborhood originally was all sand dunes where slowly smaller houses were built for the folks who worked downtown. a trolley car was built to take them downtown for work. the neighborhood was very sparse and rural back then. pretty cool. coming from the east coast, i see san francisco as somewhat of a wild west town that exploded into a city. it has kept its free thinking and entrepreneurial attitude. people here feel like they can follow a dream, like have an idea then create a company in their basement and turn it into a multi million dollar business! it has happened. in fact craigslist got it’s start right around the corner on 9th avenue!
unexpected guests: leigh beisch / sfgirlbybay
unexpected guests: leigh beisch / sfgirlbybay
what memento did you bring back from your last trip?
our last trip was to london — i hadn’t been there since i lived there as a child. it was very interesting to see where some early childhood memories were formed. so i guess i brought back some insight into myself. i also brought back a beautiful peter doigne print and a mug from the new tate. i like to collect mugs from my travels. i have a mini obsession with kitsch. using the mugs daily reminds me of the different trips and memories. even the folks at the studio (clients and crew) enjoy seeing the different mugs. some are tacky (in a fun way) and some are beautiful. the tate one is elegant.
unexpected guests: leigh beisch / sfgirlbybay
unexpected guests: leigh beisch / sfgirlbybay
unexpected guests: leigh beisch / sfgirlbybay
favorite dive spot?
our favorite dive chinese restaurant is literally right around the corner — san tung. it has a huge following though, so there usually is a line. go early for lunch or do take-out. we love the dry fried chicken and the green beans! we have nicknamed the chicken — ‘chicken crack’ since it is so addictive.
unexpected guests: leigh beisch / sfgirlbybay
unexpected guests: leigh beisch / sfgirlbybay
favorite fancy spot?
we haven’t been in a while, but i love the palm court for high tea. it’s hard to get in during the holidays, though! reminds me of the grandeur of old san francisco.
unexpected guests: leigh beisch / sfgirlbybay
unexpected guests: leigh beisch / sfgirlbybay
unexpected guests: leigh beisch / sfgirlbybay
favorite vintage find?
my 9 feet long (was originally 11 feet long) french farm table from interior perdu (now called grenouille) — i have bought a lot of things from coco and fred (a french brother sister team). now you can find them not only at their showroom but at the alameda flea market. we have used that table for so many things, for sharing meals, for doing projects, as a prop in photo shoots! everyone loves this table!
unexpected guests: leigh beisch / sfgirlbybay
unexpected guests: leigh beisch / sfgirlbybay
unexpected guests: leigh beisch / sfgirlbybay
unexpected guests: leigh beisch / sfgirlbybay
unexpected guests: leigh beisch / sfgirlbybay
unexpected guests: leigh beisch / sfgirlbybay
what’s currently on your turntable/ipod etc.?
i love diversity, so am always wanting to hear new music. i also like hearing what others are listening to — especially those who come to the studio — so spotify is the thing i am into right now. i like being introduced to new sounds etc. (new to me). that being said, my current playlist has a lot of indie stuff that has a bit of a fun beat. hot chip’s “over and over”, generationals “say for certain” — that sort of thing. things you want to tap your foot to as corny as that sounds.
unexpected guests: leigh beisch / sfgirlbybay
unexpected guests: leigh beisch / sfgirlbybay
what talent do you wish you could master?
uggg — playing the guitar. one of the food stylists i work with is amazing at it and will play at the studio after wrapping the shoot. playing music is like painting or doing art of any kind — you can loose yourself in it — it is incredibly therapeutic — also, live music is so great to have around. i have tried to learn but find that i don’t have a gift for it nor the amount of free time to learn it. someday.
unexpected guests: leigh beisch / sfgirlbybay
unexpected guests: leigh beisch / sfgirlbybay
unexpected guests: leigh beisch / sfgirlbybay
what do you most treasure?
well — my family of course, my pug. but to be more material — i cherish my cutting board collection. i use them so much for my work. i love to look at them and all their incarnations. they have been collected over the years. some are gifts too.
unexpected guests: leigh beisch / sfgirlbybay
unexpected guests: leigh beisch / sfgirlbybay
what bores you to death?
i shouldn’t say this, being a photographer — but manuals bore me to tears. i learn through experience — trial and error, asking people. manuals are so cut and dry — so absolute which seems so not art — so i guess i object to them. learning something needs to be more fluid, more multi-directional. some people are great at learning from them — my husband can absorb a manual in a matter of minutes — then go build a motorcycle engine from the ground up. he is artistic too — so i guess to each their own. i don’t like to just follow directions — i use them as a guide and jump from there.
unexpected guests: leigh beisch / sfgirlbybay
unexpected guests: leigh beisch / sfgirlbybay
unexpected guests: leigh beisch / sfgirlbybay
• photography by cindy loughridge for sfgirlbybay.


Since then the remodel has gotten other attention, including a mention on Remodelista

Please note that the photo credit above should read Cindy Loughridge- the person who took all the photos for the SF Girl by the Bay article.