Food Network reached out to me to photograph New York restaurateur and self-admitted character Willie Degel for the 2012 Press art on the new show, Restaurant Stakeout. The creative team at FN wanted a rich style of environmental portraits that deliver the atmosphere of a fine restaurant and a personal connection with Mr. Degel and his tough-love approach. By combining Willie’s ‘take no prisoners’ attitude with his easy charm and Long Island charisma we created a library of images that tell his story without the need for copy. The mood board was built on clean, consistent, natural lighting to compliment the subject and the existing interior elements.
Tune into Restaurant Stakeout on the Food Network: Wednesdays at 10pm/9c
Michel Leroy – Photographer
Joanne Harmon – Creative Director
Megan Re – Director of Photography
Adivije Sheji – Photo Editor
Flora Kay – Hair and Makeup Stylist
Many thanks to Arthur at Uncle Jack’s Steakhouse in New York City and the dedicated staff who made us feel at home during the shoot. Also, thanks to my crew Christopher Puente, Lucien Sims and Keziban Berry for making it happen when the pressure was on and Linn Edwards of Feather Creative for her expert retouching (…as always).