Photographer and director Stephen Hamilton gives back in creative ways. For years he has donated excess 'client' food to Feeding America – everything: from chicken and lunchmeat, to pasta and cookies. He also supports small food businesses with Images for Artisans by donating his photography.

His latest undertaking is to work with the Urban Growers Collective (UGC), through Workbook and APA Chicago, to photograph their produce.

UGC’s mission is to use education and their eight Chicago area gardens to build a more equitable local food system. One thing they need, which doesn’t require a green thumb, are photographs to promote and document their gardens.

In preparation, Hamilton visited a UGC Garden, then photographed their spring harvest in his studio. The challenge was to shoot the produce in a way to make it look heroic, yet different, from his work on Sara Grueneberg's cookbook, 'Listen To Your Vegetables'.

Hamilton’s solution was to photograph individual, larger than life portraits of the small vegetables. Then he used a dark background to vignette the subject with chiaroscuro lighting to create depth and texture. He is excited to see what produce UGC will send him next!