We love food photography! Hot foods, cold foods, finger foods…any kind of food! My favorite response is “wow…I am so hungry now!” once someone sees my photos of food. And it seems like it is always right before lunch or some other meal! It makes my day. If I can take some ordinary food and photograph it in such a way that your mouth starts to water and you really, really want to eat it, I guess I have done my job!
Here is the link to our food photography portfolio: Food Photography
Not everyone need a photo of their food, and in fact, we have all seen way too many images of food on FaceBook and we wonder why our friends need to show up their food! But when you do need a photo of food, it needs to be of the highest quality. It needs to look fresh and inviting, with quality ingredients and like it was just made for you. And that is the challenge I love! Armed with a full kitchen, excellent lighting, the help of an expert food stylist (never leave home without one!) and a few tricks up my sleeve..i can take the ordinary and create a succulent dish for any occasion and any taste. And it always seems like I get alot of questions from people who have “seen” this done on TV or youtube and know exactly how it is done. such as…
- Do you use a lot of fake food in your photography? – Nope…almost everything I shoot is real food and can be eaten. Now you probably don’t want to eat it after it has set out all day, but it is real and you can eat it!
- Ice cream is really mash potatoes isn’t it! – ice cream or other frozen products are really hard to shoot because you do use real ice cream or what ever is frozen.
- Do you get to eat all of the food you shoot? – Why do you think I love food photography? I dont eat it all myself…sometimes we split it up with the crew or take a bunch home. And sometimes there is a lot of food left over. To get bread good enough for just one sandwich, I usually use one loaf of bread. Always have at least 6 of everything, and a store nearby to run to just in case you need one more….whatever….to go in the shoot.
- What is the hardest thing about food photography? – I would have to say that lighting the food correctly is the hardest thing. You need to use light to make it look ready to eat, fresh, and yummy! Plus lighting sets the mood and the scene as well.
- What is one item you can’t do without on a food shoot? – Well I never…or rarely…shoot without a food stylist. I know a lot about food and styling it, but the stylist is who puts on that final touch that turns an ordinary sandwich into a masterpiece! Plus water and glycerine. Never shoot anything without that!
- Favorite food story? – I’d have to say it was when I was shooting for a local company and it was a three day shoot. We had all of the food on site, including chocolate chip cookies. Over the three days the cookies disappeared and by the time we got to them, there was only one left. And we need a full box! (hey…everyone was eating them!) So I did the next best thing. I found another box of sugar cookies, put the one chocolate chip one we had left in the front of the box, and then photoshoped the rest of the cookies in place! The client was so relieved and I was the hero!
- And lastly…never fall in love with the stand-in…only the hero!
If you run a kitchen, a catering company, create a food product or just love food…we would love to create amazing images of your food. We have a full kitchen in our studio located in Renton, but we can also shoot on location as well. Take a look at our portfolio and call us for that next project you have with food!
In this new era of digital photography, everyone who takes pictures or uses them or even handles them, needs to understand and hopefully practice good work flow practices. What is “work flow practices” you ask? Simply put, it is the process of adhering to a set of practices to maintain the integrity of an image throughout its life cycle. That doesn’t sound all that simple! Let me break it down into smaller fragments so that you figure out where you are along the path and perhaps what you need to shore up in your work flow. And before I start, I must admit that what I am going over here is not new and I have not created nor discovered this information. In fact, all of it can be found at www.dpbestflow.org, a website dedicated to work flow processes. But in a nut shell here it is.
The life cycle of an image or the work flow that surrounds it is made up of five different stages. those stages are capture, ingestion, working, archiving, and output. Lets take a look at each of those stages and how best to handle them.
Capture: Regardless of what camera you are using, images need to be captured in the best quality possible. Nowadays, that is usually a RAW format. For some jobs JPEG is acceptable to use such as event photography and the like. But for most projects and uses, RAW format is going to be the best.
Ingest: this one sounds alot like eating and in a way it is the same idea. Ingesting involves downloading, renaming, adding bulk metadata, add develop settings, backup, send to viewer, and visual inspection. this is usually the spot where alot of people get stuck because they are not sure how to get it all done easily and so they might just down load it, develop it and maybe…maybe…do a backup. But the rest can be done quickly and effienctly with the right software. And most of it can be done with one or two pieces of software. My #1 choice is Adobe’s Lightroom. The little jewel will do everything for you except the back up part. And if you actaully do the renaming, metadata developing here, it will save you so much time in the future when you want to put your hands on it again. For my money, this is where the biggest time saver is and the part that can keep you sane. For the back-up I am going to suggest Chronosync. This software not only can back up your files and hard drives, but help you sync them to avoid duplicates and also provide verification for them as well.
Working: this part of the workflow is actually working with your files. it includes additional groupings, rating for quality, adjusting and final output. With this step it is more hands on work as you have to look at the images and make decisions on them based an quality and use. And this is where Adobe’s Photoshop will come into play as well. it seems everyone wants to get here as fast as possible so they can play with Photoshop…and I don’t blame them becasue i love it also! But if you don’t do the other work in front of this step then it will cost you time and money.
Archiving: This step can come into play at several different places because you might want to archieve master files, variations of developed files and final ones. Plus we all know (although we all dont do it) the importance of backing up our files and our hard drives. it is recommended that you use the 3-2-1 system for backing up images and hard drives. You make 3 copies of the data, 2 different media and 1 stored offsite. And again, if you are on the MAC, which I am so i am speaking to that platform, Chronosync is a wonderful piece of software to use for all of your backup needs.
And there you go in a nutshell. Of course there is so much more involved! I would suggest you take a look at the web site – www.dpbestflow.org for more information. Or if you want, we can come to your place of business and give you hands-on training in your own personal workflow. Give us a call and we would love to talk to you about your specific needs and how we can help!
It happens at just the right moment….click….flash….and you have captured the image, freezing time as if it were. And with this image of the water drop, timing really was everything. A moment too soon or a moment to late and the all you get is a ripple in the water. But when everything works like it should, you get the beauty of the drop and it ability to somehow defy gravity. This image might also provoke several questions..like, “How did you do it?” or, “why do water drops look like that?” or “it might look pretty, but what does this have to do with my business?”. So a few answers.
We started with a large tray that we lined with a black plastic and filled it with a inch or so of water. The trick here was to get the plastic lay as flat as possible so as not to create any unwanted reflections within the water itself. The blue in the water is a reflection off of a gray background with a blue light being reflected off of it. There is also one over head light in a softbox that is helping illuminate the drop as well. And all that is missing is the camera. We tried at first to use a motion detector to trigger the light but it was too much hassle. So in the end we just decided to use our eyes and anticipate the drop – which as you can see worked just fine for this image. The image was shot on a hassleblad with a 80mm lens and a Phase One P30 digital back.
Now why do water drops and the splashes look like this? Well, after the water drop impacts to form a crater, the surface of the pool collapses with inward-rushing water colliding and rising to form a column. Along the column, water surface tension effects create secondary drops. Circular waves ripple out from the centre of impact. That or it is just plain magic pure and simple.
And Business wise? Well we like to think we can provide the same type of service for our clients. The right timing, the right equipment, and an eye for detail and watching for just the right moment to capture the perfect image. If you would like to make a big “splash” with your next project, give us a call and let us provide the creative edge that can help you be a big success.
Over the past year we have heard the word “change” many times. And during these tough economic times we have seen a lot of change – in clients, in business practices, in hiring and layoffs, budgets and future expansion plans. And most of us would love to end the day just with some “change” in our pockets! So why in these uncertain times are we not only changing, but expanding? To avoid insanity for both you and me! Let me explain with an old Chinese proverb: “Insanity is doing the same thing in the same way and expecting a different outcome”. With a fragile and uncertain economy, most business don’t change a lot of what they are doing, they just do less. Ask any employee who is left after the layoff and they will tell you that the work is the same…there are just less of them to do it. The same is true for marketing and advertising. A business’s income is less so they slash their marketing and advertising budget but still approach it in the same way. Just not as much. Sound familiar? Doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results? They say “Hey…we need to advertise still (which is very true) we will just pull it in house and save some money! Those ______(fill in the box with designers/photographers/web designers/marketing specialists) are a budget expense and we can do the same with less. So…Jimmy, who normally cleans the warehouse but took and art class in high school, is now your designer. And Martha, who answers the phones but fancies herself really good with her new digital camera, is now your photographer. And in between calls and emails you will take care of the marketing plan. Oh and least we forget your web site….your 12 year old son had quite a knack for those things!
Hey, times are tough and although you may not put the web site in your son’s hands, we all need to analyze our budgets and prioritizes our spending. So what does make sense?
As is often the case, the real answer can be found somewhere in the middle. Just because you’ve always spent a percentage of revenue on marketing is not necessarily a good reason for continuing to do so. And just because your major competitors are spending on their brands, doesn’t mean they have optimized their return either.
As Prof Bryron Sharp, writing for the Ehrenberg-Bass Institute, notes—the chances are you don’t need more marketing budget, you can always do better with the money you have. For most firms, he says, it’s a fair assumption that less than 20% of their ad budget does any good, the trick is to know what works best.
If your budget is halved, you can normally fix it by doubling the effectiveness of the ads or by finding better ways of connecting with your target audience. Effective communication is at the very heart of design excellence. So if you need something designed to communicate effectively—a press ad, a brand identity, a website, packaging or print collateral for example, you’d be well advised to use the best graphic designer, photographer, web designer or marketing specialist you can find. And guess where the best designers are usually found? In a design company…like Morning Star Creative Group!
Now you are a photographer!
We live in a digital world. From our music to our photos, our texting, our web sites, our phone calls and televisions. And there is no going back – not that I want to – I love my digital stuff! And smack dab in the middle of this digital revolution is a whole heap of cameras that capture our lives digitally in full color. Even our phones and computers have tiny little cameras embedded in them! So now that we all have cameras, two things are true of most people – we have digital pictures everywhere with no idea what to do with all of them…and …doesn’t it make us all photographers? That would seem to make my job obsolete (my official title is Photographer!) if true and with every office having a camera of some type I guess I should start looking for a new career. But before I pack up my belonging into the nearest cardboard box, lets take a look at when it is a good time to use your own personal camera and when it might be good to hire a “professional” to get the job done. As you consider photographic needs you might have in your business, there are usually 3 things that come to mind – cost, quality and capability.
Cost: With budgets shrinking it is easy to see why this is one of the biggest reasons businesses use their own cameras. They look at a digital camera at the local store for $350 and they compare that with the bill the “professional” hands them and it seems like a no-brainer. While photos of the office party might look great in the company newsletter, what you make a profit off of might need a bit better quality. Before you hand over the company photography to the next staff person with a new camera, ask yourself a few questions: “What am I paying this person and what should they also be doing?”, ” Will I loose out sales and long term customer confidence with this quality?”and “How do our images stack up against the competitions? “
With a professional photographer what you are paying for is consistent quality, experience, and predictable results – you’re paying for a whole lot more than just a camera.
Quality: When people think of quality most of the time they think of the camera. You just bought a nice 10 megapixel camera and it produces some snappy pictures! But with most things in life, the quality you are looking for is not one dimensional and there are others parts of the equations to think about. Cameras use light to create a image and digital cameras tend to be very picky about the amount and quality of light. Do you have the experience and knowledge about lighting and the lighting equipment to produce the best image? And processing and modifying or adjusting the image after the fact can be a time consuming and complicated job. Once again, while the quality you might be able to get from your office camera will work for some projects, a professional can provide you with the quality you need to give you the best images every time. I would ask, ”Who is going to see this picture?”, ” Will they make buying decisions based upon it?” and “How does it compare against the images my competition is using?” In this tough market you need every edge you can out there!
Capabilities: This last one is the area we think of the least. We buy that cool camera, load up the batteries, make sure we have a memory card..and push the shutter button. What could be easier? The image comes up on the back and we say “Hey…now I am a photographer!” (although the picture is a bit dark and they person looks a little in pain…and there is that funny bush sticking out in back….but it worked!) The new crop of digital cameras out there are easy to use and a great tool to use at the company picnic, those impromptu shots in the office and the ribbon cutting of your new office. But the question comes up…what about the new company products? What will the photos say about them? Do I know how to light them properly? Can I do the new office building justice? Or that event that only happens once…will I get the shots ok? A professional photographer not only knows how to use his equipment but also has the experience and know-how to ensure that every image you use in marketing puts your company and products in the best light possible. (no pun intended…well maybe it was!)
If you would like us to evaluate your next project and give you and straight forward and honest estimate, give us a call. We would be more than happy to help you figure out the best way to be successful!