Food Photography Friday #fpf

28 06 2013

Have a wonderful weekend.

fpf 062813 esporao espresso


New Meets Old Meets Trust

27 06 2013

hyatt-hed-2013We love this idea!!

Hyatt hotels engaged with Postagram on Facebook and is encouraging their guests to use the Postagram app or site to “send a postagram on us”. The company’s spotting two postagrams per guest (that’s >$1.00) in an old school direct marketing “campaign.”

It’s very interesting to us on two fronts:

1) It engages guests and encourages them to spread the “novelty” of a postcard sent by snail mail with the Hyatt brand prominently placed. The current novelty of a postcard is key to this working.

2) It places the theme of the campaign in the hands of the guests, thusly making the theme of the campaign really the guests and their thoughts/experiences.

…and these two things provide distinct advantages. They do something completely different by connecting with a guest and then providing them a conduit to connecting with another. This indirect connection is significant in that the conduit is trusted. By using a trusted conduit, their connection is validated and is very difficult to dilute. The greater the connection between the conduit and the connection, then more cemented this 3rd party connection is.

Additionally, the content that’s being presented is crafted by the conduit and likely has nothing to do with the hotel, but rather the experience of the conduit. “Having a great time, wish you were here”, “Really miss you, wish you could have come”, “We’ll have to come here together sometime soon.” The connection is being addressed emotionally by the conduit and not by the brand. The brand has the luxury of being the delivery vehicle and associated with the emotion, but with a trust level that’s equal with a known person, not an empty corporation.

We applaud this and think it will be very successful for Hyatt. Check more out about it here:

note: we think the stock table set photo in the flyer pic is sanitary and should have been something more warm, comfortable, friendly, but that’s just us…and what we do.


Food Photography Friday #fpf

21 06 2013

Happy #foodphotography Friday!  #fpf

Saffron Cookies, Portugal.

fpf 062113 esporao cookies

Food Photography Friday #fpf

14 06 2013

Some wonderful wine at the 7% Solution tasting a few weeks back. We also did an infographic on it.

fpf massican.jpg

Contest Winner Announced!!!!

11 06 2013
Baby Berries

Baby Berries

For those who aren’t familiar with us, chow | studios is a creative design studio focusing on still and moving imagery, graphic & logo design and digital content creation and management for the artisan food, beverage and restaurant industry.

To celebrate the launch of our re-designed website at we announced a contest to give away a full service imagery photo and film package (worth $5000) to an artisan or restaurant deserving of the prize. We had some great entries and while tough, we narrowed it down to the two top entries: Saucy restaurant of Ukiah, CA and Heringer Estates Family Vineyard and Winery of Clarksburg, CA

It was obvious that both of these entries had some keen thought put into them! Nice work!  So for us, the big question…..  artisan restaurant or family winery??  Video submission or no??

We went back and forth. Both entrants seem well connected, both have plans to use the content well and both fit the requirements that we had for entries.

In the end, we just couldn’t decide. They’re both very deserving…..

…, we’re giving it away to BOTH of them. Each will receive an premium imagery promo package that’s worth $5000.

We’ll go to their locations and make some great movie and still magic, do some editing back in the studio and post it when it’s complete. Expect the final product in the next 6 weeks or so.

Thanks to all of the other entrants. We’re thankful that they took time to submit. We appreciate your interest and we’ll be sure to another contest soon. Please stay tuned to our blog.

We’re excited to do this and have some fun with the final content produced!


Contest Entries Closed.

10 06 2013

Thanks to everyone who entered our contest for a complete $5000 imagery package. Entries are now closed and we’ll make the announcement of the winner as soon as we’ve contacted the winner.

For those of you who were contemplating entering, here’s a taste of what you might have won if you would have entered:

Chateau Montelena

Food Photography Friday #fpf

7 06 2013

Happy #FoodPorn Friday! #fpf

fpf panther creek shea barrel 060613

Leaders Don’t Belittle….They Inspire!

5 06 2013

This Microsoft ad from Crispin Porter + Bogusky went viral and it struck an odd note here at the studios. Take a peek at it…it’s entertaining and on the surface, cute and funny.

So, what does it say? We’re lead to believe that the tablet running Microsoft is a superior product for a myriad of reasons and then we’re led to believe that the iPad is only capable of, or is best suited, for those who’s skill level is that of playing chopsticks, parodying the recent iPad mini ad.

What rubbed us the wrong way, and it took a bit of digesting to get it right is that this ad does a few things that are VERBOTEN the way we look at it.

First, it belittles the competition with the chopsticks reference and then, as a consequence, it isolates future customers.  Additionally, it cedes its stance and genuflects to the iPad. We all know that the iPad is the leader, but we don’t ever want our customers to appear to be chasing from behind as the Windows tablet does here with the comparison to the iPad.  It looks like they’re wishing or floundering or begging….all things inferring that they’re not capable of being the leader.

Two more things: First, people aren’t looking for the most productive tablet, or phone or any other PED. They’re looking to fit in, looking to be cool and looking to be recognized as the kind of person worthy of a product like the iPad. They’d like you to believe that they’re cool by having cool PEDs.  Does the PED have to fit the need? Yes. Does it have to be productive? Sure., but you’re not going to make converts by saying that you can out PowerPoint the iPad.  Microsoft continues down this path for the Nth year. Apple took a different path many years ago as well.

  • Cool is cool, productivity is not cool
  • Don’t cede your position to your competition…regardless of where you are in rank. You’re already on your way to failure if you have.
  • Don’t belittle. Leaders inspire, they don’t belittle. People may not remember what you say, but they will always remember the way you make them feel. In the future, you need the people you are currently belittling if you want to be a leader. What are you asking of them?

Contest Entries Extended

3 06 2013

We’ve extended the entry date on our full imagery package contest by one week to allow for a few more last minute entries we heard might be coming in. We’d like everyone to have the opportunity to enter and have a chance at the $5000 package, so be sure to get your entry in by sending email to with your name and contact info.  Entries will now close on June 9, 2013 at 11:59PM.

Click here for more info on the contest.

Infographic – The Northern California 7% Solution

3 06 2013

A unique group of winemakers recently gathered to showcase their wines to the public in a unique forum. Entitled “The 7% Solution”, a play on the title of the film from the 1970s, this forum showcased only varietals from 7% that are NOT the top ten varietals grown, or 93% of the wine grapes grown in Northern California. KCET posted a nice article about it.

We compiled an infographic to further illustrate the disproportionately few number of varietals grown in the 93% of acres grown to winegrapes in Northern California.

Please take a look at the infographic and please do share it. It’s quite interesting to see where things are going with regard to varietals that are popular, and those not quite as popular. Also illustrated are the relative popularity of some varietals in Northern California compared to other places in the world.

There’s a great deal of data to explore and it took some digging (an a bunch of massaging of excel) to distill some of this information and present it in a more easily digested medium.

7 percent infographic final image