Look at this lovely shot I took today for a recipe card, comfort food classic! Roasted sausages, butternut squash, red onion and sage. So yummy I can’t wait to make myself the veggie sausage version for dinner. I asked chef to chop the butternut squash nice and chunky so that it retained it’s shape and could be easily recognisable and he fried the sage separately so I could placed that afterwards. The red onions were also cooked separately too and not for long so that they kept their shape and the stylist painted them with balsamic glaze mixed with the juices for the sausages just to colour them up slightly. I propped the shot with apples picked from the tree outside as the recipe is pork and apple sausages.
One of the projects I have been working on this week was a Paneer curry for Diwali. The hero of the shot is the paneer , so we really needed to make sure it didn’t get lost in the curry, with a side of basmati rice and chapatti. I really love how the fresh coriander and limes complete the shot and the little tiny details like the sesame seed show through in the curry. Makes me hungry just looking at the shot, in fact I was hungry all day when shooting this!
I love Sophie Dahl cookbooks, so this weekend’s Cookbook Review is Sophie Dahl’s From Season To Season.
I love that she divides her chapters into seasons and starts with Autumn… my favourite season, mainly because its all about scarves and boots for me. The lighting on the photography is very natural showing that shadows are equally important as light. The food styling is very honest, not overly messy but still very natural. The propping is very lovely, lots of textures – sometimes lovely fabrics other times old scarred chopping boards or a wooden surface. The plates and fabrics are a mix of old and new… not to vintage but they have a nice retro, homely feel.
On the whole it’s a lovely book, I don’t cook from it much but I do enjoy the photos and the nostalgic stories that she writes to go along with the recipes.
This week I was to shoot the prep stages of bread and pizza bases. I’m not usually into hands being in shots as I don’t think you have to be that obvious to suggest a human interest in food photography, however the client insisted that this was what they wanted. When I finished the shoot I was pleasantly surprised as I thought they actually looked really nice.
The one question I’m always asked as a food photographer is ‘Do you shoot real food or is it fake?’ In the past it was popular to use tricks to help the food withstand the length of a photoshoot by using dummy plastic food, mash potato for ice cream, motor oil as syrup etc. But I always shoot the real thing to keep everything looking as natural and honest as possible. I find a brush of oil or juices onto meat to refresh it is enough to keep the dish looking fresh.
For my recent Christmas food shoot I picked up a little tip from our food stylist who was brushing the turkeys with mix of marmite, washing up liquid and cooking oil. Using a small paint brush she covered any pale patches on the turkeys in places were the bird hadn’t naturally brown, to give a lovely even colour all over. Great tip.
Last week was so exciting, we’ve been shooting a set of recipes for Downton Abbey as soon as I heard about this project I couldn’t wait to start shooting. I loved putting together mood boards for the styling and gathering my favourite images on Pinterest for food styling ideas, table settings and props.
Some of the recipes we were given to shoot were fabulous, my favourites was the Chicken with rose petal sauce.
We had and incredible selection of beautiful vintage props, plates and cutlery to choose from which made shooting it such a pleasure. Really proves how important the right props are.
This has got to be one of my favourite shots ever. I love the chip in the foreground with the ketchup on, when I look at it I can taste it. I used a news paper to prop this shot as I was promoting the fact that these are British chips and I wanted a really ‘real’ feel to the shot which is why we styled it in a messy style… lots of salt pepper and sauce. I’m so happy with how it turned out.
Last week we begun shooting for the Christmas Dinner Guide Book, 39 shot of various Christmas dinner meats joints, mostly turkeys and some party food too, it continues this week. It has been exhausting, trying to come up with different ways to present yet another turkey joint, different trimmings and side dishes as well as new table setting for each. Luckily our prop stylist hired us a wonderful collection of platters, boards, cutlery table cloths and napkins from China & Co.
Feast your eyes on all these goodies…
At the weekends I love to spoil myself with a cooked breakfast, I feel it helps me relax and begin the weekend in the right frame of mind. As this weekend is Bank Holiday, I think it calls for something a little bit different to my usual hash browns and veggie sausage…. Check out my posh beans on toast. Made with a mix of different types of beans, chopped tin tomatoes and some lovely rustic bread.