Looking at the 16 photos hanging on the wall of what he calls one of his favorite restaurants “in the whole world,” Bradley Hawks can remember the story behind each shot.
Celebrating the opening reception of his food photography exhibit on October 1 at Queens Comfort, located at 40-09 30th Avenue in Astoria, Hawks debuted 16 photographs of distinct plates from local restaurants he has visited throughout the years. The exhibit was part of the 2nd Annual Astoria Art Festival, which ran from September 27 to October 6.
“I’m still wrapping my head around it,” said the BORO Magazine editor-in-chief.
This is the first time his photographs have ever been displayed in frames and on a wall. The majority of his shots are displayed in BORO Magazine, LIC Courier and The Queens Courier with his weekly dining reviews and interviews.
Yet after he was approached by Lizabeth Nieves, founder and organizer of the art festival, he was given the opportunity to see his shots like never before.
“It’s exciting to see them as art for the first time,” he said.
Hawks had to choose 16 of his favorite shots for the festival from a digital library of close to 30,000 photographs. Some of the Astoria restaurants include Astor Bake Shop, Tufino Pizzeria and The Queens Kickshaw.
After moving to New York to be a teacher, Hawks took a break and was told by friends to launch a food blog because they always turned to him for restaurant recommendations.
With no experience or education in photography, he began his blog three to four years ago with what he called “shaky” photos. He got the opportunity to watch and learn about lighting and angling from renowned photographer Richard Avedon.
Since then, Hawks has been visiting local restaurants and capturing the story behind each plate. Hawks said he does not change anything about the plates because he wants his readers to see the same food they get when visiting the restaurants.
THE COURIER/Photos By Angy Altamirano