Speakeasy Sips

Being a young adult at the ripe ol' age of 21, alcohol is a new friend of mine. And there's nothin' better than getting to drink on the job.

OK, so these drinks weren't actually alcoholic. Our guide for the day apparently thought that drinking before 2 p.m. was a bit excessive, so requested the drinks be made virgin-style. I didn't voice my disapproval, as that would be unprofessional, but that rum runner would've been a lot better with actual rum.

A few weeks ago, I took a voyage with a reporter to a town on Long Island called Stony Brook. The city is trying to boost its tourism by highlighting the speakeasy culture that boomed there in the 1920s.

Apparently, Stony Brook, having great access via waterways, was hopping with rum runners, bootleggers and flappers during the roaring '20s. Although that may have been illegal back in the day, that hasn't stopped the tourism board of Stony Brook from trying to highlight on this culture. The town has even made an itinerary that caters to the historic events that once occurred there, making note of stops like the mill and speakeasies along the way.

I was really excited when we arrived at The Country House in Stony Brook. The restaurant is revamped from an old farm house and even has its own resident — and friendly — ghost. It was a beautiful place with fantastic food, which we got to sample on the job.

I was even more excited when the owner, Bob Willemstyn, brought out drinks to photograph, as I remembered all that laborious work we spent learning to photograph metal and glass in Advanced Techniques last fall. Obviously this wasn't a studio shoot, so I had to use the speedlights I had on hand.

I only used the speedlights for a few shots, to be honest. I remember an on-location trick Rita Reed went over in class, which was to use window light or an in-house light to backlight the glass. Especially since the drinks were especially colorful, this is what I knew I wanted to do. I think it turned out pretty well. Glad my education has paid off so far!