Thursday, August 21, 2014

It's turkey time!

We had some fun recently shooting for the Turkey division of a long time client. As always, behind the scenes and out of sight of the camera, everything tends to look a little different.

An interesting challenge with this project was we needed to find a way to photograph four farmers once and have the ability at a later date to change out the food they were holding. We decided the best solution was to choose one plate and one platter that we would use over and over again. We made a support device that would hold the empty plate and platter in a fixed position that allowed the models to hold them differently expressions and body positions. 

Whenever there's a chance we will shoot additional images that require the same look and feel (lighting, spacial relations, perspective, etc.), we craft drawings and take measurements of everything on set. This allows us to recreate the exact set-up and shoot more food that can be photoshopped onto the plate and platter we originally shot with the farmers. And an added bonus – by keeping the plate/platter supporting device thin, we have minimal retouching! 

Model and food set all in one.

Our hero turkey shot that will be placed on an empty platter our farmer is holding.

Stylist Sarah Thompson Lift getting our GQ farmer ready for his close-up.

Always fun to photobomb the food stylist.

It never looks the same from the back of the set.

I always have to have my hands involved in something, to the chagrin of the stylist.

How about a little left? No right. No left! It looks perfect just where you had it. (:-)

Putting the final paint stripper touches on the bird.

Wardrobe, please!

Farmer gear.

Any time there is a chance we will be shooting additional shots that need to have the same look and feel,
our assistant takes tons of measurements and photos so we can recreate the same look again. Thanks Ben!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Visual Branding Part 2

At David Morris Photography we continue to shoot for awesome clients who see the value in the consistent look and feel we provide them.

In 2011 I blogged about Visual Branding and the importance of continuity in your images. Whether it's stills or video, many clients want a consistent look in their marketing materials. Here's why – it makes them instantly recognizable and conveys quality and reliability.

To provide this consistency, we document every detail of our shoots. We also oversee all preparation, styling and lighting.

After post-production, we compare all imagery to ensure it has a harmonious look and feel.

Tiffany gives us the thumbs up that everything is looking good!

In the end, everyone is pleased. Even our equipment!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Lights, Camera, Action!

The storyboards are approved. The set is prepped and lit. The food is ready for its close-up. LIGHTS. CAMERA. ACTION! 

Easy, right? Well, what you may not know is it took two days, seven crew members, tons of video lighting and equipment, special effects rigging, specialty food equipment and then some to shoot two nine-second videos.

Oh, and I didn't mention all the footage editing and post production time.

We love shooting stills and video, but there's a lot of work that goes into it. If you're considering getting into shooting beautiful food and still life videos, remember, it can be way more complicated than you think!

Here is a link to the final video:

Storyboards for our two-day video shoot.

Video set.

The food is smiling and ready for its close-up!
Getting the lighting just right.

The crew protecting the camera from flying fruit and water.

Dumping tray after tray of fruit to get just the right look.

Capturing fruit being blended.

Shooting pour after pour to get just the right look.

Inspecting our handy work.

Looking good. Let's try one more take to get it perfect!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Backing Up Your Images

This is a short but important post. Part of a photographer's "behind the scenes job" is to back-up, archive and catalog every image he shoots for his clients.

This is a great article (and video) describing how one photographer handles backing up his work. This process may seem a bit excessive, but it's a good, safe approach. At our shop, we charge between $75 – $350 per job.

Remember, none of your equipment, software or time is free, so charge for it!