Keep Things Simple…..
This Month I thought it would be good to keep things simple and look at some ingredients shots. I regularly photograph ingredients for the ‘In season’ feature for Asda Magazine. It is also become a more common feature for a few of my other clients, as they want to show their consumers exactly what goes into their recipes.
I thought we’d start off with this relatively simple shot of some mushrooms. There are a few ways I could have approached this, but on shoots my shots are slightly dictated by the props that we have been provided. So with this shot I tried to make it feel as rustic as possible by introducing the torn brown paper, to resemble a paper bag you might get mushrooms given in at a market, and I also placed the knife next to the cut mushrooms, again adding another relevant element of interest within the shot.
If I were to shoot these mushrooms again and could choose the props, I would probably take the shot in the woods somewhere with a nice stonewall and a wicker basket, as if the mushrooms have just been picked there and then. I think this would give a very nice relaxed and rustic image. Again I would include a dirty knife that would have been used to cut the mushrooms from the ground.
Next is the passion fruit. Not the prettiest of fruit from the outside, but as soon as you cut into it, it becomes a lot more compelling. I made this into a kitchen style preparation shot with some of the fruit whole and some sliced. I also wanted to show how juicy they are, so I made some mess on the wooden chopping board. It’s all about trying to make your composition as interesting as possible.
Passion Fruit-Asda Magazine. Copyright- Lauren Mclean Photography LTD.
Now we move onto a feature I shot for Weight Watchers Magazine for their ‘Fill up fast’ feature. In this section of the magazine they shoot the recipes and the ingredients all over-head. This gives the feature a visual consistency throughout.
Pork Escallops Ingredients –Weight Watchers Magazine. Copyright- Lauren Mclean Photography LTD.
You can see in this image that there were a lot of elements to include. I tried to make it as interesting as possible by putting the chopping board on a slight angle, placing the meat on some brown paper as if it had just come straight from the butchers, putting the paprika on a spoon, opening the egg so we could see inside, and scattering a few herbs. It’s all about making the images feel real!
And finally, the last ingredient shot is another recipe shot I photographed for a company called ‘Three Little Pigs’. They are a company based in Hull that produces Chorizo and Salami. It’s lovely!!
Paella Ingredients- Three Little Pigs. Copyright- Lauren Mclean Photography LTD.
As you can see I have taken a similar approach to this as I did for the Weight Watchers shot. Ingredient shots where you have a lot of components tend to work best if you shoot them overhead. Even though the composition is exactly the same, this image has a completely different look and feel, and this is all down to the lighting and props.
Every image in this feature has been lit using daylight. It’s just the way you control that daylight that can change the way an image feels. In the Weight Watchers image it is quite a soft light making it feel light and airy. In this image, we have much more contrast and harsh shadows, but it shows off the Chorizo perfectly!
Classic British Dishes by Lauren McLean
This Month I thought I would look back through my archive and pick out some photos that I think represent ‘Classic British Dishes’. I thought we’d start off with Toad in the hole- one of my favorites! I really don’t think you can go wrong with this dish. I think been from Yorkshire, anything that includes Yorkshire pudding is going to be a winner in my eyes. As this dish has been photographed so many times, I wanted to make my version slightly different. So I decided to do a regional Toad in the hole by using sausages from; The West Country, Lancashire, & Cumbria. Also we added caramelized onions throughout the batter to make it a taste sensation. To get across to my audience that this is a regional dish, I added some flags that stick into the sausages. I think this also adds an element of fun to the shot.
Toad in the hole-Stock Image. Copyright- Lauren Mclean Photography LTD.
As this is more commonly a winter dish, I wanted to keep the light quite dark and moody. This feeling was also enhanced by using a dark wooden surface, and a deep red back wall.
Next is another classic- The scone. This photograph can be seen in the current issue of Asda Magazine. This recipe does have a slight twist- rather than been served with jam, it has been served with strawberries.
Scones-Asda Magazine. Copyright- Lauren Mclean Photography LTD.
The brief for this image was to keep it light and summery. I did this by creating a garden scene and I keep the image light and fresh.
Next has to be the full English breakfast! This photograph was taken for chef Jesse Dunford Wood at his new pub, Parlour in Kensal Green. Jesse is a very innovative chef and he knows that not everyone likes their beans to touch everything, so he has very cleverly served the baked beans in a jar. This way his customers can put their beans exactly where they want them.
Full English Breakfast-Jesse Dunford Wood. Copyright- Lauren Mclean Photography LTD.
Whenever I shoot for Jesse we shoot using available light in his pub. Therefore the images tend to be quite light and airy, and the props within the images are usually what I can find in the pub.
And finally, the last dish I have chosen to look at is the Bread & Butter pudding. This shot was photographed in my studio using flash lighting. I created some light and tones within my image by shaping the light using diffusers, mirrors, and white card. I really think this has helped to create some atmosphere in my photograph.
Bread & Butter Pudding-Stock Image. Copyright- Lauren Mclean Photography LTD.