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Food Photo Shoot Excitement

Posted Jun 18 2009 12:06am
Well, the food photo shoot for Eat, Drink and Be Vegan is done! It was tiring, but still so much fun for me. (This is a long post, get a tea and cookie!)

...and I mean tiring. I didn't leave the kitchen all of Saturday and Sunday prepping food, cleaning, and prepping again. Plus, I had already prepped about 15 recipes through the week, and components of other recipes to help us quickly get recipes ready and timed for the photography.

On a side note, I picked up a kitchen timer since I knew I'd need another one. I use my stove timer, and had a second manual timer, but it broke. So, knowing I'd be timing several recipes at once I got a nice timer. The challenge was taking it out of its packaging.


Don't you hate this kind of packaging, where you have to cut through the molded plastic, and in the process can easily cut yourself with how sharp those plastic edges are? Then, you have to fight to pry away the plastic? This packaging comes with kids' toys, and so many things. I recycle it, but I don't know if it ultimately gets recycled, and plus, it is SO flipping annoying to try and open. I do like my timer though, once I got to it!

It went something like this. We started Saturday morning. We were scheduled for 9, but our photographer had unforeseen equipment troubles, which she quickly got fixed but it pushed us back to just after 11. I was concerned before she arrived, wondering if the delay would be any longer, or if we'd get off the ground that day at all. But we did, and made good progress, starting the first photograph around noon. There is a lot of set up behind the scenes. Equipment is just the beginning. The "scene" of a food photo must be considered, including dishes used, placement, linens and background, etc. So, our living room was quite full with photographic equipment, boxes of dishes and utensils, linens, props, and more.

We needed to wrap up shortly after 4 that day, so we managed to get 5 photos in. That meant 8 more photos to do on Sunday. I was freakin' out a bit, because I knew the next recipes were more prep heavy, meaning I had to be on the ball even more, timing the dishes and keeping on top of prepping recipes, cleaning up, and getting to the next dish. As we moved through the recipes, I quickly ran out of counter space, dishes, dish cloths, and found myself turning in circles in the kitchen several times looking for an item or trying to remember what I was getting on with. I was popping my vitamins, I tell you! :)

We had a babysitter come in to help with the girls, and hubby was here too of course. But at times, the girls would run in to the living room/kitchen area, and I'd quickly shoo them back outside or downstairs. They had a blast, though. Full-on play and attention all day! Plus, they finally got to eat some of the food they had looked at for a couple of days but "couldn't touch"! I had labels on containers of food in the fridge with "Photo Shoot" so hubby wouldn't get his paws in there. Sorry hon!

Speaking of my fridge, omg, I was running out of space!! With all the food prepping, I had containers upon containers. Plus, so much fresh produce and herbs... I am still amazed that it all fit. I do have a big fridge, but I could still use a second one. Especially through the summer when we buy gigantic organic lettuces and the most beautiful berries and other produce at the farmers' market. But I digress, back to the photos...

We had a rough game plan of which photos we would do each day. There were a few flipped around, but for the most part, the planning worked. The first day we photographed five photos, the second 8. We had great efficiency and flow on Sunday, doing 8 images in about 6-7 hours. With the other 3 we did the day of the cover photo shoot, we now have 16 total, with about 30 recipes included in total.

The photographer, Pam, would check with me about which recipe we were doing next. We had chatted over e-mail about the elements of the recipes through the weeks leading up to the shoot, so she already had sketches and creative ideas of how she thought the food should be showcased. So, we'd talk about the recipe elements, and what accompaniments should go in and things I'd like to see in there. Then, Pam and her assistant set up the scene with the dishes and linens. She first took shots to get the angles and composition she wanted. Here she is setting up the scene for my Chimi recipe:


Then, we'd get the food ready on the plate. Here's Pam setting the plate with Gimme Chimis, Guacamole Con Alga Marina, and a simple fresh cucumber salad tossed with Cumin-Cinnamon Vinaigrette:

Here, Pam is getting the scene set for my Orange Sesame Tofu, Coconut-Lime Basmati Rice, and Simple Swiss Chard:

Speaking of Swiss Chard, I had hubby run to our farmers' market to pick up fresh organic chard and basil that morning. The chard was absolutely amazing! Pam even took a pic of it, she was so taken with it. It was huge, and so utterly fresh, I'm certain it was picked early that morning.

The girls snapped a pic of me affectionately looking at the chard since I had been yapping about how incredibly big and fresh it was. Note the T! Figured if I was freakin' out about how much I had to do that day, I needed to wear my Vegan Freak t-shirt. Get yours here. I also have a vegan.com t, and will have to show you that one soon.

I cannot wait for you to see the finished photos! They are beautiful. Pamela Bethel was the photographer, you can visit her website here.... oh, and you can get a preview of two of my photos on her website. Poke around, can you guess which two are mine?!

I must get back to edits, and will be back again soon. p.s. don't tell hubby I'm blogging today, he really wants me to take a break and relax. But I love sharing all this!

Talk soon... eat vegan, stay vegan!

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