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About Heath

It was a love of photography that inspired Heath Robbins to leave his job as an agency executive and travel the world with a camera in hand. More than twenty years later, it is his love for food, people, and making pictures, that continues to fuel his commercial photography career with focus and passion. For every client and for every shoot, Heath sets out to capture moments, tastes, and emotions that pull people out of their everyday, and straight into the moments that he creates.

 

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Cambodia Phnom Penh

With the exception of two days in Siem Reap seeing the temples I spent the entire trip in Phnom Penh. Other than the markets and the restaurants there were two major sites I wanted to see. The first was the Royal Palace, the second was the Prison S21 where the Khmer Rouge did most of their dirty work in the city. Two very different places...

all the detail here is amazing!

The model in front here is a miniature of The Temple Angkor Wat

The contrast of S21 Prison to the Palace is something else. While in Cambodia I read a book called "First They Killed My Father" which was an incredibly gripping tale of one child survivor's ordeal through the Khmer's reign of terror. This visit to the prison only made it that much more vivid and moving for me.

They took over a school in the center of the city and turned it into their main prison where they tortured and killed over 20,000 people. The rest were sent out to the killing fields.

a torture room

The holding cells they built. Only room to stand up and sit down

They photographed every prisoner and the images are on display

Many of the prisoners were tagged by sticking the pins through their necks

A view from outside today

Cambodia

I'm back! It's been an incredible 3 months with back to back assignments since Thanksgiving and right up to February 11th which is when I left for Cambodia for 10 days. I will be blogging about all that we have done but just for something different I'll work backwards for awhile and start with this last trip which was a personal trip not an assignment.

I went with my friend and well known Boston Chef Jeff Fournier over to Cambodia to explore the food and the country. The initial impulse for this trip was that my mother headed over there in December to teach English to the Cambodian children through an organization called The Cambodian Living Arts. I have spent a lot of time all over Asia but had never been to Cambodia so this seemed to be the perfect opportunity.

Now I want to go back every year.

There were so many aspects of the trip to talk about but I will start with the most fascinating and fun for me which were the markets. You'll never think of your trip to the grocery store in the same way.

Enjoy!

These are Cockroaches, grasshoppers and Tarantulas. I did not have the courage to try them, even Jeff wouldn't go for it. Would you?

Need some pork or beef?

They will cut it up for you anyway you want!

Then there are the delicacies.

Squid was actually amazing!

The second morning there Jeff And I went to the Kandal market for breakfast. Jeff ate I shot, here is where we were:

Back outside...

Tastes like chicken, and you can pick it out while it is still alive so you know it's fresh.

and there's so much fresh seafood

And then you see these kids, and as my neice would say"OMG" are they cute...

This was up in Siem Reap

Check out the pigs head in the lineup!

I absolutely loved touring these markets and never got tired of it. What you see here was just a sample of the hundreds and hundreds of images I shot but I hope it gave you a taste...

Fresh & Honest Cookbook

Well, it's all done! I think the book came out beautifully. It was a particularly rewarding experience for me because Chef Davis and the publishing house, Three Bean Press, asked for and really listened to my input on the imagery and how that should look in the book. So often as a photographer we take the images and then we lose all involvement until we see the finished printed piece, this was a real treat to be a part of. Not to mention how great it was to work with Chef Davis!

We have been extremely busy lately which in this economy I am very thankful for. In fact with the exception of December 6th which is a Saturday we will be shooting everyday from December 1st through the 20th. So in case your looking for new blog entries there probably wont be any until the end of the month or even January... although we are also booked the 3rd to the 15th of January as well so not sure when I will get back to this again.

Either way I leave you with a look back at some of the images from the last 4 shoots we did for Fresh & Honest both on location and food at the restaurant.

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!

Eat Well, Live Happy!

Picnic test Shoot

We have been shooting a lot of food images lately, particularly with the Fresh & Honest Cookbook (which I will blog about again soon), so I wanted to get out and shoot some more lifestyle photography for my portfolio. I love shooting all kinds of imagery not just one particular subject because I feel like it keeps me fresh and open to new ideas and creative directions. Every time I go from one subject to another there is a newness to it which I feel always has me looking at everything just a little differently each time I go back to it.

I also wanted to get outside since fall is by far my favorite time of the year. There is a freshness to fall even though it is the end of a cycle. I love the crispness of the air. It always feels to me like nature is wiping her slate clean to get ready for something new. I like that idea, not to mention the colors, the perfect temperatures and the light!

So we set up a test in my backyard with a couple models I had been wanting to shoot with - Brad Van Dussen and Sarah Murphy both who are with Maggie Inc, here in Boston. Many thanks to Dale for the use of his truck and to Callista Wilson and Rachael Berkowitz for their great styling.

For me this image was always to be about the moment. You all know it, think of that date: the one where your heart was beating just that much faster when you figured out she (or he) liked you as much as you did her (or him). You had made sure the date would be perfect and it paid off.. It was the closeness of the moment, the excitement, the cautiousness so as to not ruin it, and that anticipation of what was going to happen... it was the beginning, and we all remember each time it happened.

Of course the last time that first time happened for me was 10 years and 3 kids ago. It was some moment, and now look what I have... an 8 year old son to follow me and take care of the props when I'm all done.

Sam's Club Shoot

It's been a while since I posted anything here. Been pretty busy lately which is always a good thing and something I never complain about. As I always tell my clients " I'd rather be behind my cameras than my desk".

This was a job I shot for Sam's Club with Rob Bernet, a very talented art director with Noble (and pretty damn good fly fisherman too...). Despite a somewhat rocky start, and some pretty rough hours, we had an absolute ball shooting this. The entire scope of the job switched from an extended family having dinner in a home to the ad you see below -just two days before the shoot was scheduled to take place. Luckily we had just finished an extensive casting seesion that included models from the new age range and gender that we needed. We also had a weekend in between those days and an amazing crew (the very talented team at Ennis of Coco Grace, Kelly McDermott and Tui Stark) that responded to the challenge perfectly. The next hurdle was that we had to shoot in Sams Club during off hours which meant starting at 7:00pm and finishing at 3:00am. The talent and crew were terrific during that extraordinarily late hour of the night due in great part to Victor (the jazz singer) who had everyone laughing so histerically that there were times I had to stop shooting because either myself or one of the other models was laughing so hard it was impossible to continue. (you can click on the image to make it bigger and see his expressions).

I even laughed all the way through my editing of this job the next day.