A few months back, a call came in from Inc Magazine to photograph two barbeque entrepreneurs. Although those two words rarely enter into the same sentence, Heath Hall and Brett Thompson of Pork Barrel BBQ have turned ribs, brisket, spice rubs, and sauces into big business thanks to an unmatched entrepreneurial spirit and an appearance on the ABC series Shark Tank.
We knew going into the shoot that these photos called for racks of ribs and as much BBQ smoke as we could create. After first meeting the guys behind Pork Barrel, we asked Heath and Brett if they could get their grills to spew some smoke. There was a slight twinkle in their eyes – “smoke?” they said “we can make that happen.”
You know it’s going to be a good day when setting up for the shoot requires some lighter fluid and fire in addition to building out softboxes and octabanks.
We took our time getting the lights set while Heath and Brett got the grills fired up – after all, the smoke was just as important as the strobes lighting it up. Little did we know our equipment would end up smelling like barbecue for the next few months…
And trust me – if you need two guys to make some smoke, you should call Heath and Brett. Before we knew it, the whole backyard was in a haze and we were ready to shoot some BBQ.
Speaking of the Pork Barrel crew, I don’t know whats the bigger ham in this photo, the meat smoking on the grill or the two guys standing behind it.
All jokes aside, there’s nothing better than photo subjects who are willing to do anything on camera, which in this case means letting Chris sauce them up for a few photos…
It’s all in the name of making great photos.
And of course enjoying some great barbeque. We were lucky enough to taste some samples after the shoot, and let me tell you, it may be all fun and games in front of the camera, but Heath and Brett are damn serious about their BBQ. Between the ultra-tender pulled pork and tasty beef ribs that were slathered in their sauce, we left the shoot feeling like very happy and very full carnivores.
If you want the full story about Pork Barrel’s success, it’s over on Inc magazine’s website.
Last but certainly not least, a big thanks to Cara Anderson for shooting a handful of the behind the scenes photos. You can check out her blog here.