What better way to introduce my brand spankin’ new blog with some amazing fresh food!

I did this shoot recently for a good friend of mine, Jonnie Karan, the owner/operator of Thrive Juice Bar in Uptown Waterloo.  Without question, this is the tastiest power food around -No Guff.  You can simply pop in to refuel with a Wheat Grass Shot or Acai Berry Blast  -to beat any mid-day funk- but you can also stick around and enjoy a wonderful atmosphere with the most fabulous sandwiches, soups, pastas etc etc.  Hey! FUEL FOR LIFE, baby!  For those of you who have never treated yourself to Vegan Cuisine, Do it HERE and you can thank me later.

Brace yourself: Making images of food is normally not my thing, ok?  A number of years ago, it was a regular gig but these days most of my work is with Human Beings.  Hey, I like to banter, to joke, even to dance with my subjects but this turned out to be a really nice little departure for me.  And ain’t it important to keep it fresh?…besides, this little gig wasn’t without some perks:  Jonnie had me up to my ears in wonderful, absolutely sumptuous, mouth-watering LOCAL FOOD and DRINK.  On this day it was my taste-buds doing the dancing! Enough pitchin’ for now, photographically speaking, the job went thusly…

THE GIG:  Food Shoot for Online Menu.

THE CHALLENGE:  Client needed online visual upgrade.  No question; the styling, lighting and shooting of food can be an arduous experience.  It can take hours and hours to get a single image just right.  We had 5 hours for 15 menu items….do the math.

THE SOLUTION:  Homework, homework, homework.  Wunderkind Art Director, Jeffery Weber and I went over and over the concept: “beautiful-food-against-the-backdrop-of-a-bustling-kitchen-with-quintessential-beauty-shots-if-there-is-time”.  Easy, right? We discussed as many possibilities, pitfalls and logistics issues we could think of.  We had to consider that, within the time allotted, not only were we going in tight to show off lush greens, but also pulling back for wide shots that included background action!  As such the lighting could not stay stagnant for an assembly line approach because of the variety of food hues and consistencies.  We had to script it out shot by shot…and then do impromptu technical rehearsals.  This was the key:  We may’ve only had 5 hours of shooting time but preproduction was definitely not skimped on.  I cannot stress enough the importance of effective preproduction especially when you have a limited time frame.  Think it through again and again and again…and when that’s done, think through every last detail again.  Write it down, memorize, set it on fire OK OK OK…. I think you might get it, right?!

TECHNICAL:  In terms of lighting I used between 3 and 5 speedo strobes to balance with the beautiful flood of ambient.  Most were scooped and bounced, but some had grids for tighter focus.  I had a couple of 4×4 frames with 216 and 250 dif….and lots of bounce options; 4x8s of white foam core, Roscoe silver lux, gold lux and some neat little concave mirrors I found in my favourite shop ever, KW Surplus.  I shot this on my Nikon D2x with a Nikkor 50mm lens.  Images were edited in Photomechanic and corrected in Photoshop.  With our skeleton crew of Jonnie Karan (doing a fab styling job), Jeffery Weber, and our lovely and talented model, Lianne Forler, we went to work….

It got LEAFY and SASSY.

It got BUBBLY and SAVORY .

And then it just got SWEET!

And I think we done good.  I walked away from this with a renewed appreciation for food photography -seriously, it’s been too long.  Jumping back into the fray was such a welcome change from the norm.  Most importantly, in the end the client LOVED the images and dynamic vibe we created.  The site menu is up and business is absolutely THRIVING!