Capturing the Making of Mexican Mezcal
Posted on 7th May 2019 by Austin Gould

Jody Horton is a commercial and lifestyle photographer based out of Austin, Texas. With over 2 decades of photography experience, he has worked for a variety of clients including Jack Daniels, Whole Foods, Shiner Beer, Case Knives, YETI, Bon Appettit, Food & Wine, and Texas Monthly.

Some of the photos from Jody’s “Mezcal” portfolio recently captured our eye. Intermixing between beverage, lifestyle, and portraiture, this portfolio is truly unique in the ways it provides insight into the mezcal-making process.

“Mezcal” was shot 4 years ago for Garden & Gun Magazine and resulted from a pitch that Jody made. His good friend, designer, and collaborator Blair Richardson is based in Mexico City and initially found the story. While traveling in Oaxaca, Blair had connected with the label Mezcaloteca that bottled a variety of mezcals from local area mezcaleros. Blair was able to use this connection and served as the producer on the project.

The entire shoot was directed by Jody, with the goal of comprehensively capturing the process and sense of place. While some of the moments were reenacted, most were real and lightly directed, if at all. The mezcal-creation process drove the structure and direction of Jody’s work, which is a consistent theme in much of his photography. Jody told us he, “enjoy[s] the challenge of having an inside view into how something is made and attempting to translate this visually in a compelling way.”

Jody loved the fact that this project had a natural mix of process, detail, portraits, and rich atmosphere to work with. On top of the project itself, the team was able to drink some authentic Mexican mezcal, which was delicious and fun! However, the team made sure to stay on track amidst the pleasantries since they only had 3 production days, and a lot of ground to cover. Jody, Blair, and the rest of the team had to hustle to fit everything in.

Aside from the shoot itself, Jody was able to connect with now friend and writer, Logan Ward. They worked together on this piece for Garden & Gun Magazine and have since worked together on several other projects. Jody told us, “[Logan] is a pleasure to work with and I love his writing style.”

If you enjoyed Jody’s story and his Mezcal images, check out more of his work in his Dripbook Portfolios !

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