Ethnosh is a project that connects the public to immigrant-owned restaurants with photography, storytelling, and tasting events. When I photograph for Ethnosh, I’m always trying to represent each restaurant as distinctly as possible. This can be challenging because many of the restaurants aren’t able to spend a lot of time on the shoot. Many don’t have a lot of space for us to use during the shoot. But, these constraints can push us into interesting results.
On a recent shoot for Ethnosh we were photographing Lao Kitchen, a new Laotian restaurant attached to Alounemay Oriental Market along one of Greensboro’s immigrant business corridors. The restaurant itself is very small and windowless. We didn’t want to take up all their space with lights and gear, so we decided to set up outside and take advantage of the directional light of the late afternoon sun. It was a hot, humid, and bright southern day. The restaurant owner Suny squinted up at the sun and said, “Just like Laos,” and we thought… Perfect