For people who eat

One area of commercial photography I seem to have been getting involved with more frequently over the past year has been on-location food photography.

Food photography is a highly specialized area and if a client is going to go the whole hog (pun intended) they’ll be looking at very high fees for a top-end photographer, plus assistant, food stylist, studio hire, props, editing and post-production.

As for my work, I know my level and I know what I can do for a client. When they approach me I measure their expectations and requirements against their budget and if I believe I can offer what they need, I’ll take on the task. If they’re looking for something very high-end, I’ll recommend them to a food photography specialist. However, there are many instances where quality is required, but it’s clear we’re not shooting for The Ritz brochure and that’s where I can help.

This is the same approach I took when I was recommended to Caroline Jones of newly-launched online food magazine Local Morsels, which champions local food producers, growers, retailers, chefs and restaurant owners in the Bath and Bradford on Avon area.

I was recommended to Caroline by web designer Andrew Eberlin. Caroline and I met over coffee, discussed her requirements and I designed a fee and licence structure which suits her requirements perfectly.

The first batch of images, shot for the inaugural issue, were taken at locations in Bradford on Avon, using my portable studio lighting setup. The work was fun to do and I’m looking forward to the next session, which is already booked for later this month.

In the meantime, here’s a small selection of images from the first edition. If you’re the kind of person who eats, why not bookmark the Local Morsels website and learn more about locally produced food? Try not to drool on your keyboard though.

Pumpkin soup in a bowl on a place setting

The challenge – to create a warm light effect, and get the shot before the sparkler fizzled out

Apples in a pan with raisins and cinnamon sticks

The challenge – balancing cinnamon sticks

easy jose coffee beans in a bag with grinder

The challenge – foil pack reflections can be tricky

Christmas cake with slice removed

The challenge – making the cake look as moist in a photo as it was in real life




TIGA Feats

Last week I was at the annual TIGA Games Industry Awards to photograph the gathered great and good and the award winners in particular.

TIGA is the non-profit trade association which represents the digital games industry in the UK, and this year’s awards were presented at The Assembly Rooms in Bath, a historic venue contrasting with the relatively new art of game design.

I’ve covered a few events at the Assembly Rooms over the years, and though it’s a lovely building it’s always quite tricky to deal with the very low-level, yellow lighting in the Great Octagon (see this post on a similar recent challenge), where delegates gather for drinks prior to being seated in the main ballroom which, depending on what the lighting guys have set up, will be a whole new challenge.

Normally I’ll use on-camera flash of some sort for the drinks reception, and then portable studio lights directed at the stage to cover the dais and awards presentations up on the stage, but this time I decided to use available light for the drinks bit, and hand-held flash for the awards as I had to be super-quick for the presentations. The client didn’t want the photography to hold up proceeedings. There were a lot of awards being presented, and I needed to be nimble to get a shot from each one – the studio lights can slow me down as they don’t always charge back up fast enough to be ready for the next photo.

In between covering the flavour of the evening and the awards on the stage, I was also nipping backstage to send images out from my laptop in order that social media coverage could have pictures live on the night.

A pretty long night and tiring too, but great fun and an interesting insight into the gaming industry. I’ll be back at The Assembly Rooms before the month is out to cover the Regen SW Green Energy Awards. I can’t wait to see what the lighting engineers do this time…

In the meantime, here’s a small selection of images from the night:

TIGA delegates chat, drink, network in the Great Octagon, Bath Assembly Rooms

Delegates mingle and drink prior to dinner and the awards

Screen showing TIGA awards twitter activity

Social media was broadcast live to the room

Delegates at dinner enjoying the awards presentations and speeches

Capturing the fun of the evening

Actor and voice artist Corey Johnson comperes the evening

Compere Corey Johnson, actor and games voice artist, keeps proceedings flowing

TIGA gaming industry award winners receive their prize

Awards are presented, speeches are made