BeerAdvocate magazine recently approached me about doing a portrait of Alva Mather, a lawyer who specializes in Alcohol and Beer law. I’ve been working with BeerAdvocate for a number of years and they’re great to work with for a couple reasons. 1) They give me few constraints 2) I enjoy photographing beer as a subject matter. 3) I think that my natural style matches up well with the look of their magazine.
I thought that I could go a couple of directions with the location of the portrait. 1) Alva’s Law office 2) Typical Philadelphia location such as the art museum stairs or The Philadelphia City Hall. or 3) One of Philadelphia’s many great beer bars. Number one is a more typical place to do a lawyer portrait, but I was worried that it would seem too corporate for the magazine and it’d be tough to show the beer side of the story. Number 2 would look good visually and highlight Alva’s city of practice, but again, wouldn’t illustrate the beer side of the story. I decided to photograph Alva at National Mechanics Bar in Old City. The building has tons of character and history, great natural light, and I like it as a bar. I was really happy with the location and Alva Mather was great to work with. We spent about an hour taking pictures and below is a sample of the images.