Editorial Food Photography for MisAdventures Magazine

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“On Signagi’s main street, wines glitter like jewels in their makeshift bottles — soda, water, even mustard.”

Nearly two years ago, writer Jen Kinney and I went to Georgia and Armenia in search of a story. We weren’t sure what kind of story, or what we would even find there. Ultimately we stumbled upon one of the oldest wine making traditions in the world. Growing over 500 varieties of heirloom grapes, and harvesting them to make homemade wine in the basement. It is a tradition that dates back for years. In an attempt to create government wine programs, the USSR made homemade wine processing illegal. Many people shut down their home wine cellars by filling them in with soil, only to be recovered years later, full bottles and all.

“Christine stands, lost in thought, eating a clutch of grapes. When she’s exhausted all the dull little globes, she flicks the spine into the apple trees outside our guest house door. It hangs in the air a fish skeleton, and lands out of view beneath the heavy boughs.”

During our trip to Georgia and Armenia. We found stories, we made images. And then we did not know what to do after that. I have done bits of work for MisAdventures in the past, and they contacted me to see if I had any editorial food photography I could include in their printed magazine. Each issue they have a food section. Sometimes featuring recipes, sometimes featuring food adventure stories. In the summer 2017 issue, our story was featured.

“Christine and I, frequent travel partners, are tired and full with the traditional Georgian dinner they’ve served us: soapy white cheese that squeaks in our teeth, salt-encrusted fish, a salad of cucumber and tomatoes too spicy for us to finish, a bowl of grapes for desert. Now our host points to a tree hearty with tense green balls the size of eggs. He pinches off two and crushes them together against his chest until they burst their shells and give up two pale, green, thumb-sized brains. “America, America,” he says, and we eat the ripening walnuts. This young, they are not just rinsed with bitterness, but bitter through and through.”

It was a bit of a strange story. It was a bit of a strange trip. Jen sums it up beautifully (all quoted lines in this post are from her). She explores tradition and what is feels like to be a foreigner in a place you know nothing about. I will post a handful of images below. Some where used and others were not. But for the words, you will have to find the article in print.

“Then, wandering the streets of Telavi at sunset, a woman gestures to us from the second-story balcony of a tilting, wedding-cake house. “Coffee?” she offers. We follow her… [the family] smile at us gently, like we are strays they have not yet decided to keep.”

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Christine Armbruster is an editorial food photographer in Portland where she makes documentary images for commercial clients. She does a lot of editorial food photography for various magazines, cookbooks, and food companies. To see more of her work, and other editorial projects around the world, please visit her website.

This entry was written by Christine , posted on Monday December 18 2017at 11:12 am , filed under documentary, editorial, film, food, Georgia, street photography, travel . Bookmark the permalink . Post a comment below or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

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