Susan Orlean’s Animalish Kindle Single

One of my very favorite writers (the kind of writer I wanted to be until I realized I tell better stories with pictures than with words), Susan Orlean, launched her Kindle Single, Animalish, today. I have photographed Susan several times – for the book River of Words, and for Edible Hudson Valley magazine – and let me tell you, she is so much fun. And she used one of my portraits of her with her brood on the cover of the Single! Read an interview with Susan in today’s New York Times. Order a copy of the essay here.

Mark Ruffalo & No-Fracking

This spring, I photographed actor Mark Ruffalo for the Arts & Leisure section of The New York Times. The story profiled both Ruffalo’s directorial debut and his mission to stop gas fracking in New York state. Ruffalo is a passionate opponent of fracking and speaks out often about the dangers to farms, waterways, and quality of life – in the newspaper, on television, and on his twitter account. Ruffalo requested we do his portrait on the Delaware River, where he goes fishing with his son. Read the story here.

Mark Ruffalo, no fracking, photo by Jennifer May

Ramp Foraging for the New York Times

Reporter Indrani Sen and I followed ramp foragers deep into the Catskill mountains, to write and photograph a story for the New York Times’s Dining section. Standing in the forest, surrounded by acres of the pungent wild greens, I did wonder if I was seeing something that would be legendary a generation from now. Read Indrani’s thought-provoking article on the danger of over-foraging to feed a populace with a growing passion for wild, local foods, and here are some of my outtakes from the shoot. If you have land of your own, consider planting your own ramps. Seed & bulbs available here.

Handfuls of very early spring ramps.
Forager Christopher Field, left, and farmer-forager Rick Bishop, right, in the Catskill mountains in early spring.
Forager Ken McGuire forages for ramps in Ulster County, NY
Young ramps, cleaned in the river.

Distillers for New York Times

A recent cover shoot for the Dining section of the New York Times featuring two distillers in the Berkshires. Read the full story here.

Derek Grout of Harvest Spirits the still in his barn in Valatie, NY.
Infusions Derek Grout is experimenting with at Harvest Spirits.
Infusion experimentations at Harvest Spirits
Detail of the bottling machine at Harvest Spirits.
Chris Weld sits amongst his four fermenters at Berkshire Mountain Distillers.

Slow Pizza – NYT

One part mother starter, one part 00 flour, five parts resting time… writer Oliver Strand cooked 200 pizzas and rediscovered the beauty of long-rise pizza dough for an article in the New York Times. I photographed the comparison. Here is the full article, and here is a recipe for Radicchio Pizza with Gremolata… so good.

On the left, the crust of a dough that rose for 3 hours, on the right the crust of a dough that aged a day
Radicchio Pizza with Gremolata

Rabbits for the NYT

I was asked to visit a rabbit farm to photograph a rabbit for the front page of the New York Times’s Dining section. Of course, I gave them a bunch of options. Here is the one that ran, and if you click through you will see more of the Dining editor’s favorites on the NYT Blog. You will also read a lot of irate comments from readers. People canceled subscriptions they were so angry about this story. To paraphrase a poster with a different attitude, ‘It seems it’s only edible if it’s not cute.’

Outtakes from the rabbit cover

A March 2010 Dining cover story in the New York Times

Farm Stay – NYT

Stony Creek Farm in Walton, NY, offers tent style camping (complete with flushing toilets, indoor gas stove, a wood floor platform, and furniture) to people who want the farm and camping experience without all the roughing it. I shot a story about it for the New York Times.

Slide Show – Farm Stay

Stony Creek Farm in Walton, NY, shot for the New York Times

Wild Boar Weekend (Audio Slide Show)

The folks at Brooklyn-based A Razor, A Shiny Knife (self-described as “an educational, social and theatrical culinary experience”) hosted a weekend event near Ithaca, NY in which guests witnessed a boar journey from farm to table. I photographed and captured sound from the all-day event for the New York Times. Follow through below for the audio-slide show.

Audio Slide Show on the New York Times’s site (2:14 min)

Shot for the New York Times’s Dining section
Food stories in New York's Hudson Valley and beyond from photographer Jennifer May