Tales of the Cocktail is like the Academy Awards for the bartending industry but with more drinking...or rather, prolonged drinking. The irony is that I hardly had anything to drink and focused instead on eating as well as I could, meditating daily and ensuring proper sleep. My days were long, some lasted up to sixteen hours. I ran on pure adrenalin and a low carb, healthy diet (a deeper discussion for another day).
The opportunity to work with so many people in the beverage industry was invigorating. I could have listened to legendary bartender and proprietor Charles Schumann all day and continued discussing the art of growing plants with Appleton master distiller, Joy Spence and the magic of lighting for portraiture with Grand Marnier master distiller, Patrick Raguenaud whose mischievous side I tried to capture. It's the other interests of the people I photograph that I like to train my lens on. I like to put my camera down and listen to their stories and opinions, people who are revered in their fields for the quality of their distilled labors. There's so much to learn from them.
Also, witnessing DJ Mixmaster Mike make tiles fall down from the ceiling of a venue on Bourbon Street was something that I know I'll unlikely witness ever again (you can actually see some of the falling tiles in one of the photos of his set). But here it is, the photos that I liked the most from my intense five days of work at this year's Tales.