Pizza Patron: Pizza Like a Boss


What’s the key ingredient to a really great pizza?

Is it the sauce? the cheese? the toppings?

Is it the way that the pizza crust was thinned out?

..Is it ever just one thing?

It’s hard to know, and we don’t always question it..

A good pizza seems to be the sum of all of it’s parts: the way that it was made, the quality of the ingredients, and even down to the company that you share it with..

Sometimes you just don’t know why it tastes so damn good, but it just does.


“The whole is greater than the sum of its parts”



This work for Pizza Patron came about after a creative agency found some of the studio work that I created for a technology magazine, Absolute Sound.

When I first started working with Absolute Sound, I wanted to try something different.

I thought, “How can you photograph a speaker that has not been done before?”


What a key ingredient to intrigue & grasping the audiences attention..

So I played around and came up with these.




Fast forward a few months to a phone call I received from a creative agency out of Denver, Grenadier.

They found my speaker photographs and wanted to spin that concept for their upcoming campaign for Pizza Patron.

The art director searched and searched until she came across my photos and was able to envision how it could translate for an entirely different kind of concept, pizza.


She pitched the ideas to Pizza Patron, who was willing to step out of the traditional marketing approach and come on board.

Around the same time, I received a phone call from a food stylist – Darcy Folsom.

She was getting back in the game after a few years off and wanted to touch base with photographers in the area.

So there was the team, each playing their part in making this slice of life campaign come out of the mundane & come alive.

Darcy showed up – steamer in hand with Q-tips, baby scissors, and all the techniques.. She was cutting pepperonis and steaming cheese. The art direction from the creative agency was there ready to collaborate and Pizza Patron was ready to try something new.

It seemed as though there was a shared mindset, something that I try to incorporate into my daily motto.

The new standard is exceeding expectations. 


All pieces of the puzzle came together to play their part until the finished product came to life.

Even after photos were compiled, color-corrected and delivered to the client,

I still wanted to keep striving.

How can you take it one step further..?

Pizza GIFS.


What did I learn from this collaboration?

  1. Always go above & beyond – for yourself & for your client.
  2. Think outside of the box. You never know who’s looking at your work & you never know how you can spin a concept to work for you.
  3. It takes a team. We all bring our strengths & play our part to create one finished project that is far greater than something any of us could have made on our own.
  4. Exceed expectations.
  5. Make it colorful, fun & eat pizza along the way.







Client: Pizza Patron

Creative Agency: Grenadier

Photographer: Dennis Burnett

Food Stylist:Darcy Folsom

Digital Tech: Robert G. Gomez

Studio Manager: Bailey Toksoz

Retouching: Outpost Images

Real People, Real Stories

Our job as photographers, directors, and narrators is to tell a story.

There are 2 key elements to storytelling in my opinion.

  1. A story is only as good as it’s characters.
  2. A story can only have meaning if it comes through in an authentic way.


During my time working with Beef Loving Texans, I came across Vianney Rodriguez. Vianney is a food blogger, recipe developer, a mom, a wife, an entrepreneur, a teacher and a carpooler. She is also a first generation Mexican-American.

It was our job as the production team to tell Vianney’s story.
During the making of this video, Vianney’s true stories came through. She talked about the importance of taco night – a seemingly normal tradition, but it came through to be so much more than just that.  For her, taco night is a time to bring the family together and to really transcend her stories, memories, and traditions to her children. It’s a sacred time to get together and let everything else fade away.

Vianney says, “Eating dinner as a family, to me, is one of the most important things – It’s a great way to stay connected … Once taco night comes and everybody is in the house – ya no eres mama, ya no eres wife, no estas trabajando – you’re just Vianney.”

You are no longer just a mom or a wife and you are not working. You are just there, being.

You’re enjoying food with family. Everybody’s at the table and everybody’s having a great time.



It’s a pleasure to work alongside people that you can connect with on a personal level. The producer for the set was a good friend of mine, Mando Rayo. Mando has a way of attracting and connect with real individuals to bring them together to tell compelling and authentic stories.

For me, that makes all of the difference: real people, real stories.
Take a look into the story of Vianney Rodriguez.

Invest in Your Self: How to Get Found as a Photographer

Lifestyle Photography in Austin Texas

Life as a creative –

We dream, we plan, and we execute.

We dream big.

But it takes more than that. In order to continue growing, we must invest. If you are producing the best work out there, but nobody sees it, where will it bring you?

Life in the freelance world is incredibly demanding – you must be a creative, a visionary, a do-er, a people person, and on the flip side you must be an accountant, a marketing manager and the chief operations officer. The growth of your company depends solely on you to make it happen.. and you want to make it happen.

Where to start?

There is no key answer to success in being ‘found.’

It simply requires going at it from all angles. Since there is never any guarantee or way of showing where new business is directly coming from, I try to touch all the bases.

Here are a few tactics that I utilize for investing in my growth as a photographer.

  1. SEO
  2. Third Party Marketing Sites
  3. Client Relationships
  4. Word of Mouth
  5. Social Media & Blog Posts

I am not going to sit here and say that I completely fill all of these categories to the fullest, but I do continuously strive to work on all of these avenues of possible growth.

1. Search Engine Optimization

What is SEO? Search Engine Optimization is making sure that your website has the necessary ingredients to show up in relevant searches and to put you at the top of the list. It requires adding keywords and tags to your photographs and pages so that when a potential client searches for somebody to satisfy their needs, you will be the answer to that. SEO is a bit more extensive than simply adding metadata, but that is a good start. Watch this video for a more in depth explanation and guide to improve your rankings on the internet.

2. Third Party Marketing Sites

There are numerous third party marketing sites that will showcase your work and put it in the eyes of those who are looking. I use a third party site called Found. Advertising agencies and companies can browse Found Artists and look for a photographer that matches their brand’s vision and reach out to hire them. By showing your work on this site, you gain exposure to various commercial companies, ad agencies, and potential clients. You do have to pay for these services, but sometimes you have to pay to play. When it all comes down to it, this is an investment for your future. Some other sites that I am looking into are BLVD Artists, Wonderful Machine and Workbook. They all have their various pros & cons, but it’s all about finding out what works best for you.

Found creates a workbook and sends it out to advertising agencies and other potential commercial clients. Here are a couple workbooks that I was featured in:


3. Social Media Sites & Blogging

Social media, social media, social media.. We all fall victim to spending our time on these various social channels. Sometimes we get carried away into the social media rabbit holes, but sometimes our connecting is powerful, productive and beneficial. Sometimes we are looking at inspiration or searching for people to work with. Other times, potential clients are searching photographers’ portfolios through their social media channels. Either way, it has become quite a part of this creative and networking world. For photographers in 2017, Instagram is your very own digital portfolio. It is like walking around with a briefcase of prints that the entire world can see from the tap of a screen. What do you want it to say? What do you want the world to see you as? How do you want to connect with those who are looking at your work? These are all valuable questions, but for starters, it is most important to get your work out there. Put your self out there and post your work!

4. Client Relationships

I imagine that we can all agree how important it is to make sure that your client leaves happy. The next step up from this takeaway is that they must leave with an outstanding impression of you. You must stick out in their mind. There are an endless number of photographers and freelance creatives, that if you do not make an impact on your client, you may miss the next opportunity if somebody else strikes their fancy. One way that I invest in my growth as a photographer is through maintaining and nourishing client relations. Even after a project is complete, I make sure to stay in touch with clients and give praise where praise is due. If I am going to post the work that I did for a client, I make sure to showcase their product/service and thank them for working together. Not only does this help you stay relevant in their mind for the next assignment, it also leaves you as their go-to recommendation to others. Speaking of that…

5. Word of Mouth

Create a buzz. Get the people talking. Even if your clients are commercial companies, you still need to post on social media. You still need to stay in the eyes of the people. In reality, companies are run by people and if people are talking about your work, then at some point, it will get into the right hands to make something big happen. Word of mouth is such a powerful tool that does not cost a dime. If you are posting on social media, blogging, networking and connecting with past clients, somebody is bound to talk about you to a friend, investor, client, or business partner. This is the exact reason why it is so very important that you make a positive impact on your past clients as well. You do create a reputation, as does any brand. When a past client is asked the question, “Have you worked with any noteworthy photographers that I could contact?” What would you like their response to be? Make an impression, stay relevant, and give the people something to talk about. That is where future business comes from. Get the people talking.

Check out more about word of mouth marketing with this insightful infographic.

These are just a few options to get your business out there. The goal is have clients seek out your work. By utilizing these helpful tools, you can stay relevant and available in the eyes of the consumer and have clients calling you to work for them. Work smarter. Get found.

I would love to hear about any other methods that you use to create growth in your company. Please feel free to strike up conversation in the comments section below!



Product & Purpose

We are living in a time where it is most important to connect to our customers. Whether through marketing and advertising, social media, or events, the customer needs to feel drawn into a connection in order to buy a product or service. I have taken the approach of using color to stand out in the cluttered sea of products. My goal in product photography is to catch the attention of the customer by creating a colorful, clean, and sleek visual. If there were two photographs of the same product – one with vibrant colors and sharp lines, and the other one black and white, which would you choose? How will you choose do differentiate yourself from the rest?

In order to create a visual work of art that pleases all the parties involved, deep collaboration is necessary. It’s such a pleasure to work with an inspiring creative director such as Torquil Dewar. Check out some of his work here at October Custom Publishing.

It’s all about big ideas & collaboration.

Here is some of the work that we created for Absolute Sound.


Cultural Experience

There is something about travel that opens our eyes. Stepping out of our comfort zone and seeing the world in a new light comes natural while we are in a foreign country. Everything is new. Sights, smells, and all the chaos rushing past leaves you wide eyed and observant. As a photographer, I try to carry this into my day to day life here in Austin, Texas and everywhere. I don’t only want to see the world happening around me when I step off an airplane, but instead notice the subtleties and beauties of everyday life. Here is a glimpse of the world passing by in Havana, Cuba.

Hand Rolling Cigars
Cars of Cuba
Mojito Time

For the Love of Pasta


Pasta is something that we all know and love, but there are few who appreciate the beauty more than Matteo Gallizio. I recently had the privilege of meeting Matteo, the owner of La Dolda Artisanal Pasta, a gourmet pasta boutique here in in Austin, Texas. Matteo tells a compelling story about how his business came to be. He grew up in Italy, learning the pasta making process from his mother, but continued on to open a gelato shop in his hometown. Many years down the road, Matteo and his wife work each day to preserve the traditions and ingredients of his family’s legacy here in Austin, Texas. There is nothing more inspiring to me than somebody who follows their passion to make their dreams come true. Take a look at the care and consideration that goes into each piece of pasta and hear more about Matteo’s story.

Haig Point: A Community of Southern Charm

On a little island in South Carolina, you will find a southern oasis. After a short ferry ride, you set out to explore your options. Traveling only by golf cart, you can dive into Daufuskie Island through sunset boat rides, golf, or an equestrian adventure. The goal was to illustrate the scenery and portray the endless opportunities of enjoyment at this living community and this is what I captured.. Here is Haig Point.

Beef Loving Texas

If I have learned anything over the last 5 years living in Texas, it is that Texans know how to grill. I spent the last few months documenting the story and passion behind these Beef Loving Texans. As their food photographer, I was lucky enough to taste a few bites here and there and I must say that their burgers and steak were some of the best I’ve ever had. Even though I thoroughly enjoyed the breakfast tacos and steak dinners, my favorite part of the process must have been hearing the ranchers’ stories about why they do what they do. When I really think about why I do what I do, it all comes down to telling stories. 

Patillo’s Bar-B-Q & Production Process


Telling stories is truly a balancing act. The more elements that you have to juggle, the more challenging it can be to create a finished product that satisfies all involved. The goal is always to exceed the client’s expectations, tell the characters’ story with intention and grit, and walk away with your team full of pride and satisfaction. That is the all encompassing challenge.

During the production of our last Texas Beef campaign, the team rose to the occasion. We drove down to Beaumont, Texas ready to make big things happen. The idea and mission of our friends at Texas Beef was fully engrained as we stepped into Patillos, a small BBQ joint that would surely impress just about anybody. This “small BBQ joint” turned out to be much more.




When you walk into the space, you can feel the history and smell the 100 year old recipes. Patillos is the oldest family owned barbecue in state of Texas. It is a family, a culture, and a tradition for everybody from the customers, to the wait staff, all the way to the 4th generation owner, Robert Patillo.




We walked in with a small crew ready to go full speed but quickly realized that we needed to meet the pace of the restaurant happening around us.


“Patillos has given our community remembrance of a time that has passed … You can sit down at a table and eat a plate of BBQ, a pickle and onions. You just sit back and listen to the jukebox, drink a little tea and relax. Not be so fast..”


Patillos has brought the people of Beaumont together since 1912. Not only are they known for their great barbecue, but Patillos has been a symbol of community for the last four generations. It brings people out of their fast paced everyday life down to sit at a table and engage in conversation.





It was quite a task to fully capture what we wanted to make happen in the midst of a fully functioning restaurant, but we did it and I truly learned a lot. I learned that sometimes you just need to slow down and let the story unfold. I learned that it takes a meticulous effort to place the pieces of the puzzle together and it takes an impeccable team to make that happen. It was such a pleasure to meet all of the people and hear the stories of those who call this place home. If you are ever in Beaumont, Texas, Patillos Barbecue is a must.




Film: Dennis Burnett & Mando Rayo

Client: Beef Loving Texans

Still images: Robert G Gomez

Camera Op: Cory Cross

Sound: Nik Worten