Let’s face it, you’d have to be either mad or a vegetarian to refuse a beautifully made pie or a scotch egg. Well I think so anyway but of course I happen to have a soft spot for anything a) wrapped in pastry or b) sausage. Cheese of course goes without saying! So armed with a very frugal breakfast (a Waitrose danish pastry and a coffee – not exactly healthy but still…) I set about today’s product photography event, arranging Godminster cheeses, nine different pies and six different scotch eggs (there were supposed to be five, so the extra one was an unexpected bonus). The fun comes when everything is unwrapped – we take a lot of care to make sure that everything is correctly labelled, there’s quite a bit of attention that goes on behind the scenes to make sure that we capture all of the products correctly. We have a precise shot list that ensures we capture everything in different orientations and different angles/lighting, according to our client’s preferred style. Of course we also put forward a couple of different shots just to give some alternative ideas, but the main point is to capture exactly what’s been requested, which is why we always take the time to discuss every shoot, no matter how small.
Apley Farm Shop stock some really exclusive products for the discerning shopper – the cheese is of course marketing for Valentine’s Day, the pies for general web based marketing (including two potential award winning ones) and the Scotch Eggs for marketing – having looked closely at the finished photos they’ll also find their way into my food portfolio. I’m of course very selective about the content of my portfolio, we shoot a lot of products and it’s a very crowded marketplace so only the best shots get considered.
It was an enjoyable way to spend a few hours, I had a good rummage around our props to find some nuts and a very romantic heart handled cheese knife along with a battered French chopping board (a story in itself) and we set about with the usual single light and a reflector – I’ve been using a really big softbox lately for marketing shots, preferring the softer wrap of light that results from having it almost in the shot. Food photography can get quite complex with lighting setups, particularly where highly reflective items are concerned, but there’s really no need to over complicate things when you’ve got it well arranged and a single carefully positioned flash to emulate window light can do the job perfectly well, with a big reflector helping to bring the shadows out a little and reduce the overall contrast. I sometimes put a very small amount of dodge into the shadows during post production and also increase the saturation a touch on the main product just to make it pop a little more.
I wanted to get a really rustic, clean spring like feel for some of this shoot and having the luxury of plenty of time I think these do the job nicely and they pass the “look good enough to eat” test, in fact my stomach is rumbling as I look at them now……