Here it goes.......
First of all, all I can tell you is we made carrot cake, peach pie, chicken and muffins this day.
It's aaalllll so top secret.
Kind of like the CIA.
Minus the double agents, world travel and the involvement of the government.
So, okay.........it's nothing like the CIA.
Anyway, I'll tell you that four shots is a lot for one stylist to do in one day. If we were shooting for the front of some packaging (like a cake mix, for instance)? We'd be working for a couple of days to get one shot. Maybe even more than a couple of days. And there's no way they'd let an idiot like me style anything for it.
Anyhoo, Melinda (the food stylist) is good and she knocked down 2 shots before lunch. She saved the harder shots for the afternoon - the pie and the cake.
Here are the tools Melinda used to do the "stand-in". The stand-in is a fairly unstyled piece that the stylist (or assistant) would put on the set so the photographer can light the set and the Art Director can work with the plates and other accessories for the shot. In food styling, there are lots of medical and dental tools used. See that scalpel with the teal handle?
Oh - by the way? There are 6 people working on the shot here: Me, Melinda, Kevin (the photographer), Amy (the photographer's assistant), Linda (the art director) and Mara (she's works for the studio and the client and is here to make sure we do what the client wants). Here's a picture of Mara. Just because I like her:She's cute and tiny and petite and wears really cute shoes with high heels. And she's fun to talk to.
You know who else I really like? Stephanie:
She runs the studio. When she comes in for the day everyone is clamoring to talk to her. And not because they need anything, but because she's just fun to talk to. This woman has 5 kids. Five! And a grandchild!!! She truly is super-woman. I think she may have been a model, as well. Look at her! Gorgeous!
So! Here's Melinda, cutting out a piece of pie for the "stand-in".
See the pie she is working on? The top is much smoother than the one on the right of the photo. Go ahead and click on the photo and check it out. The one on the right of the photo is the actual recipe. The one that Melinda is working on?
It's stuffed with instant mashed potatoes!!! Melinda makes the mashed potatoes and then tops them with the pie filling to get the top of the pie to look less bumpy and cracked, but she needs to have the peaches show through, so she tops them with the actual pie filling. When she styles the finished piece? She pins peaches on the potatoes to cover them up and make it look like a peach pie.
For the next shot, the carrot cake, the art director decided she wanted a bowl of berries in the background. So, luckily, Pegi, another food stylist is working with berries in the next studio. I go over there and see this:
Ummmmm.....hey, there Dave! Whatchya doin'? Errrr......working real hard I see. Uh, whatchya lookin' at there? This Old House's website? Hmmmm. And what does this website have in common with food photography??
Dave is another photographer/assistant. He is shooting all the step-shots today. There is a lot of waiting around for the photographers while the food stylists make the food pretty. Dave likes woodworking in his free time. He's building some kitchen cabinets for his house.
I didn't get a shot of Pegi, but she's the one with the big tweezers. She's really neat and a funny goofball. I see Pegi maayybe twice a year, but it feels like I've know her forever.
But you know what? That's how this business is: you work very closely with people you may have never met before. You need to become best friends and work well together as a team to get the job done and not piss anyone off. In the process, you get to know a lot about these people in a short time and then you're done. You move on to the next thing.
Anyway, I get the berries from Pegi and I sort through them and look for some beauties. I place the strawberries in some cool water to hydrate and perk up the greens on them.
Meanwhile, Melinda starts working on the carrot cake. I made the cakes the day before and the frosting today:
It's about 6pm and we get to go home! I get home at about 6:30 and I'm tired.