Peanut Butter & Jelly

So many of my childhood memories are built around food.

My mom made THE BEST peanut butter & jelly sandwiches when I was a kid. Her secret? Spreading margarine on both slices of bread before putting the peanut butter and jelly on. This made the sandwich extra smooth and creamy. I think it made it more healthy, too…but I could be wrong.

While we’re on the subject of mom’s sandwiches, I remember being disappointed, and probably very ungrateful, about how she would cut my sandwich…triangles. I was in the first grade, surely I deserved to have my sandwich to be cut into rectangles. That’s what the all cool kids got from their moms.

Apparently lunch was a really important thing to me as a first grader—my memories are very vivid and have become somewhat nostalgic. Sandwiches cut into triangles, wrapped in wax paper (yes, wax paper—my mom had an art to that), and the ultimate first grade medium for self expression—the lunch box. My lunchbox was based on the TV cartoon the Hair Bear Bunch. I remember sitting in the lunchroom at Brandenburg Elementary in Irving, Texas, studying the cartoon scenes on my coveted box. Those were some hip bears for sure.

What about today? I still enjoy a PB&J but for me, the days of the margarine coated white bread version are long gone. Now I typically opt for a whole wheat bread, sun-butter (made from sunflower seeds) and grape jam sandwich.


ps. Nothing like a good story to prompt an excuse to play with peanut butter and jelly. Below are the results.

grape jelly smeared

closeup photo of peanut butter and jelly sandwich

smeared peanut butter

smashed peanut butter and jelly sandwich

Food Photographer • Kyle Dreier  |  Food Stylist • Katelyn Hardwick

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To Fly or Not to Fly

I get a great deal of pleasure and satisfaction when an art director comes to us with a concept she presented to her client and says “We want you to make this happen.” In this case, her comps showed food nicely packaged, well contained, but her concepts also showed food misbehaving, flying without any consideration for the consequences. All I could think was “Yes!”

Airborne food and splash photography makes me happy. Sometimes it makes the studio floor sticky. Most of the time it makes our clothes messy. (Note to self…ponchos for everyone on set.)

– Kyle

organized fast food

flying fast food

organized breakfast

flying breakfast

Here’s a fun outtake we did after we wrapped. The magic of weightless doughnuts.

group shot

Food Photographer • Kyle Dreier  |  Food Stylist • Callie Blount

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Kid’s Meals These Days

It’s no secret I’m kinda tough on my kids…or at least I try to be. I can’t help it, I was raised by a dairy farmer who didn’t have indoor plumbing until high school. Wait for it…here it comes…When I was a kid, the only “happy meal” we had was ANY MEAL put in front of us. Actually, it wasn’t that bad. I’m just going for effect here. One shift I’ve seen over the years is healthier options for our youngsters. No objections to healthy. We recently did the food photography for a series of kids meals for Ruby Tuesday, a fast-casual restaurant with over 500 locations across the US. Shooting food geared toward kids kinda makes me want to be a kid again…oh the care-free days of Summer and the ditches I “got” to dig. – Kyle

kids meals food photography

kids' meal

kids' meal

Food Photographer • Kyle Dreier  |  Food Stylists • Teresa Blackburn & Whitney Kemp

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Standard Breakfast

I guess it could be raised as a question, “What is the standard breakfast?” For me eggs and bacon were pretty much the standard. Remind me to tell you about the time my brother and I put a fake egg in the fridge and watched my mom try her darndest to crack it open when making us breakfast one morning. So, bacon and eggs. I’d say they merit the “standard breakfast” moniker. I’m also a fan of the eggs and bacon combo for other meals. These days in our house most Sunday nights are breakfast-for-dinner night, and my boys are the ones making it happen (plus pancakes or biscuits). Here are some photos we did here in the studio with local food stylist Hannah Messinger. We made it a day of play, and play we did…with eggs and bacon.

– Kyle

egg sandwich and bacon in cast iron skillet

egg sandwich and egg prep

Eggs over cast iron skillet and organized eggs

Food Photographer • Kyle Dreier  |  Food Stylist • Hannah Messinger | Prop Stylist • Emily Pierce

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Fasting Mimicking

Until I met Austin Gil I had not heard of “fasting mimicking”. He has taken this concept and developed a program to help your body fast without completely depriving it during the process. In an effort to help communicate what I’d call “fasting-mimicking-in-a-box” he turned to us to come up with a set of photographs for his company’s website. We wanted to show how “fasting” doesn’t have to be boring or bland. The following are the results from our shoot for Lifebox. We though a little color would help sell the idea. What do you think?

– Kyle

lifebox meal

lifebox fasting mimicking

lifebox daily meal

lifebox fasting mimicking

Lifebox meal.

Lifebox meal.

lifebox meal

Food Photographer • Kyle Dreier  |  Food Stylist • Callie Blount | Prop Stylist • Emily Pierce

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Food Truck Friday – Southern Comfort

It’s a celebration of fried foods, bbq, grits, cornbread and collared greens! Today is all about the south. Being from Mississippi, I am a huge fan of southern cuisine. It is often described as comfort food which couldn’t be more accurate. Depending on where you grew up in the south, the food that is comforting to you could be completely different than the food that comforts me. For me, it’s fried chicken or fried catfish and my all time favorite food, cornbread. If you follow our blog you know that Kyle and I have had the pleasure of shooting for the Nashville Food Truck Association (NFTA). We have been able to see tons of trucks and the different types of food that they serve. It should be no surprise that southern comfort foods are abundant. With trucks that serve everything from fried catfish, to country fried steak to crawfish, that taste of home isn’t far away. These trucks also expand on the whole “comfort” aspect too since they basically come to you. What could be more comfortable than that?  So if you have had a rough week go find your nearest comfort food truck and let your favorite food take you home.

– John


bob's fish fry


two thompsons


pigs n pit

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