Barista Magazine’s Behind the Scenes With Ian Williams and Dustin Tolman

We share bonus content from our latest issue with cover photographer Dustin Tolman.


Note: The resolution of these images has been edited to fit the format of this platform.

Our April + May 2020 15th anniversary issue of Barista Magazine features our friend Ian Williams, owner of Deadstock Coffee in Portland, Ore. In our cover story, we talked with Ian about his ambitious journey from Nike janitor to Nike designer, which ultimately led to the opening of his own sneaker-themed coffee shop. For the feature cover and photo spread, we had the pleasure of working with Ian’s friend Dustin Tolman, video producer and lifestyle photographer also based in Portland. Today, we feature some bonus shots from the spread, as well as an interview with Dustin on how the shoot came together.

Ian Williams is the owner of Deadstock Coffee and the cover star of our latest issue!

Barista Magazine: You and Ian are good friends. How did that contribute to the vibe of the shoots?

Dustin Tolman: I try to surround myself with dope people, and Ian is def one of those people. As a friend he’s super down to earth and always has sage and honest advice. Sneakers, design, coffee, and entrepreneurship are aspects that we can have fluent conversations about. Working with Ian on the cover just felt like another friendly conversation. 

Ian roasts at Buckman Coffee Factory, a shared roasting facility in Portland.

You shot at a variety of interesting locations, including Index (a consignment sneaker shop in Downtown Portland). How did you guys come up with the locations?

All of the locations we chose to shoot in revolved around Ian’s immediate community:
Buckman Coffee Factory: Ian has been roasting here for years. 
Index PDX: A neighbor, collaborator, and OG in Portland’s sneaker resell community. I’ve also shot things here for other projects.
Tactics: A skate shop that does exclusive Nike Dunk/SB drops. One of Ian’s favorite shoes is the SB Dunk. When I captured him at the StrangeLove Dunk, he was in his element here, clinging onto a raffle ticket in hopes of scoring a pair. Unfortunately he was left holding his tickets, not sneakers.
Collab PDX: Cover shot … neighbors and collaborators of Ian. They do most of the video content for Ian’s IG page. 

Ian Williams (right) and his raffle tickets pictured with Guy Gaffney (left).

Are you as into sneakers as Ian is?

I’d say Ian is more of a “sneakerhead” than I am, as he has built his entire career/business around sneaker culture.

What’s your usual order at Deadstock Coffee?

My usual order at Deadstock is an 8-ounce drip; however, since the pandemic started I’ve been grabbing three or four bags of beans, finally breaking in the espresso machine at my house. My second is the LeBronald Palmer, a concoction of sweet tea, lemonade, and coffee.

What’s something big you’ve learned about coffee from Ian since you’ve been friends?

While working with Ian on this project, I learned that coffee and sneakers are a lot alike in that an origin is like the make and model, and the roast is like a colorway.

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Barista Magazine is the leading trade magazine in the world for the professional coffee community.