23 Dec New York City Editorial Portrait | The Dead Rabbit : Grocery and Grog
The Dead Rabbit is an award winning bar in NYC. To call it just a bar though is probably understating what the place really is. It is three floors of old world charm, and I do mean charm, historic memorabilia of old NYC, and like I said, award winning cocktails, plus of course the perfectly pulled Guinness on tap. You wouldn’t and shouldn’t expect anything less from a great Irish bar right? I had the pleasure of being asked to photograph the place for Forbes Life. A client with whom I have shot for before, usually they have a more lifestyle meets business aspect then Forbes Magazine proper does. Dead Rabbit is down on Water St in lower Manhattan, which if you have not been there in while, as I have not, will astound you. The amount of transformation that’s going on is beyond belief. That’s probably what really makes the Rabbit such an interesting juxtaposition, it really does feel like you are stepping back in time. Except notably, the cocktail menu. With a full time bar manager Jillian Vose on hand the menu is both varied, and award winning. Our first set up was to be Jillian behind the bar mixing a drink and looking fab. Sounds easy enough until you realize that working in a dark room with so many distracting details and mixed light sources was going to present quite it’s own challenge. With lighting and camera assistance from Joel Burton we started working. At first the idea was to overpower the existing lights with our own and recreate the mood, but that soon proved to be the wrong approach. I suggested we kill the strobes and just use the modeling lights. To me there’s nothing worse than environmental portrait that calls attention to photographers lighting. So by using a mixture of existing light, modeling lights and slower shutter speeds we created the mood and the natural feel, and let the space feel as interesting as we saw it with our eyes. The second shot involved getting the guys in the frame and that happened pretty quickly, a little rearranging of the main light to fully cover the group got us going pretty much with little effort. We did a third set up in record time, the shot of the 2 managing partners Sean Muldoon and Jack McGarry. We swung the camera around to shoot the other side of the room, this involved a different light setup, but again we went with what the room gave us with just a kiss of artificial light. Perfect. If you get a chance go check the place out do it, a real treat not to be missed. Thanks guys.. Oh and if you want to read the story and why wouldn’t you? Forbes Life..