Food Photographer, Food Photography – Barra Bronze Turkeys.
An interesting challenge, to not only photograph but to service through props! Yes, we have loads of props over 2000 items in last years count so goodness knows what’s there now – too many according to the accountant as they cost so much, nearly all sourced from specific periods in the past – all vintage nothing modern. And yet when it comes to a 16Kg turkey subject, it feels like trying to stuff Giant Haystacks – the wrestler – into a Lilliputian’s shoes! So our first challenge was to come up with a style and then source the props to match in the right size.
The owner of Barra Bronze Turkeys wanted ‘rustic contemporary’ as so many food companies do – a blend of the old with a nice modern twist so ‘ye olde’ is avoided. But then, do we do Christmas, Thanks Giving or what? We convinced the owner to think of a style that could be adapted in the shoot – starting with a more contemporary feel to the image which could be used year long, after all a Turkey isn’t just for Christmas!
Then it could be
adapted to a Christmas feel later as an option. This gave the owner scope and a wider use for the images in PR and advertising. Subsequently, he choose all non Christmas images!
This proves one thing. As a client, always talk your ideas and options through with a studio, then let them explore ideas and do not confined them to a single prescribed idea and style. You never know they may just have something you haven’t thought about up their sleeves,
So to the shoot. Lighting was light and airy. We’re finding the 5DS units we have handle light completely differently to our traditional 1Ds Canon bodies, in that the images are always less dark – good sometimes and a pain if you want a dark broody image. This image only had a single light source to create the shafts of light – nothing more and was shot on a day it rained and rained, so there was little light coming in from the windows. Due to the size of the bird we’d had to source new roasting pans and reached out to the Vintage Kitchen Store and they pulled a miracle, yes, non- enamelled roasting pans which at the time seemed to be completely absent from the world! New backgrounds had to be made – due to the size of the subject – and the whole shoot was conducted on the floor not the usual shoot tables – this despite the tripod and cross bar being set at maximum. Shooting tethered, we then simply built the image at ground level – it’s back breaking do it that way by the way – up and down, down and up!
And then the technical bit. We’re still fighting L series lenses it seems – distortion seems to be as bad as ever and one this occasion being shot in this fashion it seemed worse despite the camera body being set perfectly over the top and set with spirit levels. So all the images were shot ‘long’ and then through the process of lens filtering in Photoshop ‘shortened’ to the finished size. A great shoot, challenging in all the right ways so that we now have a new work flow for large food products which is completely different to the norm.
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