Menu Photographer, Menu Photography – Spendid Hotels Group.
The Spendid Hotel Group seem to have a simple philosophy. Spare nothing – the customers experience matters most. On a brief tour of one of their hotels prior to doing a menu and food photography shoot for them, we were stunned at the level of room finish – the furnishings and fabrics on an individual room by room basis, they were stunning – one room in particular a throw back to the sixties with amazing retro interior design! As for the dinning areas and bar… again, amazing level of finish, contemporary and what you’d want to be seen in!
So working with the chef, was as you would expect, a real treat. Using simple ideas, his focus was taste – not how fussy it looked on the plate. And more importantly – he made our job on the food photography shoot so easy – the huge trolly of herbs and edible props he’d thought might be useful – well the made the day. Before each dish he discussed his idea behind the dish, the ingredients he used and the focus of the taste created. It was our job then to simply reflect this in the image. Often basing his dishes on traditional recipes, the taste became uncomplicated the dish wholesome.
So when he came out with these skink tarts you can image the reaction to the team. The smell was sublime! It was a very simple idea, fusing Cullen Skin with traditional quiche type tartlets, set in individual portions… It was one of those dishes you could eat anywhere regardless of how the plate was dressed.
So, as we were allowed a little flexibility with the shoot – not just a plate shot – and with the way we presented the dish in the image, we broke out the ingredients, edible props and created a simple display using leek, left over Cullen skink, creased parchment and yes the small puff tarts. All in a busy restaurant! Lighting was kept simple – from a large window to the rear of the image – our only issue being that the light increased in intensity as the Edinburgh Tram pull up, bouncing yet more light into the room – so drivers, please, mind your timetables!
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