Editorial Portrait Photography Girona - The Roca Brothers, Cellar de Can Roca Restaurant, Girona, Catalonia, Spain

 14/3/14 Joan Roca (right) with brothers Josep (middle) & Jordi, outside El Cellar de Can Roca restaurant, Girona, Spain. Photo by James Sturcke | www.sturcke.org

Editorial Portrait Photography Girona

I had two reoccurring thoughts in the run up to photographing the Roca brothers at their extraordinarily famous restaurant in Girona, Catalunya. The first was: “Don’t screw it up!” The second was: “How can I do something different?”

Celler de Can Roca was ranked the World’s Best Restaurant 2013 by Restaurant Magazine. The three brothers who run it - Joan, Josep and Jordi - are among the most famous chefs on the planet.

Falstaff, an Austrian foodie and high living magazine, were so pleased to get a slot with all three Rocas that they decided to fly over the editor for the interview. I knew they expected me to make some stunning portraits and that I’d have very little time to do them.

Preparation is key to portrait photography

Preparation and planning are key here. I read up on the brothers and their rise from humble origins working in their parents’ restaurant, Can Roca, just along the road from El Celler. The oldest brother Juan was regularly portrayed as the responsible one. Jordi, the youngest, the anarchical creative and Josep somewhere in between.

Brotherly camaraderie was key to their success, I read, so I thought hard about how to show these ideas through photos. Above all I wanted to show that despite all their fame they remained grounded and playful.

In the end I had two 10-minute sessions with them. Jordi, the anarchical one, arrived two-hours late for the interview so even he missed the first session inside the restaurant. “Are they game to jump or go on the swings?” I wondered as we started the second session outside. Well, yes they were.

And afterwards Joan told me: “We’ve been photographed all over the place but never on the swings before!” Job done!!