The Cafe: Proximity

Theses are photos taken right in the hustle and bustle of cafe life. No one is posing, they don’t have time. There is a line of people waiting for their order to be taken while the bakers are baking and servings are catching up. Freshly poured flower hovers thick in the air and kitchen smells of warm yeast and caramelized sugars. I shoot for maybe an hour or so.

This project was commissioned by the Chicago Nonprofit where the cafe is held. The idea was simple, capture the life of the cafe. For a while, I was thinking about just capturing stock photos and I tried and failed. We photographers don’t talk about our failures much, we hid those photos. There was too much movement. So I decided I would instead create a story. How could I photograph the life of this cafe in an hour without capturing faces and still have some continuity? I just trusted my eyes and gut.

After the shots were taken and the photos were uploaded, I then converted my raw photographs in Lightroom. I have a pretty simple workflow. I got from Adobe Lightroom to Google Nik, and finish in Adobe Photoshop. Each program serves a purpose in creating a look that I have and am perfecting over time that is clean and potent.

I always share my projects during the workflow. I realize that once a story is out there, it’s no longer your own. A good photo shoot, heck, even a bad photo shoot, is a moment birth into the world. Much like a child, you learn what you loved about the shot. You learn what didn’t work about the lighting and lens. I learned that you have to watch your front and back in a busy cafe and still capture the moment.

Please feel free to check out the entire project here: my other work. I am working on story building with my photography and seeing where it goes.

Christopher Williams

aka Christopher Flowers (b. 1988) is a US Photographer | Theologian | Multi-Media Designer and co-owner of DeiScribe, a Chicago digital media collective.

Follow him on Instagram and Facebook @ Deiscribe