Taking Freightliner to Flavortown

By Karl Sandell | Senior Photographer

Some of the best parts about photographing Freightliner trucks over the years has been meeting some interesting people and dealing with challenging situations. On a recent photoshoot in Santa Rosa, California, we got to do both. The assignment was to photograph both stills and videos of TV host and restaurateur, Guy Fieri. Guy had put together a 48-foot mobile kitchen to feed first responders after natural disasters, and Freightliner teamed up with him by supplying an M2 112 to pull it.

The plan was to shoot the interior and exterior of the truck and trailer at first light.  Then we’d spend an hour or so with Guy to get some footage and photos of him in and around the truck. After arriving early in the morning to photograph the truck, we were greeted by rain and fog. Given the weather, we gave up on the idea of sweet light and started inside the trailer/kitchen. This trailer is a complete commercial kitchen with multiple cook surfaces, ovens, deep fryers, refrigerators and a giant smoker. It was also all stainless-steel, making lighting a bit of a challenge. The rain had stopped but we still had fog, so we wiped down the truck and shot the exteriors.

Guy joined us after we finished shooting the exteriors. We had a long list of still and video shots to get that, honestly, seemed like too much to shoot in the time we had available, but we started with the interior shots. Guy’s passion for the project became apparent immediately. The last setup with Guy was out in front of the truck, and he told about his inspiration for putting the mobile kitchen together. During the 2017 Tubbs fire in Northern California, Guy was inspired to help feed thousands of first responders and displaced residents. Since putting the mobile kitchen on the road, he has traveled to numerous disaster locations and served over 120,000 meals.

The weather finally started to break so we took the truck and trailer out on a nearby road for some rolling shots and drone footage.  By noon we were packing up to leave.

For someone like me, who doesn’t watch cooking shows and barely aware of Guy Fieri, after seeing what he is doing to help others, I can honestly say I’m a fan.