The PieHole Project

Chefs + Pies + Camera + Fun = The PieHole Project!

For the last couple of years I’ve had the pleasure of shooting The PieHole Project. Over 30 local chefs and their favorite pies. A deliciously fun assignment! Yes, I tried each of the pies! And I do have a couple of favorites!   ;-)

The Piehole Project raises funds for the Chefs of Tomorrow Scholarship created by FestEvents Foundation, an organization dedicated to workforce sustainability and development in the restaurant and hospitality industry.

Hope you enjoy the fotos!

The Year Of The Mask

The Year Of The Mask.

A lot of us played with masks when we were little. Our TV and comic book heroes wore masks. The Lone Ranger, Batman and Batgirl, Zorro, and countless others. Not the same masks we are wearing these days though. The masks we are being asked to wear this season are the ones bank robbers used. Now you walk into a bank and we all look like bank robbers! 

In my case I wear a mask while I take pictures. It is a necessity and a duty. Enough of that for an intro.

During this Year Of The Mask we have continued to take pictures. Thank God,and science,  through of the magic of electronics and digital everything, we can continue to capture and deliver images to you without you having to be there at the studio right next to us. Thanks to platforms like Zoom, and Google Hangouts, Webex, Adobe Connect, and many others, we can show you what we are doing with your product, or food, share the images immediately with you, and poof! Boom! Approved! 

Unfortunately you have also witnessed your photographer, perhaps picking their noses or scratching themselves, or saying something they shouldn’t, (not I) but it has happened…. nevertheless the technology has worked its magic and allowed us to continue to work throughout the pandemic. And for this I am very grateful!

By the way, this was all possible before the pandemic, and we had already been using it to get approval of images while clients stayed in their offices working on other projects. Screen share, video conferencing, Skype, text messaging, (still my favorite), and emailing the image! 

Here are some of the images that were done this Year Of The Mask at our studio while you were away, and while some of you were here, but over at the client desks, about 30 feet from our camera, where you can see what is happening on set on the studio 85 inch screen tv!

To be continued…..    :-(

“Indulgent Italianish” with a Speakeasy vibe.

Indulging Cuban thoroughly enjoys capturing images of the new Bar Charles in Dallas!

Designed by Sees Design and William Baker, the space is packed with indulgent Italian influenced-pieces, including plush velvet seating, bubble lamps designed by George Nelson, and a sophisticated antique fireplace.  Lots of visual fun, as owner Chas Martin calls it, a “testament to maximalism”.  Enjoy the pictures here and then plan a visit soon!

Divine Food!

Divine Pizzas!  Divine Pasta!  Divine place, for a relaxing meal, and great wines!

Within walking distance from the studio we have Cibo Divino! Which we order for lunch almost every week. Great pizza, pasta, and Italian specialties. And the owner Chef Daniele Puleo knows our studio well enough to always suggests the best Italian wines available. We captured these images for the new Cibo Divino Market Centro, in downtown Dallas. Check out there website here.  

Little Peppers Tell Big Story

Dallas advertising agency, The Richards Group, commissioned Manny to photograph varying sizes of peppers to illustrate with photographs the size comparison of Sub-Zero’s new refrigerator models. Manny’s love and passion for the still life image is perfectly exemplified in these photographs. 

Texas State Fair Food!

If you are from Texas you know that the State Fair is a big deal.  If you live here, it is one of those things you must experience, at least once. However, rest assured you will be suspending what ever eating regimen you might be entertaining that week.  Well, maybe you can keep your keto diet with a turkey leg or two. But, you will be tempted, or maybe not. Every imaginable food, fried!  Fried butter, fried Coke, fried Jello, and fried Twinkies, will beckon your attention.  Oh and food on a stick! Like fried Doritos bacon mozzarella sticks, and the most famous, Corny Dogs on a stick!  My arteries are tightening as I write this.  

Below is an editorial we shot a few years ago for D Magazine, in collaboration with art director Todd Johnson and food stylist Brooke Leonard, giving it a fun surgical look.

Brooke was one of the great Dallas food stylists who’s passion for food and life inspired many in our industry. 

In her memory.

Shooting in the dark, during the day…

Making it look like it was photographed in a dark romantic setting.  Making it look appetizing, and desirous.  Mouthwatering, and sensuous.  Making them drop their plans to stay in tonight, and head out to your sexy restaurant.  That is what Manny does, day in and day out, and sometimes in the dark of the night as well!  

They don’t call him BatManny for nothing! ;-)

This photograph, for Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House.  Agency of record, Swoon, The Studio.  Food stylist, Stephanie Greenwood.  Contact Manny’s Agent H, here.

Natchez Style, wins the 2019 Next Generation Indie Book Award!

Congratulations to William Bradley,  Regina Charboneau, and Bridget Green, and thank you, for allowing me to be a part of this wonderful experience.  It was an honor to collaborate with this passionate group of Natchesians.  

We shot 27 home interiors, and exteriors, in 12 days, from dawn till dusk.  Plus a few dozen food dishes, prepared and styled by Chef Regina Charboneau, for each home.  Wore out 3 very hard working assistants, Melissa Hennings, Brielle Parker, and Elliot Kern!  But we all came back with images, friendships, and memories, to last us a lifetime! 

Blessed beyond all means!

Check out the images below, and if you feel compelled to help with the preservation of these historical homes in Natchez, the oldest city on the Mississippi, please purchase a book here.  

Photography © MANNY RODRIGUEZ.  All Rights Reserved.

In Print

There use to be a time in my career as a photographer when viewing my images printed in a magazine, news paper, or brochure was, to put it mildly, very disappointing.  Oftentimes I would opt for not even looking at the final printed piece. Thankfully, printing has come a long way.  So much so these days, that I am impressed with the quality of printing more often than not, even when using cheap paper.  Rarely does an image look like what you saw on screen, or on film, but not as disconcerting as it use to be.  Some of you might disagree.  Or maybe I am simply very fortunate that I get to work with some great clients, ad agencies and art directors, that know what they are doing!  Case in point, this last job I shot for Chili’s, with the talented folks at Johnson and Sekin,  AND the creative team at Chili’s! The latest menus were printed by a printer in Carrolton, Texas, called ColorMark.  The result was nothing less than amazing!  Anyone that has worked with me in the past, and I am now referring to post production and pre-press people, know that my images are not easy to print.  I crunch those curves to the max! That’s my style. I make those highlights and those shadows almost impossible to print.  Yes, I have heard the complaint for years. That is how I like to shoot.  I want my images to remind me of the pages from Life Magazine.  If you are old enough, you know what I mean. If you don’t, visit your nearest library and check out the gorgeous editorials!  Deep blacks and blown out whites!  Love it! (The why, is a subject for another day, another post)  Anyway, what I really want to share with you is the Chili’s menus below, printed by ColorMark, who somehow, kept all my extreme contrast and lighting the way I like it! The iPhone pictures below were not high quality, obviously, so if you really want to see the real thing, head over to your nearest Chili’s restaurant and check out the new menus!

Thanks to the fearless team at Chili’s corporate and Johnson + Sekin for trusting in me with their photographic needs. Of course, none of this would look half as good without the food styling talent at

Contact Agent H, if you want to stop by the studio and view some prints over a cup or two of coffee! 

When you want it done right, the first time! But only if you want it done right……..

….if you want it cheap, you are on the wrong website!

Exceptional photography for promoting food, done right by a well seasoned photographer.  Experienced, knowledgable, with a passion for getting the shot done right, the first time, every time.  If you are a creative in the advertising agency world, with demanding clients that can’t afford risks, then you are on the right page.  If you are a marketing director in the corporate food industry, this is the photographer you deserve!  For scheduling and rates, reach out to Agent H, right here.

Manny only hires the best of the best.  In this case: Claire Wilson, food stylist;  Kristen Dale Butler, for prop styling and production; Asistente Excelente, Elliot Kern.

Mediterranean Kitchen Onboard Aircraft!

Like we needed yet another reason to fly American Airlines

I feel very fortunate to have been the official photographer for this new partnership between American Airlines and Zoe’s Kitchen! The results speak deliciously loud!  And AA customers are loving it!  Much thanks to our American Airlines team for allowing this opportunity to collaborate with them on this project!  Also, great appreciation for our talented art director, Autumn Musso. Food stylists, Claire Wilson Meserall, and Amber North.  Production and styling, Kristen Butler. My left AND right hand, Elliot Kern.  And Heather Williams for bringing us all together!

Especialistas em carne, Fogo de Chão.

Fogo de Chão knows their meat!  Gaucho chefs expertly grill and carve table-side each of their cuts of meat like Picanha, Filet Mignon, Ribeye, Fraldinha, Cordeiro, and more. The place is a temple to the churrasco!  

If you haven’t been there lately, or ever, you are definitely missing out on a great experience.  Luckily for my crew and I, we get to sample it all when we shoot there.  Thank you, Jack, Kyle, Steve, Whitney, and Janet, for trusting us with your photographic needs! Much thanks to our talented team, food stylists, Claire Messerall and Amber North, my Asistentes Excelente, Elliot Kern and Melissa Hennings.  And last but not least our fearless creative director Greg Ring!

Hopefully our pictures will entice you to visit one of their locations in the USA, Mexico, Middle East, and Brazil! 

Dallas Chef throws tomatoes at photographer!

Over three decades of taking pictures!  Hundreds of portraits, dozens of chefs, also a few dozen wild children going crazy all over the studio, and never have I been treated like this!  Never has anyone, other than a wife or two, thrown anything at me!  I mean, I consider my self a pretty good photographer, and yes, I have occasionally taken a poor picture here and there, maybe some out of focus even, but never has any person, client, art director, ever, treated me like this!  Till now.  I guess there is always a first for everything!  But darn, this was humiliating!  This clown, Junior Borges, thinks he’s funny! Don’t let that smile you see in the pictures fool you either.  He was criticizing my lighting all afternoon!  Telling me what angles to take!  The gall this guy has!  I was trying to be polite and not say anything, but it finally got my blood boiling, I think I yelled a few things in Spanish, I might have called him -pinch pendejo, or cabrón- I really don’t recall exactly, and that is when he started throwing tomatoes at me!  Look at him!!  You know he’s done this to others before by the way he can throw things with such aim and smile the entire time!  (By the way, he never hit me! I managed to dodge every single tomato, as you can see in the pictures)

I still managed to get some good pictures of this junior chef guy, because I am a professional, and I had a job to finish!  Anyway I hope you enjoy the pictures as much as he enjoyed throwing tomatoes at me.  I’ll get back at you Borges!  Wait till you open that little restaurant of yours!  😈  

Manny rubs elbows with Dallas chefs.

Another great photo session with Dallas chefs and local farmers!  More fun than any photographer should be allowed to have in one session!! Thank you Iris Midler for trusting us with the CFF campaign!  Kudos to all the chefs and farmers that participated:  Sofia Herrera_Martinez, Andrea Shackelford, Jeff Bednar, Junior Borges, Dean Fearing, Jared Harms, Matt McCallister, and John Tesar.  Nothing gets done without my dream crew, agent Heather Williams, Claire Wilson, food stylist.  And last but not least, my Asistente Excelente, Elliot Kern.

Please visit Chefs For Farmers website and plan to attend this unique Dallas event that celebrates and promotes local and regional farmers, and the chefs that bring us some of the best food in the USA, right here in Dallas, Texas!

Cuban does Texas!

I moved to Texas in 1994. I Came here chasing the dollar, and stayed for the people!  I have made many great friends here in Texas.  Raised my children in Texas, two of them born and bred!  Established my photo studio here in Dallas. Learned how to use the word “y’all”.  Discovered Texas cuisine and Tex Mex!   Not all my Ex’s live in Texas, but one does, and we get along just fine!  I even had a Texan give me a Texas name, “Manny Bob”!  Yes, Texas is home!

Earlier this year the wise and talented folks at RBMM commissioned me to shoot for Central Market again.  So next time you are at a Central Market store and see them pretty pictures hanging up there off the ceiling y’all can say you know who shot ‘em, Manny Bob!

None of this would happen without my amazing Texas crew:  Fearless food photo agent, Heather Williams!  Prop stylist, Kristen Dale Butler.  Food stylist, Claire Wilson.  Assistant food stylist, Amber North.  Number cruncher and mixologist, Vanessa Semifero.  And last but not least, my asistente excelente, Elliot Kern!

New Work for Taco Cabana

Taco Cabana’s “made fresh by hand” meets Manny’s fresh approach to food fotografia! Proud to be sharing these new images of my latest foto shoots with Taco Cabana.  They definitely get the message across. Thanks to the fearless marketing team at Taco Cabana, and the talented and fun creatives at Beacon121 Advertising, for allowing me to push it a bit!   Food styling by Megan Shea, and Claire Wilson Prop styling by Brandi Cooling.  Assistant Excelente, Elote Korn.  And thank you Heather Williams for bringing us together!

At The Fairmont.

Under the direction of our fearless leader Luke Mathot, a great photographer in his own right, we had the opportunity to shoot for Accor Hotels, right here in downtown Dallas at The Fairmont Hotel.  A very talented chef and very friendly staff provided us with amazing food and drinks, and below are the results.  Food styling by Amber North. Prop styling, Brandi Cooling. Asistentes Fotográfico, Elliot Kern, Geoffrey Kern


Chefs for Farmers brings chefs, artisans, and culinary influencers together to celebrate support for local and regional farmers at a three-day culinary blowout.  

This year I had the privilege of focusing my lens on these fun people for CFF’s promotional material.  Thank you for this opportunity, Iris Midler, Co-Founder & Director of Festival.  Chefs: Angela Hernandez from Top Knot,  Katherine Clapner from Dude Sweet Chocolate,  Meaders Ozarow from Empire Baking Company.  Brian Huynh sommelier at The French Room.  Michael Ehlert chef at The French Room.  Junior Borges from The Joule.  Eric Dreyer chef at Fearings, and Matt McCallister from FT33!  Thanks to all of you for the fun and for making it to the studio on time! 

Below are some of the pictures you will see on social media and through out the city from now till November for the 2017 CFF Festival.  Food styling by Paige Fletcher.  Make-Up and hair by Traci Moore.  Moral support, Iris Midler and my amazing agent, Heather Williams.

Kelly Miracle….

….a senior at the University of North Texas, studying communication design with a focus on art direction.  Kelly reached out to us earlier this year to help her with her school projects.  First for the Cookie Dough project and most recently the Grilled Cheese campaign, from concept, to art direction, to styling, Kelly does it all!  She graduates this May and is ready to take on the world of advertising!  This girl makes it happen!  Visit her website here.

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