I have been cooking a lot lately. It is one of my favorite pastimes. I like to punctuate my sessions in the kitchen, however, with photo shoot jobs. As a food stylist, I am somewhat in demand so I get my wish pretty often. I either make or buy the food and create the ideal setup for the photographer. Most of my work is indoors so I get excited if I have to prepare a lavish picnic in the park. It will be a larger layout than usual. I do a lot of jobs for culinary experts and these mostly consist of simple blogs. I can do many in one week. Most chefs do not know how to arrange food properly by size, shape, texture, and color. They think that plating means a small portion in the center. For public consumption, you need to be more lavish. My picnic will be easy as it will consist of many dishes.
I think about just what park will do and I prefer a local one in the hills where there is a nice valley view. I first need to scout it out so a friend and I take our mountain bikes that I bought after reading a guide from On Road and Mountain out for a spin. We reach the park in a half an hour and set about exploring a trail that winds through it. It is a glorious day to be outside, so of course our cameras come out when we stop to check out the view. We look for a clearing where we can set up the photo shoot. This park has picnic tables so I wouldn’t have to rent them and have them hauled to a designated spot. We want to test the location so we get out the food I have prepared for the scouting day and we dig in. While biking is exhilarating and fun, there is nothing like a lunch break. I made some special dishes that would potentially be part of the photo shoot. I would put them in a variety of vessels which would include colorful ceramic bowls and wooden platters. In a good photo shoot, a stylist will make sure that everything compliments the other well. You place large containers next to small so it is not just a lineup of the same size. Color must be the primary consideration and there must be a lot of it. I am thinking about all of these requirements as my friend and I eat.
Advanced planning made the photo shoot go perfectly. I had the table composition entirely in my head. I brought enough food so that I could pick and choose what I needed on the spot. The crew for the day could eat what they wanted. Outdoor lighting is usually sufficient, but if it begins to cloud over, you need some lighting. I decided to take some photos with and without artificial lighting and compare the results. Then you don’t have to go back and redo the whole setup if the images are too dark.