Derek Pashupa Goodwin
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Writings on yoga and photography by Derek Pashupa Goodwin

"What's in Your Fridge?" with Jenné Claiborne: a VegNews photoshoot

This is my favorite photo of Jenné Claiborne from our VegNews photoshoot. Notice anything missing?

Back in February I got the call from VegNews to photograph the fabulous vegan food blogger Jenné Claiborne for a highlight article called "What's in Your Fridge?". Jenné is NYC-based and her vegan food blog Sweet Potato Soul (www.sweetpotatosoul.com) is a big hit in the vegan world and beyond.

On Sweet Potato Soul you’ll discover hundreds of delicious and easy-to-make vegan recipes. I also share lots of cooking videos, and healthy eating tips. In addition to running this vegan lifestyle blog and my Youtube channel, I am co-founder of Buddhalicious, an online vegan meal planning service.
— Jenné Claiborne

As you can see, Jenné is very natural with the camera so the posing and camera work was very easy. What I did not take into consideration was that photographing a person and a fridge together in a NYC apartment is likely to entail some extra efforts. For those who have not lived in the Big Apple, most of us live in tiny apartments that cost way too much, and space is a luxury.

What I learned from delivering refrigerators in the 90's

Jenné has a double-door fridge with the freezer on the left and larger refrigerator on the right. It is perfectly snuggled between a counter and the wall. There is about 3 feet separating the front of the fridge to the stove with a hood across from it. The counter prevented us from moving the fridge out enough to turn it towards the aisle— and there was no room for a photographer!

Solution: In the early 1990's when I was going to college to study photography I had a job delivering used appliances. I carried many a fridge up and down flights of stairs, through narrow hallways and doorways. As I learned then, taking doors off of refrigerators is the only way to make it work.

Of course I did not bring tools for dismantling refrigerators. Fortunately Jenn´'s partner Maxx Loup had a Leatherman (don't worry, its vegan!), and as I held the door he painstakingly used the tiny pliers to remove the 3 bolts holding the top hinge of the door. With the door off, we pulled the fridge out a couple of feet and turned it out about 30 degrees so I could set up the photo.

I had Jenné stand in front of the freezer door for the photos, and VegNews cropped the image so it is not apparent that a door is missing. All in all it was a fun bonding experience, and I am very happy with the results.

    Special thanks to my friend Jasmin Singer (of Our Hen House) who recently moved from NYC to California to work for VegNews, and gave me a referral to be the photographer. Thanks also to Colleen Holland of VegNews for making it happen!

    Quick links to delicious vegan recipes on Sweet Potato Soul:


    Gallery & Resources:

    VegNews May-June 2017 Issue

    VegNews May-June 2017 Issue

    What's in Your Fridge? VegNews article with the photo I took of Jenné Claiborne and her fridge.

    What's in Your Fridge? VegNews article with the photo I took of Jenné Claiborne and her fridge.

    Thanks to VegNews for adding my contributor profile, and to Siewli Stark for taking the photo of me!

    Thanks to VegNews for adding my contributor profile, and to Siewli Stark for taking the photo of me!

    Me and Jenné after the portrait shoot

    Me and Jenné after the portrait shoot