This last week has been a very busy week for me with two of my days well spent on set with Stephen Conroy shooting burgers for MacDonalds.
Over a two week period Stephen is photographing images for MacDonalds summer campaign, photographing burgers for packaging and for in store display. On Monday we were shooting a burger for packaging which involved a burger being shot on a plain white background and on the Friday we shot the burger with a stylised background. The most amusing thing I learned was when we held a casting for the best burger bun and another casting for the best burger patty! Once the best bun top and base had been selected it was put with the best burger patty, and then the building work began.
Carefully the stylist added the bacon, lettuce, onion and cheese piece by piece. With pictures taken at each stage followed by close scrutiny on every leaf and onion sliver, placement and shape of the cheese, with fine adjustments being made here and there. Once satisfied, next came careful injections of sauce placed just so around the burger edge until finally the perfect burger with all the trimmings was in place. Done!
Despite common misconceptions about what happens on food photography sets, when it comes to photographing food for advertising there can be no cheating, the exact food products must be used as it is sold in store. Although it is true that sometimes substitutes such as mash potato might be used to represent ice cream, or Appletize for champagne etc which is fine for editorial purposes, advertising is a whole other ball game and very much the real deal.
Throw in some great lighting to a meticulousness placed and styled piece of food to the very last crumb and hey presto! You have one very yummy looking picture 🙂
With thanks to Stephen for a fantastic and educational two days.