Our ad agency friends in Chicago have a BBQ client. The art director on the project asked around, "where can I find the best BBQ photographer?" David Morris Photography was their choice. It was a two-day project to get all the styled food shots and product packaging completed. For the styled food shots they wanted a warm dramatic editorial look. This seems to be the food photography trend currently. The end results were pleased clients, some great photos, and a fun shoot. What more can you ask for?
In our second installment of this series, we're highlighting what it takes to work on a new food product brand launch.
You've heard the saying, "It takes a village," but what does that really mean? Well, a recent shoot we did required the combined effort of all of the following people:
That's a lot of cooks in the kitchen (pun intended)! But every one of them plays an integral part of the production. As a studio owner and photographer, it's David's job (and pleasure) to see that everyone works together to accomplish our primary goal. Over the years, we've been lucky enough to work with great clients and crews to produce superior images and have some fun along the way.
Check out some of the behind the scenes images from the new brand launch shoot. And be sure to check back for the third installment of this series in two weeks.
Our smiling artist representative busy lining up the next shoot.
What's everyone looking at?
Which version is best? Decisions, decisions, decisions!
The Associate Creative Director and client discussing composition and product placement.
Our food stylist and her assistant deciding who gets which beer after this shot!
Hitting the pitcher and it's not even Beer 30 yet.
Let's move this over here just a scosh.
Jeez...the photographer is touching the food.
Not ready to wave the white flag just yet!
"What do you think?"
"I don't know, what do you think?"
"Here, let me help."
Oh crap, the photographer is touching the food AGAIN!
We even capture these images on our trusty iPhones.
As we mentioned last month, we've been shooting some projects lately that convey different stories. The concept of these projects has been to entice the viewer with mouthwatering food and invite them into the world we've created.
In part two of our storytelling project, we'd like you to tell us the story instead of us walking you through it. We envisioned a plot that inspired these images. But the story we imagined may not be the story you see. What's your interpretation of these scenes?
The new year holds promises of a clean slate, revitalization, a new outlook. In line with that, we decided to do a little renovation at the studio to freshen it up. Our space lends itself to an urban-industrial feel, so we said, "Hey, why fight it?"
As you enter the studio, you are welcomed by our new chalkboard wall and collection of nicknacks. The chalk art here, and throughout the studio, was commissioned by the talented Lauren Hunt. You could stand here for an hour taking in all of the pieces David has collected over the years. There are antique cameras, eyeglasses he made out of camera lenses and family heirlooms, like the bench under the chalkboard. It was built in 1905 and was an original fixture in his grandfather's barber shop.
We did a little redecorating in the kitchen, too. Some new wallpaper and decor give it a fresh look and feel. All of the light fixtures received a facelift as well with new Edison bulbs.
We're really happy with how things turned out. So, stop by and take a peek! We'd love to give you the tour in person and celebrate the year ahead.
Cheers to a great start to 2015!
Our new chalkboard welcomes clients and gives Art Directors here for photo shoots a place to doodle.
We finally found a place to highlight the bench that was in David's grandfather's barber shop. The bench was built in 1905.
Sandblasted and casters added, these flat file cabinets are a great place for our photo collection!
A few more pieces from our collection.
Edison bulbs brighten the new light fixtures above the chalkboard.
Come on by! The chalk and eraser await your next visit.
The coffee table is an old train luggage cart accented with an antique book press.
Client area reading material.
Hand-painted antique safe.
Do you have the time?
Edison bulbs and a coat of paint revitalized the existing light fixtures over the bar.
More chalkboard art commissioned by Lauren Hunt.
The new look in action!
We were recently tasked with shooting a sunflower seed for an ad agency that specializes in agriculture. Their client needed the image for a billboard and print ad campaign. For comparison, sunflower seeds are about 3/8 inches tall by 1/4 inches wide. Billboards, on average, are 14 feet tall by 48 feet wide. So...in order to get images of the teeny, tiny seed as large as possible, we needed specialized equipment. We rented a Canon MP-E 65mm Macro Lens that is capable of 5x magnification and a focusing rail.
Because of the extreme magnification, we had very little depth of field – say, about the thickness of a sheet of paper. Therefore, we ended up employing a process called "focus stacking." We shot in increments of 1/4 centimeter to capture 15 images of the seed at various focal depths. While none of these 15 images had the seed entirely in focus, collectively, they contained the data needed to generate one focused image of a sunflower seed.
We used Photoshop to blend the 15 shots together and generate the final seed image. Photoshop masks out the unfocused areas and keeps the areas of the image that are in focus. The end result is a crystal clear image in focus from top to bottom. Stand-alone programs such as HeliconSoft and Zerene Stacker also offer this feature. If you plan to do a good deal of macro focus stacking, I'd suggest investing in a stand alone program.
Photography is about problem-solving and visually communicating what your client wants to say. This project employed one of the smallest subjects we've ever photographed, and we had a blast figuring out how to show every detail of a sunflower seed!
Wide view of our teeny, tiny set.
Closer view of the set and seed being photographed.
We shot the seed on its side as it was easier to light it horizontally. It was rotated vertically in post-production.
Focusing rail we rented, which allowed us to seamlessly move the camera 1/4 centimeter at a time.
David concentrating on focusing and shooting every 1/4 centimeter.
The final image with the "stacked" sunflower seed for the billboard campaign.
David's stylized version, with a more dramatic sky.