When a new client contacted me asking asking for an entire restaurant menu of 70 plus items to be shot it seemed a daunting thought when the job had to be completed in two days.
OK, so we are not getting the the same level of perfection and detail that one would expect for an advert that might appear on a billboard but both I and the client were really happy with the results for purpose which were predominantly digital. I was particularly pleased with myself for having faced the challenge and won especially since I had to work without a stylist or an assistant.
I did a quick scout of the restaurant to see what sort of space I would be working in and to get a feel for their style earlier in the week. There was the window option but when I took test shots over there I wasn’t bowled over, and I was also concerned with the changeability of the light across the shots which needed to be uniform. There was also the amount of hours I would actually get daylight for to consider, being February the light drops dramatically from around four o’clock.
There was a lovely white ornate fireplace which I considered for a backdrop, but I felt it was too much of a contrast against the wooden tables I would be shooting the food on. So I opted to light the scene using studio flash lights with this gorgeous dark wood panel as my backdrop, I felt with the wooden tables they complimented each other well and gave off the right vibe that I got from the restaurant over all.
With the setting established I went on to shoot around 30 food items and hot drinks in six hours. Here are a few of my favourites.
The second day was a bigger challenge, shooting glass, and plenty of it. Around 40 different drinks had to be captured in eight hours. It’s a tricky subject liable to distortion and lots of unwanted reflections. Careful consideration to placement of lights, diffusers and highlight/lowlight cards must be given. Although challenging problems to solve I was particularly excited to show off the infused vodka shots by throwing corresponding coloured light on the wall behind them and featuring key flavouring ingredients next to the drink.
I had to carefully consider my composition and framing of the all the food and drink keeping in mind that there would be overlaying graphics for descriptions etc and that several different crops of varying sizes had to be catered for.
The system that London’s Covent Garden Little Water restaurant have installed is a very cool and modern at the table ordering device developed by MagicTab. Customers choose and order instantly using tablet devices installed at their table, with the entire menu beautifully illustrated with scrumptious photography throughout, saving on waiting times and increasing customer spend.
Feel free to leave comments and if you have any questions about any of the techniques I used you only have to ask.