One of the many highlights from Brussels Coffee Week 2019, which I documented here a few weeks back, was meeting and interacting with a lot of folks in the Brussels coffee scene. Energetic people I must say. Although I’m normally photographing, attending festivals for, having conversations about, and enjoying beer, it was a nice change to experience a new environment.
On the final day of BCW, I attended a roasting workshop at Wide Awake Coffee Roasters who had just officially opened the day before. They are a specialty coffee roaster selling beans and brewing equipment and also offering training workshops for baristas. Senina and Rutger are the ones behind this new endeavor. Cool people, enthusiastic, and very knowledgeable about coffee.
It was a brief conversation with them that day, followed up by another quick chat a few weeks later as I was buying some beans, that led me back to their roastery this past week. They were in the middle of building their new website and needed some photos to fill in the gaps, so I was more than happy to lend a hand. By the way, the website is now LIVE! You should check it out, and also pay their shop a visit when you’re strolling though Dansaert.
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I consider myself to be very good at capturing moments. Think festivals, weddings, or an event. In these scenarios, I am trying to capture moments and help illustrate to the audience what it felt like to be there. This is very different than creating moments (although there definitely is some intersection of the two). I don’t think I am as strong of a photographer when I’m creating moments, scenes, poses, etc. It’s the whole ‘act natural while a point a camera at you’ conundrum. Good photographers make it look easy, but I assure you it’s tough.
This shoot was a nice example of the intersection where we wanted a natural, lifestyle feel that felt as though I was capturing them in the moment. However, we needed to create the ‘scenes’ that were necessary to tell their story for the website.
It was also a challenge due to the lighting conditions of the roastery. When I’m capturing moments, the lighting is what it is to a certain extent and helps to tell the story. Here, however, we needed solid lighting that accentuated certain aspects of the photo, so an off-camera flash system was needed - another challenge. I rarely use artificial light, but it’s such a powerful tool when you know how to use it properly.
This was definitely one of the more enjoyable shoots as of late. Fun, challenging, and the client appreciated the work. And make sure you follow Wide Awake to stay up to date on what they’re doing. They are a welcome addition to the Brussels coffee scene. Enjoy the photos!