Sunday, June 27, 2010

The New Beverage Pours

Lately, I've been observing more and more TV ads featuring beverage pours. Well, I admit I have been watching more and more TV, but there is definitely a trend toward animated pours. Think Ocean Spray. Print ads, packaging, televisions ads are all using dramatic swirling beverages.

This reminded me of a discussion Gregory Bertolini brought up at our San Diego Workshop last fall - that beverage pours are such a big part of the food photography industry that there are specialty studios that shoot nothing else. I asked Greg for more information on this topic and here's what he has to say:

"Pours. There are two basic kinds: the simple pour which consists of pouring a liquid and capturing/freezing it by simply using a fast shutter speed or strobe light to stop the action. This is what most beginners, and those that rarely need a pour shot, do. And the complex 'controlled' pour shot. This involves using laser beams, with micro-second timing delays attached to specialized high speed strobe lights. This is how the professionals who shoot ads for soft drink and alcohol companies do it. This process is complex, takes training and expensive equipment.

"I have shot both ways. But I would not consider myself an 'expert' in splash-pour photography. There are splash and pour studios in New York City that specialize in this field; these studios usually offer both still and film services and are closed-lipped about their techniques. They often use computers with custom software to control the capture of an image and to control slow motion effects in film and video."

I did a Web search for these New York pour studios and Greg's right, they're a secret! See if you start seeing the predominance of pours in the world around us, not just in beverage marketing but in many other ways.

Greg's work can be seen at his Website, All four images shown are from one single issue of More magazine, July/August 2010. The bottom two are cosmetic ads.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Behind the Scenes of a Bridal Shoot

A couple of years ago I was recruited by hair and makeup artist Mary Erickson to collaborate on a bridal photo shoot. Since I'd often fantasized about styling beautiful, billowing wedding gowns I jumped at the chance. The shoot was the brainchild of photographer Kevin Roche and a bridal shop which would supply the dresses and accessories. We spent the afternoon shooting at a classic Spanish Style house in La Jolla. We had two professional models and a great day which ended up on the beach at La Jolla at sunset.

I recently discovered these behind-the-scenes shots (also known as production shots) from that shoot on Mary's FaceBook page and she was glad to share them.

A couple of the final shots, such as this one, are featured on my Cox Productions site:
Visit Mary Erickson
Visit Kevin Roche and

Monday, June 7, 2010

What is Foodesigns?

Foodesigns is the longtime online resource site for food stylists, managed by Lisa Golden Schroeder. I'm glad it exists because that's how I found Lisa who manages our food styling program at Photo Styling Workshops. She's also the author of the online courses, Food Styling 101 and Everyday Food Styling. The following statement is from the Foodesigns site.

"We've realized that for many first-time visitors, it's not very clear what we do here at We've been on the web for 7 years now, as one of the few resources for food stylists, food photographers, students, and career changers interested in this great little corner of the culinary world. We offer essential info about the business of food styling, the role styling plays in commercial food photography, and real support for those of you already in the biz.

"Helpful weekly tips, a regular publication (The Tweezer Times™—an online e-magazine with articles from all over the world), and access to classes, seminars and workshops on food styling, photography, and visual communications are the core of what Foodesigns offers. We're all about YOU and what you need to be successful in this business."

While Foodesigns is jam-packed with inside info like Industry Interviews, Weekly Tips, and Web Resources for supplies,The Tweezer Times™ is a blog-in-progress. Lisa is a little too busy working as a professional stylist, teaching classes and workshops, and organizing conferences, to regularly update a blog, but its intention is good. And there is so much valuable information on Foodesigns, years' worth of accumulated industry knowledge, that she can be forgiven for not posting blog entries too!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

OOPS Food Shots

My husband came upon this example of what not to do in our local newspaper, The San Diego Union-Tribune. He at first thought he was looking at a picture of a Pekingese dog. My reaction was, oh it’s a monkey! Apparently it’s supposed to be a sandwich. Can you find the sandwich? It may be a case of bad cropping of a larger photo. It’s hard to tell.
Fine Cooking magazine’s March 2009 edition was credited as the source. This is the photo that accompanied the recipe and it’s a wonderful shot with beautiful styling.

I don’t where the newspaper found the black and white food(?) shot above. Or why they paired it with the sandwich recipe. I can't see any relationship between the image and a grilled mozzarella and spinach BLT. Can you?