Paci Restaurant

From time to time something can go terribly wrong on a photo assignment that has nothing to do with my photography gear failing, or a big mistake I made.

On a bright sunny Monday in August, I was assigned to photograph a beautiful restaurant in Southport, Connecticut which is over an hour drive west on I-84. The Paci Restaurant is in an old renovated brick train station. The train platform is still there adjacent to the restaurant. The train mainly brings commuters to work in New York City and back home again.

I introduced myself to the owner and I took a self-guided tour of the bar, outdoor patio, and the dinning rooms on the first and second floor to get a feel for how I would create the Google virtual tour and still photos. The restaurant was normally closed that day and it was set up nicely for photography.

As I started taking the still photos I was approached by the owner who was quite upset about a clock in the main dining room that wasn’t working. I told her that I would continue taking photos of the outdoor patio, and the bar area while she got it working again. She told me that the clock has always been a main feature of the restaurant's ambiance, reminiscent of the bygone days when the train station was in full service and I wouldn't be allowed to photograph the dinning room if the clock wasn't working. I didn’t remember seeing a clock anywhere in the dining room.

I had the sinking feeling that I would need to complete the assignment on another day, taking another one hour drive each way again, wasting half a day. Additional help was called in to diagnose the issue with the clock. As I eventually found out, the clock was virtual. It was a projection of a clock on the brick wall from a laptop computer. After a long wait it was discovered that the problem was a faulty HDMI cord that had frayed. 

As you may remember from a previous post, I strive to have back up gear with me at all times. I happened to have a new HDMI cord in my camera bag which had come in handy when an owner of an auto dealership wanted to view the photos I had just taken, on a big screen tv in his office. Having it with me saved me from a rescheduled photo assignment this time. The virtual clock looked great; harkening back to the time when most people didn’t own a watch and trains were the main mode of long-distance transportation. The trains were always expected to run on time.

I happily worked my way through the restaurant photographing still images and panoramas which would go up on Google and Google maps. The owner told me that often couples would meet at the restaurant to have dinner after a long day at work and a train ride back home from New York City. You can take the virtual tour here:

Despite the anxiety, this is why being a photographer brings me joy. I can’t think of a more pleasant way of spending the day than photographing a beautiful restaurant on a warm summer day, except maybe the time I got to photograph the marina in Old Saybrook, CT.

Tim Becker
Creative Images Photography
901 Main Street
Manchester, CT 06040


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