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Filtering by Tag: coffee

Coffee Culture || Brandon Lopez

Ben Ashby




Brandon Lopez, a Denver based photographer and graphic designer shares with us his love of coffee, coffee shops, and coffee culture. 




Favorite coffee shop: This is a really hard question — I have favorites for the community, for the coffee, and for the space itself. 

My favorite for community is Two Rivers (@tworiverscoffee) in Denver. Eric, the owner, has been a good friend of mine for the last six years and anyone that knows him knows that he would do next to anything for the people around him. I was at his wedding this weekend and it was no surprise to see so many familiar faces from the shop there.


Switchbox Coffee (@switchboxcoffee) in Fort Lauderdale is up there in my favorites for great coffee. The day before they opened, I walked in to share my excitement for them opening the next day. Come to find out they just recently moved back from Denver to open this shop. Long story short — just as quickly as we became good friends — they became a staple in the craft coffee world in South Florida.

Lastly, for the space itself, Its a tie. I’ve always loved ALL DAY (@alldaymia) in Miami. Its tall, open ceilings and clean interior look like they took this place straight out of San Fransisco. The neon menu along with the gorgeous bar are understandably, a focal point. The other would be Black Eye Coffee (@blackeyecoffee) in Denver. By day a coffee and brunch spot, by night a bar call edWhite Lies. From black and gold Art Deco style wallpaper to the white penny tile, this spot is undoubtedly ‘grammable to say the least.






Camera you shoot with: Typically, at least in the past, the only camera I’ve had on me is my iPhone. Recently I’ve been shooting with a Canon 5D Mark II

Favorite drink to get at coffee shop: This really depends on the mood, somedays it’s a cortado, others it’s some method of pour over, and if ever in doubt, cold brew is always a solid choice.






Why do you love coffee culture: Above all, I love the way that coffee brings people together, whether in work, in community, or ritual. Some of my closest friends I’ve met in the coffee community. Its seems to be a common thread that people who love coffee also share a passion for connecting. One of my good buddies, Joe (@coffeenkegs) and I connected through Instagram. He runs an account showcasing the some of the best coffee, shops, and beer — I hit him up one day and asked to hang and I’ll be attending his wedding later this year, haha. Which goes to show, the coffee community is stoked on celebrating craft, authenticity, and connection. 






Give us a photo tip: Find the light — for me coffee always looks best in natural light. And I am by no means wildly knowledgeable in the subject but the trick Ive found is finding where light is coming from and how I can use it. Whether it’s a person sitting in a window or sitting in a spot where the light is filtering in, its hard to mess up a shot with good lighting. 







What city has the best coffee: Out of the cities I’ve lived in or visited London definitely has the best coffee — but everyone knows that. As far as overall experience, hands down Denver has one of the best communities of incredible roasters and shop goers.







What makes a good coffee shop: To me a good shop isn’t always the one on the forefront of trends or the most aesthetic, its about the people the put up with me coming in everyday and asking questions about their lives outside the shop. The people that share that same passion as the shop goers for community and authenticity. Its about the people behind the counter and the people I’m with. Yeah of course, I love neon menus and marble counters, but if there’s nothing substantial behind them then all you have are some hipsters serving you bean water.




Coffee Culture || Kyle Boen

Ben Ashby

I find myself more drawn into Kyle Boen's world by the day! He takes us into scenic and golden world south of the Mason Dixon Line. Photography that captures the current transformation of Nashville and the surrounding area has me excited to follow along. Today I asked him to be part of our Coffee Culture Monday series....

Introduce yourself: My name is Kyle Boen AKA StayFoxx. I live in Nashville, TN.

What is your favorite coffee shop: My favorite coffee shop is Frothy Monkey. There are several locations here in TN and one of the best coffee shops I've been to. 

What is your favorite coffee drink: My favorite coffee drink is a soy vanilla latte. I honestly like the taste of soy milk more than regular milk which is why I get it with soy.

What camera do you use: For my photos I mostly use my iPhone 6s. A DSLR is used on some photos but majority is done through phone.

What makes for a good coffee shop: I think what makes a good coffee shop is the ambience. I'm usually drawn to the more rustic vibes of coffee shops so if you have lots of wood and a fireplace I'm sold.

Give us a photo tip: When it comes to taking a good coffee photo...the key, in my opinion, is keep it simple. Sometimes simple is better.

What city has the best coffee: Obviously Nashville has the best coffee not only because I live here but because there are soo many varieties to choose from around the city. Frothy Monkey is still my "Go To" when I'm feeling like a cup of joe.


Coffee Culture || Tyler Wendling

Ben Ashby


I've known Tyler Wendling for years now. I have followed along on his aesthetic journeys in Michigan. From coffee culture, to lifestyle shoots, to having an eye for the little things in life...Tyler is such a treat to follow. Today we sat down with him to learn a bit more about his love of coffee. 



My name is Tyler Wendling. I'm a graphic designer, photographer, and stylist living in Grand Rapids, Michigan. I write, design, and photograph for the blog Wendling & Boyd. You can usually find me in the kitchen making some delicious or out having fika with some friends. 



WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE COFFEE SHOP || My favorite coffee shops is Harless + Hugh up in Bay City because I love the ambiance, the coffee is amazing, and a lot of my friends are from bay city and own the coffee shop. 



WHAT CAMERA DO YOU SHOOT WITH || I shoot with a Nikon d5200 with a 35 mm lens.





WHY DO YOU LOVE COFFEE CULTURE || I love coffee culture because it brings people together and it's something that is extremely communal. I remember as a kid (at age 4), I'd always drink coffee with my grandparents every morning before our days began. So there's a bit of nostalgia there as well. 




GIVE US A PHOTO TIP || Let your composition breathe. Don't make your picture to cluttered.  


WHAT CITY HAS THE BEST COFFEE || Well, I haven't traveled as much as I want to but I'd pick Grand Rapids or Detroit. My blog started at a coffee shop in Detroit. 




WHAT MAKES A GOOD COFFEE SHOP || The ambiance, how warm and welcoming it is, and the coffee. It has to have good quality coffee. 




Coffee Culture || Wes Taylor

Ben Ashby

This week's coffee culture Monday is dedicated to Chicago based photographer Wesley Taylor. Wesley makes special moments for coffee wherever his travels and photography take him. 

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE COFFEE SHOP || My favorite shop in Chicago is Gaslight Coffee Roasters in Logan Square. I'm crazy productive any time I go there! Crema in Nashville holds the record for my favorite cortado, The original Sightglass in SF has my favorite ambiance. 







WHAT CAMERA DO YOU SHOOT WITH || Canon 5D, 35mm 1.4 

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE DRINK || My favorite drink depends heavily on the weather. When it rains, a dirty chai with oat milk. On any given day a cortado is always a good choice... On sunny days, either an iced matcha latte with oat milk, or an oat milk angeleno which is basically a vanilla latte with an extra extraction of espresso, shaken. 


WHY DO YOU LOVE COFFEE CULTURE || I love coffee shop culture because it'shonestly for everyone. you can get as deep into it the brewing and tasting aspects as you want, you can be obsessed with coffee or get tea. but at the core it's about bringing people together, and there's not much better than that.

GIVE US A TIP FOR A GOOD COFFEE SHOP PHOTO ||  It's simple, but the best coffee photos just come from good light. stand by the window or go outside, I promise it'll be worth it. Also, work quickly! Latte art often has a short photo life, so get your shot set before your order so you can make it happen fast. 


WHAT CITY HAS THE BEST COFFEE || San Francisco is home to some of my favorite coffee shops! But I may also just be smitten by the toast. 

WHAT MAKES FOR A GOOD COFFEE SHOP || Whenever I check out a new coffee shop, I tend to care about ambiance first. I want to make sure it's not too loud to have a conversation, and hopefully a place I can get some work done. comfortable chairs are also super important.

Capturing Coffee Culture : One Cortado at a Time

Christophe Chaisson

No better way to start a Monday than doing it with a cup of coffee in your hand. Coffee isn't just a bitter brown liquid with caffeine, rather coffee has its own culture and ability to gather community.  Grab yourself a cup however you like it and join me and Laurie Unger as she talks about coffee and photography. 



Christophe: What is your favorite coffee shop?

Laurie: My favorite coffee shop is Zoka @zokacoffeein Kirkland, Washington.  The high ceilings and the light and airy atmosphere is what originally drew me in, but the coffee and sense of community keeps me coming back.






C: What Is your favorite coffee shop drink?

L: A Cortado or a triple espresso is my drink of choice.  I occasionally will drink both if my energy level needs a boost. I really enjoy tasting the flavors of strong coffee so I don’t usually drink coffees that have lots of milk in them.  







C: What makes a good coffee shop?

L: A coffee shop that is flooded with natural light and a good design sense (especially if it has lots of black and white) is always my first choice.  Of course, great coffee is the most obvious, but without good lighting it is a no go.  I live in the Pacific Northwest and there are a lot of grey days and rain. Light and bright is important to me.







C: Why do you love coffee/coffee culture?

L: The coffee culture has brought in a modern sense of community/gathering place. It is more than just drinking coffee; it is an experience wherein in you can enjoy meeting up with friends, conducting business, or just relaxing and taking time to enjoy a cup of coffee any way you might like it.



C: Your favorite coffee culture photo tip?

L: Paying attention to natural light is perhaps the single most important step in taking a good photo. I always try to be aware of what time of day it is, weather conditions and the direction of the light.  Walls, tables and floors are always good backdrops to be aware of so that the picture is interesting.


Laurie captures everyday bright moments that adds a special light to the day. She finds the adventure in the simplicity and joys of everyday life. To follow more of her creative journey, you can find her on Instagram here: @:LAURIEUNGER

It is now time to pour ourselves another cup.

Happy Monday everyone!

Coffee Culture Monday || Paige Denkin

Ben Ashby

It is the start of a new series. Our millennial culture is obsessed with coffee and coffee culture—from the shops to the roasting of the coffee and everything in between—we love it all. Each week we share a cup and a moment with a master of the coffee culture. This week we begin our series with New York City based photographer and coffee lover Paige Denkin. 


We must begin by having a collective moment of silence in memory of Ost Coffee in the East Village. May its memory and marble floors live on forever. 


File Jun 04, 10 05 33 PM.jpeg


What/Where is your favorite coffee shop: My favorite small chain is Blue Bottle, their espresso is addictive. But my favorite local shop is currently Ludlow Coffee Supply. Great coffee and atmosphere which is important to me.



What camera do you usually shoot with: My Fuji xt1 is my go to walk around camera. I love the color from the Fuji sensors and the wifi capability is a life saver for social media. Plus it's lightweight and portable for walking around NYC, and gotta love the rangefinder ergonomics of the Fuji lineup.



What is your favorite drink: Dirty chai, hands down. And at least two shots of espresso, I won't get out of bed for anything less. Perfect balance of robust earthy espresso and sweet/spicy chai flavoring. If it's not available on the menu, a good strong latte is my next choice. The vanilla bourbon latte at Ludlow is on point. 


What do you love about coffee culture: I live in a very chaotic city and my early morning coffee stop is necessary for me to not only gain consciousness for the day, but to sit down and have a moment to myself, sans distractions from my home. I can organize my thoughts and enjoy the soft morning light during the uncommon slow New York morning moments. I crave it.





Please give us a coffee shop photo tip: morning window light is your best friend. I have difficulties balancing the tungsten lighting common is cafes, and the beautiful natural light. I tend to sit and stage all my images next to windows, but those tend to be the first seats to go. I've been known to wait outside a coffee shop before they open to secure the best spot. And my favorite general tip to give.. watch your corners! If you cut off objects, make it intentional or your viewer will get stuck in the tension spots. It can ruin your whole image.




What city has the best coffee: I'm biased to New York, it's where I do most of my coffee exploration. I've had some great cups in LA from places like Black Top or Verve and my favorite southern spot.. Bandit Coffee Co in St. Petersburg, FL. But the little NY gems are still closest to my heart.



What makes a good coffee shop: Step one, good coffee and educated baristas. There's nothing worse than a bitter espresso and an even more bitter barista. Rude workers are my biggest turn off, even if the cafe has perfect natural light... which is step two for a great shop: the atmosphere. Must be inviting with multiple places to sit by window light. Doesn't hurt to have well designed and complimentary tables, cups, saucers, plants, textured walls and flooring. The more elements I can create with, the better chance I'll be back to try more. Concrete floors are my favorite, the texture and the drop off from the light hitting the table tops always make for perfectly moody images.




Coffee with Melody Joy

Christophe Chaisson

Join us for a coffee focused conversation with Melody Joy, photographer & coffee connoisseur... 

What is your favorite Coffee Shop?

I have a favorite coffee shop in every city. One shop that instantly comes to mind is @cairngormcoffeeco. It is located in beautiful West End of Edinburgh, Scotland. I spent the majority of my days sitting and working in their beautifully lit space when I visited this past trip. 

What is your favorite coffee shop drink?

I always like to try a latte in every shop I go to. When I work from home I just drink espresso or straight black coffee, so when I am visiting shops, I love trying espresso milk based drinks, and a latte or flat white(depending on what country i'm in), is always my go-to. The latte art when visiting shops doesn't hurt my images as well.

What makes a good coffee shop?

A combination of the lighting, the baristas personalities and of course the quality of coffee(a must) really are the determining factors for a shop to become a favorite of mine. 

Why do you love coffee/coffee culture?

I love the friendly atmosphere that coffee shops cultivate. I always enjoy meeting new people and coffee shops tend to provide a perfect atmosphere to connect with other entrepreneurs in the creative industry as well. I hold meetings in coffee shops, I work from my laptop in coffee shops, and I also hang out with friends and chat about life in coffee shops. It's a culture that breeds conversation, I feel, and I am all about that. 

My favorite coffee culture photo tip:

Make sure that you have plenty of natural lighting by a window, as that provides more true colors of the coffee and table scape. And don't worry about setting up a perfectly styled shot, if all you have is your coffee cup and the table, try to find a few new angles to shoot it from, instead of trying to add more props to the image. Sometimes backing up and getting the texture of the table or the background scene provide a lovely balance to your simple cup of coffee sitting there, in all of its glory. I always am an advocate for minimalism. 


Instagram: @melodyjoyco