Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Art Directing and Hand Modeling

My day job is a graphic designer/marketing coordinator for a company that makes small kitchen appliances.  My favorite days at work are days when I art direct photo shoots and food styling.

First I prepare days ahead of time by looking through Williams Sonoma Catalogs, Wegmans Magazine, Food Network and anything else I can find for inspiration.  I collect photos to fit the theme of the current project, get ideas for food items, and how to prepare the food so it looks like food art.  The day before or day of the shoot I head over to Wegmans, voted the best grocery store in the United States, armed with the company charge card and my list of food items and supplies. 

Once I gather my supplies I start the prep work.  For the rotisserie photo above I cooked the chicken in the rotisserie the night before, so it looked fabulous the next day.  After I have the supplies and completed prep work I go over to Dave Wahl's (photographer) studio.  I work on some prep work for the day of the shoot like removing dust from the unit we're going to shoot, prepare the food, add the final touches.  I discuss the kind of shots I have in mind for the day with the photographer and I continue prepping. Most of the shoot involves a lot of cleaning...i know i know...not so glamorous, but I really enjoy it!

It's really interesting learning the behind the scenes tricks when photographing food.  For instance sometimes we use fake ice, ice cream, or steaks in shoots.  The above food is all real though.  Also, note my career in hand modeling above.  Yes, it's my hand.  Hand modeling isn't as easy as it looks.  You must keep your hand very steady which can be tricky when you're holding something heavy.

After the shoots is finished it's time to clean, clean, clean, then I pack things up.  Overall these are my favorite days because it's so neat to be in a photography studio and be physically involved in the process.  I think of all the cool ads, and giftboxes that I'll make that will be on QVC, in Target, Wegmans, Bed Bath & Beyond, Kohls, and Big Lots.  I love being a part of it.

1 comment:

  1. That sounds interesting and fun. I used to go to restaurants and take food shots of freshly prepared dishes. I definitely learned a lot about what looks good and what doesn't!