I don’t normally have to wear a hard hat to my shoots, but I probably should have for this one! I was asked to do a product shoot and a behind the scenes of Ultra Pure Bottled Water’s facility in Tampa. They make [beautiful] custom bottles for just about any place or event you can imagine. They make everything right on site, even the plastic bottles!
It was quite the experience watching the product go from a tiny plastic piece [think small test tube] to any shape bottle they need for a given project. It was loud and a little crazy, but the end product was lovely [weird to say about water bottles, but trust me…]. Everyone there was quite friendly and helpful, they allowed me to squeeze in between and behind the machines to get some shots of the process as it happened.
Then the hard part… I love a good photo challenge, and reflective, rounded bottles are quite a challenge. Making sure the reflections and highlights were just right was difficult, but I loved figuring it out and making something a bit more unique than your average amazon product shot. My first experience in the photography world was assisting for a photographer who did amazing product work, and I was channeling his voice in my head while trying to tweak the lighting to get a crisp, clean shot!
Still keeping busy so not quite as many personal shoots this month as I would like but I managed to squeeze a couple in! Plus I shot a short promo video with a talented friend, so that counts, right?! Teaser shot to the left, but that’s for a future post…
So this month for personal work I wanted to shoot something with a spring feeling, so while scouting the produce I found some gorgeous, fresh heirloom tomatoes and instantly grabbed way too many (those suckers aren’t cheap!). But I love how they look and how the shots turned out. On the complete other side of the spectrum, I wanted to do something with a little grit. I thought some fried dumplings or pot stickers would work nicely in the shot, and the rainbow carrots add some interesting color. The surface I found was actually the bottom of an antique metal tray that has all sorts of unique markings and discolorations which made it perfect! The last shot in the series may seem a little strange, but there is something about a beautifully dirty plate that I just love. The purple carrots were turning everything else purple so I had to keep them away from the other carrots. But that beautiful purple coloring mixed with the olive oil on the plate and just made a stunning messy design that I had to get in front of the lens!
For about a year now I’ve had the idea to do a personal project focusing on small local farms. Good, local food is something my husband and I are both passionate about and it gives me the opportunity to hone my editorial shooting style which is another step I’d like to take in my food photography career. I recently had one of my friends from high school contact me to photograph her new little farm, of course I said YES! It was the perfect start to my project!
My friend [Becca] and her family recently moved from the suburbs of Largo, Florida out to the farmlands of Plant City, about an hour inland from the beaches. They could not have seemed more at home or passionate about their new tiny farm. The farm’s main focus is breeding chickens [102 chickens and growing!], with a particular passion for breeding rare lines to keep the lineage strong.
As soon as you pull up to their little piece of land, you’re greeted by what I’m going to call their farm’s mascot. It was an adorable miniature donkey named Kako. Are you getting how this might play into the farm’s name? Miniature Donkey = Tiny Ass.
But little Kako is not completely alone, they have a wonderful farm dog Titan, as well as some neighboring horses and cows to keep him company amongst all the chickens. Oh and, of course, all the bunnies. I have no idea how many they had, but it was quite few, and they were insanely adorable! I held on to one of the little babies for easily an hour and enjoyed every fluffy minute. Which kind of sums up my whole day on Tiny Ass Farm. Fluffy and enjoyable.
I love working with clients and art directors, but there is something freeing about doing personal projects alone in my studio. I love doing work for the sole purpose of stretching my creativity and keeping my passion fresh for my food and product photography. I’d love to say that I do this at least once a week, but more often than not I let life or work get in the way. So I’ll try to keep diligent and post each month’s personal projects here.
January – For this shoot I wanted to focus on the texture and color of the fresh produce that is in season right now. I’m obsessed with Honeycrisp apples (especially the size of my face version that Fresh Market sells) so I picked up a few whoppers. Then I did my happy dance when I finally saw some blood oranges at my store! I’ve been on the lookout for weeks! And finally, broccoli. Because I hate broccoli. I thought maybe spending a little one on one time with it might change my mind. It did not.
Just because the holidays are over doesn’t mean that I’m all caught up on my holiday editing! So better late than never, I want to share this amazing holiday event with you that I was able to photograph! Just before Christmas, I was asked to shoot an annual event hosted by the Edwards Family Foundation (check them out here!) that gives a little Christmas cheer to families in need in the St. Pete area. They provide a full holiday meal, time and a photo with Santa, tons of bouncy houses and free toys they get to take home! It’s a wonderful foundation with such a giving spirit!
I’m excited to be starting my holiday baking! I LOVE to bake, and I really only make time for it around the holidays. And one thing I use all the time while baking is this tiny little baking conversion magnet on my fridge which I’m constantly looking at to make adjustments or just to reference mid-recipe. It’s great…really….but it’s nothing special to look at. And since I would hate for any of you to suffer the fate of a nothing-special conversion chart, I’ve whipped up a quick beautiful chart for you to download for free!
I took a few baking ingredient shots last week and I couldn’t decide which I liked more, so I posted both to my Facebook page and it seemed the dark shot was the clear winner!
With the winning image, I’ve created a little cheat sheet. Please download, print, create a magnet, whatever your heart’s desire! And bake something awesome! I expect cookies in the mail as payment!
I LOVE food festivals! If I could be a full time food festival photographer, I might just do that! So of course I said yes when I was asked a few weeks ago to photograph the Dunedin Wines the Blues festival. I think the name pretty much gives it away, but it was a fun evening full of wine, food and blues! There were wine stands, a craft beer area, plenty of food trucks, and live blues music playing all night! Oh, also, there was rain. A LOT of rain! But people still showed up, bands still played, good times were still had!
I rarely make it up to Dunedin, usually when I go out for the night it’s to St. Pete. But this was a nice break from the usual, I’d never been to downtown Dunedin, and it was adorable! It was the perfect place for this little festival that’s been going on for 23 years! Hopefully there’s a year 24, so you can all make it (now that you know how awesome it was!) For more information on the event, check out their website!