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True Portland

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Hello friends!

Last fall I had the honor of shooting a Portland guidebook – True Portland – for Japanese tourist. We photographed restaurants and food and interesting folk all over our fair city. I thought I’d share a few pages from the book. It was a whirlwind shoot and these bad ass Japanese publishers (Bridgelab) and writers, wrote, designed, published and launched the book within 7 months. No joke. And I hear it’s been the #1 selling guidebook on Amazon Japan since it hit the shelves. If ever you find yourself in a Japanese market – or in Japan, for that matter – take a peak at the bookshelves. You may see our book.

The next month or two will be extremely busy for me with shoots for another Japanese publication – Popeye Magazine – as well as a spread for Travel + Leisure (!!!). Looking forward to sharing those images with you in the coming months!

Cheers!

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Le Pigeon © Dina Avila-9

Le Pigeon © Dina Avila-5

Le Pigeon © Dina Avila-8

Le Pigeon © Dina Avila-10

Le Pigeon © Dina Avila-11

Le Pigeon © Dina Avila-2

Le Pigeon © Dina Avila-12

Le Pigeon © Dina Avila-13

Le Pigeon © Dina Avila

Le Pigeon © Dina Avila-4

All images © Dina Avila

As promised, here’s the second installment from my spread, including a few outtakes, in Art Culinaire. Meet Gabriel Rucker, Chef of Le Pigeon.

Cheers!

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Beast © Dina Avila (2 of 6)

Beast © Dina Avila

Beast © Dina Avila (5 of 6)

Beast © Dina Avila

Beast © Dina Avila-4

Beast © Dina Avila

Beast © Dina Avila-5

Beast © Dina Avila (1 of 3)

Beast © Dina Avila (2 of 3)

All Photos © Dina Avila 2013

I cannot express how honored I am to have my work included in such a phenomenally beautiful magazine. If you’re not familiar with Art Culinaire, it’s an oversized, hard-bound magazine packed with gorgeous food photos, talented chefs and exquisitely written articles. Hit your local specialty bookshop and you should find it on the magazine shelf. My spread includes three of Portland’s most talented (and well-known) chefs and their wares: Naomi Pomeroy of Beast, Justin Woodward of Castagna and Gabe Rucker of Le Pigeon.

I hope to have a recipe post for you very soon. Adam and I just moved (as in I unpacked my computer about 30 minutes ago) to a larger space with lots of beautiful light. Looking forward to getting my props organized and making some photos for you. In the meantime, enjoy the first batch of some of my favorites, as well as a few outtakes, from Art Culinaire, Volume 108. Part two and three will be posted in the next day or two.

Cheers!

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Luce @ Dina Avila

Luce

Luce @ Dina Avila

Chef/Owner John Taboada and Stylist about Town Anne Parker at Luce

Luce @ Dina Avila

Luce

Beam and Anchor @ Dina Avila

Gorgeous Wares at Beam & Anchor

Anne Parker @ Dina Avila

Spread with Beam & Anchor Wares at Anne Parker’s Home

Broder @ Dina Avila

Broder

Broder @ Dina Avila

Broder

Broder @ Dina Avila

GM Joe Conklin at Broder

Sweedeedee @ Dina Avila

Sweedeedee

Lincoln @ Dina Avila

Lincoln

Lincoln @ Dina Avila

Lincoln

All Images © Dina Avila

DinaFlourish (1)22

Adam and I are house and kitty sitting in the country. Three cats (one is ours), a big house, a view of a hilly pasture where horses run, great herons stoically stand, and where we watch hawks and kestrels hunting and playing in the wind. There’s a beautiful garden here that I’ve bonded with while watering her, and several very territorial hummingbirds constantly buzzing around the backyard feeders or chattering to each other high up in the treetops. Hummingbirds are noisy little beasts. I’ve been chased by a queen bumble bee. Twice. Buzzed by a Paper Wasp or two, and watched a female kestrel watch me watching her through binoculars. And on more than one occasion have almost run though giant webs, hosted by giant garden spiders. There is a jungle of tomato plants, behind the raised bed of flowers vibrating with bees and hummingbirds, where I harvest seemingly hundreds of cherry tomatoes bursting from the vine daily.

This summer is nearly over with the autumnal equinox barely a week away. This morning is quiet as a Sunday morning in the country should be. Cool, grey and damp. The clouds seem ready to burst with rain. It feels like the perfect morning to catch up on and update my blog. I thought I’d share some of the published photos of a shoot I did this past June for Elle a Table Japan. You may be able to find this magazine in a Japantown, if you live near one, or a shop that sells international magazines. Otherwise, it may be difficult to find. Of course, the text is almost all in Japanese, except for the occasional subtext or article title in English, but the magazine is so visually stunning that it’s worth it to pick it up to simply look at the photos.

The shoot spanned over five days and involved a team from Japan (Hi Taka and Yumi!), Travel Portland, me and fellow photographer about town, Dave Reamer. Two teams, five day, nearly 30 locations. It was bliss. I made new friends, shot Portland like crazy, ate amazing food, and simply had a blast. This issue is the first of three to be published in Japan. A series on “Why You Want to Go to Portland “. Cool, right?  I’ll be sure to share more images as the the next two issues are published.

Cheers!

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Environmental Portraits © Dina Avila

Drake © Dina Avila

Environmental Portraits © Dina Avila

Beth © Dina Avila

Environmental Portraits © Dina Avila

Matt © Dina Avila

Dave © Dina Avila

Dave © Dina Avila

Environmental Portraits © Dina Avila

Julie © Dina Avila

Environmental Portraits © Dina Avila

Nathan © Dina Avila

Environmental Portraits © Dina Avila

Andre © Dina Avila

About four years ago, I started a portrait project. I photographed people I knew, or worked with at the time, in their world. A glimpse of their life through the lens. Through my eyes. I shot several of these portraits, and then life moved forward, I allowed the project to lose steam and I, frankly, forgot about it (although, it was always tapping on the back of my mind). This sort of documentary style photography is what I cut my teeth on. Raw looks into someone’s world, stripped of all color, observations from the camera, is part of my lifeblood. It’s why I picked up a camera 18 years ago. I shoot a lot of portraits, some family, many for Eater and other food-related purpose, and although I always shoot from my perspective…with my vibe, as it were, it’s been a long time since I worked on a project like this. I can feel that lifeblood start to simmer and think it’s time to start this project again.

So this, in essence, is call out for subjects. Anyone in?

Florence © Dina Avila

Florence 2003 © Dina Avila

(From my college senior project documenting life in an underprivileged nursing home in Austin, TX)

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La Cucina Italiana © Dina Avila

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©dinaavila (1 of 3)La Cucina Italiana © Dina Avila

La Cucina Italiana © Dina Avila

La Cucina Italiana © Dina Avila

Her name is Jackson Pollock :)

La Cucina Italiana © Dina Avila

All images © Dina Avila 2013

If you subscribe to La Cucina Italiana, next month (October issue) you’ll find a big ol’ juicy spread I shot for them. Last October, I had the honor of photographing an annual fall dinner Chef Cathy Whims (of Portland’s Nostrana) throws for the farmers who supply many of her ingredients. Among the farmers were the folks of Ayer’s Creek Farm; an idyllic organic farm, that I photographed this summer, who supplies Cathy with polenta made from their corn. This farm, oh lord, is it gorgeous. It’s a gloriously beautiful drive about an hour’s west of Portland on, yep, Farmington Road. Windows rolled down, Amos Lee on the stereo, I almost wept overwhelmed by the beauty of Oregon’s farm country. I thought I’d share some of the published photos, as well as some of my favorite outtakes from the farm.

Cheers!

 

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Beam and Anchor © Dina Avila

Beam and Anchor © Dina Avila

Beam and © Dina Avila

Beam and Anchor © Dina Avila

Beam and Anchor © Dina Avila

Beam and Anchor © Dina Avila

Beam and Anchor © Dina Avila

Beam and Anchor © Dina Avila

Beam and Anchor © Dina Avila

Beam and Anchor © Dina Avila

Beam and Anchor © Dina Avila

Beam and Anchor © Dina Avila

Beam and Anchor © Dina Avila

Beam and Anchor © Dina Avila

Beam and Anchor © Dina Avila

Beam and Anchor © Dina Avila

Beam and Anchor © Dina Avila

Well, it’s been super busy around these parts and Leek Soup, as usual, has been neglected. June was packed with magazine shoots including 5 days of shooting with Elle à Table Japan (!). I wish I could share some of those images with you, but we’ll both have to wait until they start publishing in August. In the meantime, I’d thought I’d share a few images with you from a shop/artisan warehouse here in Portland that I am absolutely in love with called Beam & Anchor. I could live in this space. Owned by Jocelyn and Robert Rahm, its bottom floor is chock-a-block with meticulously curated artisan goods that will make your toes curl with desire. Upstairs is devoted to artisans such as soapmakers and woodworkers creating their wares. I had the honor of shooting the space a few months ago and have been meaning to put a few of my favorites up on LS.

I have every intention of posting a recipe or two for you soon! The weather has been crazy hot here in Portland and, even with the AC, our apartment is way too toasty to turn on the oven. As soon as it cools down I promise to get cooking!

Cheers!

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