Lifestyle Photographer Buff Strickland Makes the Cut for Swift Meats

It’s been said that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. And what could be more appetizing than a juicy piece of steak seared to perfection?

Making the cut since 1855, Swift Meats knows a thing or two about the art of butchering quality and sustainable products. And they enlisted Austin-based food and lifestyle photographer Buff Strickland to capture those tender moments created while families are cooking and eating together.

I think there were several reasons the client chose me. One was my ability to work with a video team. I’ve done this so much in the past couple years. Also, I’m very comfortable shooting both food and people, and my images have the authentic feel they were looking for.


Overhead shot of a Swift pork shoulder shot by Buff Strickland.

Producer Tamber Johnson, who was working for Commerce House Agency at the time, recommended Buff for the job. The two have known each other since Buff’s early days as a photo assistant. After pre-pro meetings and a scout day to flesh out all the details, the project was underway. The Director Theresa Weingert was instrumental in casting the talent and taking care of the preliminary stages prior to the shoot.

We shot in three homes over three days in Austin. Great spaces but always challenges when trying to shoot with a motion crew. Mainly for space! But the production was top notch and director and her team were super collaborative and accommodating in allowing me to get what was needed.


Man in the kitchen seasoning Swift Meats.

Aside from the challenges that come with working on a project that requires a large crew, Buff was also faced with the difficult task of finding the best way to tell a story through her images out of a narrative that was created for video.

Some aspects of the story just didn’t translate without sound and motion. I had to figure out what worked for me. Although the team created some beautiful lighting it often wasn’t quite enough for stills. I definitely tested the limits of my camera’s IOS settings.


Cutting board full of cooked meats shot by Buff Strickland.
Pork chops on the grille shot by Buff Strickland.
Family gathering around a table full of food for Swift Meats.

With images that capture the moments around the dinner table, Buff and the team created a series that will have you eager for the next family gathering.

The energy was great! Lots of collaboration, talented crew. There were so many people on set. Director, art department, DP, sound, food stylist, you name it, we had it. It’s a challenge and a dance to all get what we need but we did it.

Cutting board full of different cooked Swift meats.
Family gathering around a table full of food outside for Swift Meats.
Three men gathering around and eating Swift Meats.

Born and raised in Texas, Buff travels all over the country for productions both large and small. Her work includes clients such as Travel and Leisure, Country Living, Foote, Cone & Belding, Food Network Magazine, Loews Hotels, HGTV, Michelob Ultra, and more.

See more of Buff’s work on her website.


Lifestyle Photographer Buff Strickland

Agency: Commerce House
Producer: Tamber Johnson (Tamco Productions)
Director: Theresa Wingert
Food Stylist: Meghan Erwin

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