January Food Photography – Hero Shots

In January of this year our California commercial bakery client requested a set of on-white food images for their website. We refer to these types of images in-house as “hero shots” for the way the food image is center stage. For on-white we can either leave the natural shadows and natural white-ish background or “mask” the food item and place it on a pure white replacement background.

photo of pretzel roll

pretzel roll hero shot

There were 29 separate products that needed to be shot. The client sent them all to us via overnight UPS right after they were baked, and sent multiples of each item so we could pick the best version of each item. Since it was a cloudy and rainy week we couldn’t use natural light so we set up our set of Interfit continuous lights and went to work.

The two white-frosted muffins were a particular lighting challenge , since the frosting needed to look white yet remain separate from the background. All the items needed to look fresh and tasty.

Fall Cookies — Food Photography

This is catch-up post #2 — a shoot from last Fall.

Our California commercial bakery client hired us again shortly after we photographed the pecan buns to photograph their collection of season fall and winter cookies. Since cookies are flatter than the pecan buns this required us to think differently about our camera angles and the set design.

food photography on holiday set

Decorative set elements included colored sugar, milk, a floral spray, and snowflakes

In addition to our standard brown tabletop, we shot on white, brown burlap, and several shades of blue. The scrapbook paper we use for color backgrounds is 12″ by 12″ so it’s perfect for small items like single cookies, but still requires precise camera angles to avoid a lot of post-shoot work in Photoshop extending the background. Also, food projects stain paper (you can limit the stains with small pieces of parchment paper, but they still happen) so you need to have several pieces of the same color on hand to replace the stained pieces or you end up doing a lot of retouching.

cookie photo

Cookies on blue paper

The burlap we found at a craft store was in smaller 8×11 sheets, so we overlapped them and liked the look and texture. We have since added larger fabric pieces of burlap to our prop collection, but we still go back to the smaller sheets because of the interesting angles you get from overlapping the sheets.

photo of cookie

Football cookies with autumn leaves in the background

Our sets also included a variety of white plates in interesting shapes, some square wooden baskets (to contrast with round cookies), sparkly holiday leaves and berries, and loose sequins. For the rounder Chai cookies we used blue napkins (to coordinate with the blue paper used elsewhere) and baskets. The bakery used a variety of the final images in their email marketing, and in printed flyers as well as on their website.

Food Photography – Sticky Buns for California Bakery

I’m catching up with some blog posts — a few of our photography projects never got featured thanks to the change-up of our website back at the end of last year.

We had some wonderful sunny weather back in September of last year, with an amazing amount of golden light, perfect for outdoor shots and window shots. One of our design clients asked us to do some photography for their commercial bakery in California.

pecan bun photography

photo of sticky buns

They overnighted us their newest product, a pecan-topped sweet roll made of croissant dough. We created a variety of images for them that took advantage of the beautiful light and the golden dough.

We used warm golden wood and golden baskets to compliment the color of the food, along with white linen and a cheerful blue gingham napkins. Images were shot both indoors and outdoors to enhance the variety. Once the client picked their favorites from the gallery we retouched the images and added them to their website.


Graduation Ceremony Photography: TIUA in Salem

This was our third year (or maybe fourth) photographing the “Closing Ceremony” for Tokyo International University in America at Willamette University last December. This year’s class was the biggest to date with 130 students, which makes it a challenge to get a photograph of every single student getting their diploma and shaking hands with President Tsugio Tajiri from Tokyo International University in Kawagoe, Japan.

We get photos of the speakers, the diploma presentation, the various awards, and then after the event of the party itself. The food at the party is always terrific, featuring a variety of Japanese items and some tasty desserts. We enjoy capturing all the hugs and tears and giggles from the students, and this year the students decided they wanted a photo of all of them and all the TIUA instructors as a special keepsake.

ITT Tech Graduation – December 2013

We photographed the local ITT Technical Institute’s very first graduation ceremony in December of 2013 — and we’re scheduled to shoot the next one in April of 2014. It was held in the Salem Library’s auditorium, which is a nice size for a small graduation. We really enjoyed meeting everyone and listening to the speeches.

West Salem Machinery Holiday Party Photography

We photographed the West Salem Machinery 2013 Holiday Party for the second year in a row on December 11th. It was once again held at the Salem Conference Center, but this year it was on the first floor. We picked a spot by the tree as the best background for portraits and moved a few of the Center’s couches to create an area where employees could set their coats and bags while we photographed them. The party guests enjoyed the great food and the wonderful holiday decorations.

ACP Event Photography, Salem Oregon

The American College of Physicians (ACP) Oregon chapter held their annual meeting in November 2013 at the Salem Conference center. The organizers hired us to take photos of all the posters in the competition (over 100) and of the contestants and the awards dinner. The Conference Center is a wonderful place for an event, and we love photographing the desserts they serve since they’re always special.