Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Food Photography Trends

Food photography, like fashion and interior design, has numerous visual trends.

We love to shoot with a loose, editorial look. It's one of the visual trends we have been noticing for a while. It’s a wonderful approach for some brands because it projects a more “real” and “approachable” look for their product.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Visual Branding

We recently shot another project for one of our outstanding clients. It was a perfect example of what David Morris Photo offers with regard to visual branding and capabilities.

For a number of years now we've helped develop libraries of visually branded images for various clients. What are "visually branded" images, you ask? Visually branded images are photography and video content that has the look and feel consistent with a particular brand's overall message and values. This way there is message continuity, not only in the logos, copy, and design, but in the photography and video content as well.

Visual branding is harder than it looks. Way before the photography ever begins, we spend time with the client. We familiarize ourselves and gain important insight about their brand. We discuss things like demographics, core values, and the brand's desired message.

For this project, the client charged us with continuing the same visual branding we had designed for them previously, while, at the same time, tweaking their message.

The brand's core values: Natural, Clean Tasting, Fresh, Flavorful, Healthy. It's targeted demographics include "foodies", female consumers, and high-end restaurants. The addition to the brand message for this series of images was versatility.

We normally start with a shot list. As you can see we take all kinds of notes.

Once we have a shot list we put together a reference story board with shot ideas and possible sides and send to the client.

After sending the client reference story boards, we schedule a preproduction meeting or conference call with the crew, food stylist and client. This is where we refine the look and feel of the visual branding, discuss food prep, presentation options, props and backgrounds.

Once the details of the plan are nailed down, our crew sets into motion. Our stylists visit select grocers and specialty stores hunting down top of the line food options. We, similarly, hit the streets looking for any new or unique props (plate ware, silverware, backgrounds) that the client has expressed an interest in. It's important to us that the extensive selection available at our studio stays diverse and up-to-date. I like to do the prop shopping myself since inspiration for a shot often strikes while I'm out browsing. Then it's on to setting up the shot set, refining lighting, pulling prop and background options, and making sure the equipment is working and color-balanced.

Shoot Day:

After everyone has settled in with some breakfast and a cup of our famous coffee (Okay, YOU may not have heard of it yet, but it's pretty famous around here), the photographer (me), client, agency, food stylist, assistants, and production coordinator all go over the day's game plan and discuss the first shot.

Once the shot order has been determined, prep begins in the kitchen, backgrounds and props are selected, and the camera angle is set.

Once the plates are picked, the food is plated and it's off to the set for the beauty shot. A few tweaks here and there, then final approval.

For this project we not only shot stills, but video as well. This allows the client to ensure continuity between both in their visual branding.

Time is critical when shooting food, so we've integrated our video equipment and photo equipment. This saves time and money for our clients, and allows us to do both motion and stills without having to re-style the food.

The results? As you can see, we ended up with a tweaked, yet consistent visual branding message that remained true to the client's brand values.