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?
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.
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.
We were recently commissioned to collaborate on the launch of a new brand for a major food corporation headquartered in Toronto, Canada. A project of this size requires dynamite coordination to ensure the production goes flawlessly.
In this three-part series, we're going behind the scenes to show you what it takes to prepare for a shoot of this size, what factors are taken into consideration and how decisions are made.
Our first challenge on this new brand launch was to capture still images for a print campaign. The client wanted a dark, rich setting that gave the imagery a dramatic look and feel. This required sourcing a multitude of backgrounds, surfaces, props and accessories. Once everything was pulled together, the client had a wide variety of options to choose from so we could achieve the desired look and feel.
Next, we fried everything from onion rings to mac & cheese bites, beer battered fries to mozzarella sticks and pickles. It was a fried food lover heaven! One of the great things about our commercial kitchen is that we have a commercial hood vent over the stove and fryers. If you've ever been a part of a fried food shoot, you know how invaluable this kitchen accessory is. It can take weeks for the "fried smell" to disappear from the studio if you don't have a hood vent.
Another important factor you must take into consideration when shooting a food product that is distributed to restaurants is serving size. That is why we weigh the product used in every photo. There's a lot of discussions that goes into serving size – is it a shareable appetizer or a small plate? Will it be served at a casual dining restaurant or a gastropub? All of these factors must be considered when plating a product. You don't want to visually over-promise the customer; otherwise, they'll be quite disappointed when their order arrives at the table.
With the first three days under our belt, we had a lot of fun and captured the rich imagery our client desired. Check back in a couple weeks for the next installment in this series where we'll take a look at how many people it actually took to pull off this production.
Until then, enjoy these behind the scene photos!
We're not praying to the fruit god, although it might look like it!
Doing a little last minute refinement to one of the backgrounds.
Props, props and more props!
The Associate Creative Director and his client discussing prop choices for the next shot.
This isn't how you grill your steak?
Fry, baby, fry!
Our food stylist assistant frying up some hot onion scoops.
The beer battered jalapeño bottlecap are ready for the spotlight in the next shot.
Now those are some nice looking rings!
The hero maxi cut fries are on set.
Everything gets weighed, even the fried pickles.
6 ounces right on the nose!
It's all about natural, beautiful lighting.
Tricks of the trade – sometimes we use a sheet of white paper to control the light.
The food styling must go on, even with a bum finger!
This project required the main camera to be locked down in one position. To capture a few different angles,
David hooked up a DSLR to another computer and shot each recipe from multiple viewpoints.
There's nothing like a runny yolk to dip your fries in!
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!