In this captivating episode, host George Blitch sits down with renowned photographer Jody Horton to unravel the detailed craft of cookbook storytelling, and the intricate tapestry of wildlife photography. Horton, an artist with a keen eye for the vivid world of food, travel, lifestyle and wildlife imagery, shares his journey and the evolution of his passion, tracing back to the early days amidst the surge of local food sustainability, leading up to his involvement in prestigious projects, including two James Beard award-winning collaborations.

The discussion delves into the nuanced dance of wildlife photography, as Horton reveals the tactics that allow him to meld into nature's canvas, capturing vibrant, elusive shots of the hunt. Horton’s recount of his experience not only illuminates the patience and skill required in this field but also offers a glimpse into the unpredictability of capturing such fleeting moments.

The conversation then shifts towards the creation of timeless cookbooks, highlighting Horton's role in “The Turkey Book”, a collaboration with Jesse Griffiths (their 3rd together), that encapsulates the essence of the wild. He details the efficient planning and rapid production process that brought the book to fruition in less than a year, a testament to the meticulous execution and dedication behind the scenes. The audience is given a peek into the world of long-term cookbook ventures (Jody has done almost 20 cookbooks), where Horton speaks on the allure of cooking with fire and the profound significance of constructing a space that breathes life into the art of photography.

Horton’s narrative continues, revealing the transformation of his career from a fledgling food photographer during a time when the profession was scarcely populated, to a sought-after expert in the field. His initial forays with publications like Garden and Gun and Texas Monthly led to a burgeoning reputation and the opportunity to work on impactful projects that resonated with his ethos. This trajectory underscores the importance of credibility and experience in navigating the competitive landscape of food, travel and lifestyle photography.

The episode also addresses the journey of finding and creating the ideal studio space in Austin (St. John Studios), where Horton could harness natural light to its fullest potential. He recounts the arduous search for the perfect location, ultimately transforming a rundown building into a versatile studio that could accommodate a wide range of food and beverage projects. His studio's design, crafted to provide efficient and diverse shooting environments, epitomizes Horton's commitment to excellence and innovation in his work.

As the auditory journey concludes, the topic of legacy is brought to the forefront. Horton reflects on the imprints we leave behind, both in imagery and in life, sharing candid thoughts on balancing the pursuit of passion with family life and the importance of nurturing a living legacy. The episode serves as a trove of inspiration for those moved by the interplay of light, lens, and life's magical moments, offering a heartfelt perspective from the heart of Jody Horton's world.

Listeners are invited to connect with Horton and follow his continued journey through his photography website and other ventures. For those interested in collaboration or simply keeping up with his work, this episode is a must-listen, providing invaluable insights into the mind and craft of a master storyteller and photographer.

George Blitch
"Keep your aim as true as your word" - GB