Tag Archives: september 2012

Tear Sheets: Southern Living September 2012


This shoot took place at Thomas Jefferson’s garden at Monticello. These incredible gardens are located in Virginia and have been grounds for experimental gardening and its own “slow food” movement for over two centuries. In 1977 Peter Hatch began his mission to restore Jefferson’s vegetable garden which had been replaced by a cut flower garden. This article is pretty amazing and follows Hatch and his dedication to bringing back 330 varieties of vegetables that Jefferson describes in his gardening book.

It was obviously a treat to be a part of this shoot, actually a career highlight. Shot by Robbie Caponetto. I actually got to go in their greenhouse to style the shots with all of the seeds. I had the run of the place, which even for a seasoned pro like myself was pretty incredible.The day we shot all the beautiful vistas I took a ride down to the greenhouse, what I saw blew me away, tons of heirloom seeds being harvested by hand so I insisted on showcasing the tireless efforts being made to save these historical varieties. I gathered the crew and drove everyone to the greenhouse to document the drying room. The greenhouse offered almost perfect lighting. To produce this feature was a pleasure, I think even Mr. Jefferson would be pleased with the outcome.

Pick up a copy of Southern Living September issue and see for yourself. Thanks to the staff at Monticello for being so hospitable and charming and a special thanks to the seed savers, without their help this garden could not survive. I’ll be back.

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“Empire State Shoot” with Top Chef Hugh Acheson

I was introduced to Hugh Acheson, a couple years ago by a dear friend. I have always enjoyed dining at his various establishments, loved watching him on Top Chef on Bravo, so producing a story with him seemed a natural fit. One afternoon I was chatting with Hugh at Empire State South and mentioned he might make a great entertaining story. He was like “sure, we throw parties all the time”… So I pitched the story of one of his great parties to my editor, well of course they jumped on it.

Hugh is a great guy, and a great chef. He’s warm and sweet and a stellar host {not at all like the hard ass judge you see on Top Chef}. Sorry Hugh to blow your cover, but to know the guy is to love him, am I right? His family is delightful, so working with them on this shoot was a dream { plus the food wasn’t bad either}.The location was in Athens ,GA, which is the most charming town. It has the just the right amount of artiness and southern hospitality to make it perfect. This was a shoot where we all felt like we were at a party and not actually working to capture the party.

  • Thanks to Hugh and his beautiful family for making us feel so welcome.
  • Thanks to Reed Davis for capturing the essence of how the Acheson Family throw a gathering. His photography is always so beautiful.
  • Thanks to Better Homes and Gardens for making this story so gorgeous on your pages.

    I hope you all pick up a copy of the Style Maker issue (September 2012) of Better Homes and Gardens.

    *Watch me on The Today Show September 6th, in the 9:00 a.m. hour, I will be showing you some of Hugh’s cool party ideas, you won’t want to miss it. I hope you try this fun party and let me know if you do, I want to here all about it.

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