I think most people's personal contacts with photographers would typically be with the portrait/wedding photographer. Of course, I've shot my share of weddings, seniors and other portraits, but that was never really my intention getting into the business of photography. Therefore, I've returned to my origins of art photography and commercial photography.
I live in a small market and I spend a bit of time educating people on how my business is different from portrait studios. Let me be the first to say, there are a ton of superb photographers in my network that totally rock weddings, seniors and babies. If you are in the market for that type of work, I'd be glad to point you in the right direction.
I've often shared my art photography here online, so today I want to discuss the commercial side. Commercial photography relates more to advertising, marketing, model and product photography. I've also shared quite a bit of modeling photography through my work with the Academie Agencie in Fargo, so this time I thought I'd share product photography and specifically food photography.
I have the wonderful opportunity to work almost daily with an outstanding chef. Chef Trevor Heintzman of Charley's @the Goss has been blowing away diners with his creations since his arrival at the Goss Opera House. I recently shared how much fun it is to photograph musicians and their passion. I can tell you, it is equally as much fun to photograph Chef Trevor's amazing creations.
There are different ways to photograph food. Some are staged and use a variety of "tricks" to make the food look better. I'm sure most of you have seen the extreme of this. Look for a photo of a Whopper or a Big Mac and then compare to the one you get from the drive thru. For fun, here's a post that shows some of the different ways food can be "styled". I certainly want to show food or any product in the best possible way, but I am not a fan of gimmicks. When a customer views my photo and then comes to purchase that item, I want them to see the same thing.
As in almost everything else I photograph, I much prefer the "real" light from the sun as opposed to studio light.
While I don't go in for gimmicks, color, texture, shadow and layout are very important to me in the composition.
Much like photographing musicians, it is so much easier to photograph true passion. Chef Trevor's food is as much art as it is sustenance.
I believe product photography is a huge advantage in relaying information to customers. Sure, the menu at Charley's @ the Goss gives a nice description of the Avocado Seafood Ceviche, but I'm not sure most customers would be able to visualize this fantastic appetizer in their minds quite like the photo in conjuction with the the text can.
Sometimes, it isn't even specifically just about photographing the end product, but the preparation. Trust me, showing customers this photograph of Chef Trevor going the extra mile by spending all night smoking ribs for an outdoor concert event made a huge impact with his customers.
One more of Chef Trevor's creations, just because it looks so darn good. If you happen to find yourself in Watertown, South Dakota, you really ought to visit Charley's @ the Goss and sample some of this fantastic food for yourself.
In addition to photographing Chef Trevor's amazing creations, I also get an opportunity to photograph cocktails. Here's one we whipped together for a promotion.
Cocktails are often as much about environment as they are about the drink. This one was fun to bring in the colors and lights of the bar into the composition.
I'd love for more businesses in my market to learn about commercial photography and how my business can help bring the pictures to their stories. Give me a shout, I'd love to talk.
Until next time!