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Shooting Shiny Objects

October 16, 2012

This past week has been super amazing in that I got to work with the ultra talented food stylist MaryKei from Cameras and Cucumbers fame. She is just a whizz when it comes to making food look gorgeous. I swear it’s those Japanese genes of hers. She works with meticulous detail and patience that would make you weep. It was also the most stressful shoot I have ever done. Have you ever shot super shiny objects where you have to get the reflections in all the right places? Where you need to show the fine detailed engraving on the most beautiful Christofle silver trays you would ever have the good fortune of being served canapés on? You should try it sometime, especially if you want to go prematurely grey.

This is how it should not look.

This is more like it.

Shooting mirrors basically is not easy let me tell you. You get your family of angles just right, so that the tray is evenly lit only to have to move the camera a fraction to get a different angle on the food and the whole thing goes to hell! By the time it was all over, eight hours, yes you read correctly, EIGHT hours later I was ready to collapse in a heap. The Italian even had to step in and make dinner.

Apart from the challenge ( bring on shiny objects any day I say ) it was great fun too. Of course when the client is standing over you and looking at the image you have just taken on your computer screen and the whole thing is blown white with no detail, you do start to sweat a little. Then you take a deep breath and remember you are a professional and that you have practised this and that you do actually know how to light and you slowly go through the steps that need to be taken in your head and gently press the shutter and……aaahhhh beautiful. At that moment you silently send a little prayer heavenward and are thankful that it all came together and that you still have a job and perhaps even another assignment after this one:)

Sorry, I can’t show you the pictures with MaryKei’s beautiful food on the trays since the pictures have not been released yet. So keep coming back for more and you may get a sneak peek here. Instead here is a little look at MaryKei in action and then at the end of a very long day.

Then, just today I heard from a fellow blogger and soon to be working partner for another client shoot next week that all the photographers she knows absolutely refuse to shoot food on anything shiny. Well, I can understand why you want to avoid the stress and the frustration, but when a client like Christofle comes calling you best know what you are doing.

I thought I should just mention that fellow Dubai blogger Farwin of Love and Other Spices also came along to check out the action on the day and get some shooting tips. Farwin has an amazing blog where she focuses many of her recipes on her native SriLankan dishes and takes lovely photographs to illustrate them. You should really check it out. I will definitely be making some of her curries.

I thought I would share something Farwin said to me a few days later when she called me to chat about photography. She said she was surprised that I am the way I am since she would never have imagined me to be warm and friendly and the caring and sharing type. She based this observation on how I portray myself on my blog since she had never met me in person before. What does she mean? I don’t open myself up and show myself warts and all to the world? No, I guess I don’t. Where would be the intrigue and the mystery then if everyone knew me exactly as I am. If you all must know I am a complicated beast. I find exposing myself difficult to strangers. Yes, most of you are strangers. Who are we kidding? I don’t know most of  you from Adam. Then there’s the posting every two days lark. Where do you find the time people? I have to say I find David Lebovitz so perfectly irritating…in a good way. Where does the man get time to work and blog and do the whole social media thing and be famous and the whole nine yards? He is just too perfect for my liking. You know what? He doesn’t have kids. That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it.

So what’s your story? Shoot any shiny objects lately? Or perhaps you bared your soul lately? Is that called “finding your voice”? I best get cracking finding out who I actually am first…

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. October 17, 2012 9:31 AM

    You are a complicated beast? I like that, in a very positive way 🙂
    And shiny objects? I avoid them like the pest, no need for a challenge on that side…..

  2. October 18, 2012 3:51 PM

    Oooh – Christofle! My mom had a bit of a thing for Christofle and we had some awesome chinese laquer cutlery of theirs growing up. can’t imagine shooting an entire shiny tray – I struggle to keep my reflection out of a teaspoon when I shoot 😉 As for baring yourself being “finding your voice” – I don’t think so. I have been told i have a very distinctive voice, but I do not think I really bare my soul in any way on the blog. You can sound like yourself without being guilty of overshare 😉

    • October 18, 2012 6:41 PM

      Thanks Jeanne, so nice of you to comment…really like that! I guess I just have to try and be myself more without giving away too much…

  3. October 20, 2012 10:24 PM

    We are all “complicated beasts” I suppose. There are days when I want to bare more than I want to because my life sounds just so ordinary versus the rest of the blogger lot. And I usually get paralyzed in inaction when I get that feeling, so I end up not writing about anything. Everything is just up here in my head and it can get crazy.

    I haven’t been blogging regularly, but I don’t want to beat myself up for doing so. I just am enjoying living life now 🙂

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