Recently we were asked by one of our clients to fly around the country and photograph their retail stores. How hard could that be?
As always, it's never as easy as it looks. The client requested they all needed to have a consistent look and feel.
If you've ever shot on location, you know this isn't as easy to achieve as one might think. Here were just a few of the challenges we had to overcome.
1. Weather: All the locations had different weather conditions. Some locations were perfectly clear, one location we were dodging thunderstorms, and others were totally cloudy when we needed to shoot.
2. We had only one opportunity to get the photograph: Since we had a number of locations and a tight schedule to keep we didn't have the luxury to wait until the weather was perfect to get the shot.
3. Circumstances out of our control: A number of the locations had surprises. All of the store's exterior lights are controlled by the corporate office.
There was no switch or timer that we could control at the local retail store to turn the lights on or off. For some reason one of the stores exterior lights didn't come on until way after dark. Not ideal shooting conditions. Another location had brick pavers instead of asphalt as it's parking lot surface. Last but not least, one of the stores had a tree planted that obscured the view of the building at the angle we needed to shoot.
As you can see, with the talented retouching artistry of Tiffany Matson, we were able to make the stores look beautiful and consistent.
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?
Early in my photographic career, two of my photographer friends were out on a fine art photo trip and I suggested we all take a photo from the same tripod holes. I wanted to experiment and see if we all saw the world in the same way.
To my surprise, all of our photographs looked completely different. We all have, what I call our own "Visual Language". Everyone sees the world in their own unique way.
I recently took this a step further and looked to see if there were any similarities between my personal fine art photography and my commercial photography.
What do you think?
For those of you just getting started, the process of finding your personal "Visual Language" will take some time.
The best way I know to figure this out is to shoot, shoot, shoot!
The other advice I have that has helped me figure this out is, print out little thumbnail prints (no more than 2x3 inches ) of your favorite images. Lay them out on the floor and start putting the images together that look and feel similar. This will help you start seeing your own "Visual Language".
Thanks for joining us for our final installment in this three-part series on launching a new brand. If you've followed along, you know that we've discussed what it takes to prepare for a large photo and video shoot, how many people it actually takes to pull off a production, what factors are taken into consideration when planning and prepping and how decisions are made on set.
One of the components of this multifaceted project was a video to announce the launch of the brand into the marketplace. Our client challenged us to capture all of the following in a two-minute video – the ease with which a number of their products could be prepared, customers in a restaurant enjoying the prepared products and multiple testimonials from actual brew pub owners talking about why they liked and used the products.
Add to that a script that was still in flux days before the shoot began, some extremely short deadlines, the logistical aspect of shooting at four locations, confirming models, extras, food recipes, props, etc...you get the idea. While it was a lot to wrangle, capture and edit, it was a challenge we were totally up for!
Shooting in the studio and on location in Kansas City, Grand Rapids, MI and Springfield, MO, we captured days of video footage. We can't say enough about how wonderful the video crew, food stylists, production coordinators, talent agency, and others we're surely failing to remember were, and how they were the ones who really made this large production come together.
A special thank you to Isaac Alongi who DP'd, edited and colored this video project. Without his talent and flexibility, the end result would not be nearly as beautiful as it is.
It truly takes a village, and we've got a great one surrounding us!
Be sure to check out the final video.
Our Assistant Food Stylist making sure we have enough fries in the bowl before shooting begins.
Getting the thumbs up from talent!
Our Food Stylist putting the final touches on the hero plate of food.
The Associate Creative Director reporting back to his team at home on how the shoot's going.
Making sure everything is lookin' good on location in Grand Rapids, MI.
We used a two camera set up for the Brew Chef interview videos.
Q&A with a local Brew Chef about why he uses these products.
A fun little clip of David directing the talent...or was it him just saying out loud what he needed his assistant to bring him?
Click on the image to play the launch video.
We've been shooting some projects lately that tell more of a visual story than straight-up product shots. The concept of these projects has been to entice the viewer with mouthwatering food and invite them into the world we've created. Let us walk you through a couple of the stories.
I know you can smell warm peanut butter cookies with a hint of coffee from the Java Jam drizzled on top. You can feel the ice cold, creamy milk as it hits the back of your throat, chasing the tasty cookie. You can also imagine yourself in that warm, sun-drenched kitchen listening to the birds chirp through an open window on a lazy weekend afternoon. Can't you?
Fresh local milk and Java Jam topped peanut butter cookies
It's summertime in the South. Someone grabs an old, weathered table and drags it under a huge oak tree for a picnic on a steamy afternoon. On the menu? Spicy Southern fried chicken, buttermilk biscuits smothered with Tupelo honey, pickled tomatoes from the garden, cabbage slaw and fresh squeezed lemonade. Finger-Lickin' good!
Summertime Southern fried chicken with pickled tomatoes
Some "behind the scenes" captured while shooting these two images...