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On The Blog With Shutterstock- March New Content!

Shutterstock, “Each month we bring you the top inspirational images in Shutterstock’s collection. Explore new content and beautiful photographs in our March roundup.”

https://www.shutterstock.com/blog/march-fresh-new-content-love

Happy New Year! 2018 In Review...

Happy New Year! 2018 was a great year filled with growth, challenges, and successes. Working as a commercial photographer has evolved over the last few years and will only evolve more aggressively with technology’s peak in the industry. It’s great to revisit past projects, and lost bids because you can see how the work has improved, what other skill sets have been gained, and others that may need work. This business is about constantly growing so any opportunity to improve a skill is a positive thing. Also traits fine tuned should be looked over and maintained.

Similar to my past blog series “Diary of A Commercial Photographer” I’m reiterating the same thoughts and ideas that go through my head from the beginning of my career to now. The wheels are always turning, sketches for the next project are always happening, and always making sure I’m relating to my audience. It’s important to build those relationships, and today those relationships are friendships. Whether I’m working with a art director, graphic designer, or stylist we come together to problem solve and make amazing art!

That is always my goal in my career and I can’t wait to see you in 2019

Photo Shoot BTS: Conagra Packaging Redesign Part 2

Part 2! We had some more to do, which included these really cool stuffed products that had meat and cheese. Great for heating up on the go. Packaging work is some of my favorite work to do because there’s so much attention to the little details, and it can make or break a design. My team and Conagra’s agency out of Canada photographed the re-design of Odom Tennessee Pride’s breakfast and sandwich offerings sold in the frozen food section. The re-design was modern with a white wash wood surface and up to date propping and lighting to bring the food to life! It was a big project shot in 2 parts but we got through it. Excited to share what we put together so keep a look out for the items at your local supermarket.

You can see some of the final designs here: http://www.perrettiphotography.com/commissioned/

Photo Shoot BTS: Conagra Packaging Redesign Part 1

What a amazing project this was to work on with Conagra. Packaging work is some of my favorite work to do because there’s so much attention to the little details, and it can make or break a design. My team and Conagra’s agency out of Canada photographed the re-design of Odom Tennessee Pride’s breakfast and sandwich offerings sold in the frozen food section. The re-design was modern with a white wash wood surface and up to date propping and lighting to bring the food to life! It was a big project shot in 2 parts but we got through it. Excited to share what we put together so keep a look out for the items at your local supermarket.

You can see some of the final designs here: http://www.perrettiphotography.com/commissioned/

Diary of A Commercial Photographer: What I’m Doing Today

I’ve been doing this for close to 10 years. To some that’s a long time, and to a lot, I’m just getting started. Either way you can learn a lot personally and professionally working for yourself. In the photography business you have to be prepared for a lot of loses and learn from mistakes. For every “No” you will get that YES! It’s a very hilly battle with competition, slow periods, and even insanely busy times. For all the chaos you still need a plan. Without a plan or goal in mind you will just be spinning wheels.

For the success I’ve had, It comes from my commitment to shooting new work and marketing myself to the right audience. Companies like Agency Access, FOUND, and Yodelist don’t make this stuff up when they always tell us to market ourselves. It’s actually true and it works! When I talk to photo students in college marketing is always my favorite subject to talk about. In school you are learning the craft and becoming skillful in taking pictures, but how are you going to present that to the world? That’s where marketing starts. Before I even get into specifics (which there is not 1 answer for) CONSISTENCY IS KING. If you think your going to do it, you might forget about it in a month, then 6 months goes by, “wait what did I forget to do?” Maybe you got busy, or lazy, who cares, you have to do it or nothing in the long run will happen for your business.

Let’s step back and honestly think about this, who markets? Why? Easy example: Coca Cola. Everyone knows who they are and what they are about. How do we know? Because they are always marketing their product! I bet even more than before because soda sales are going down. Coca Cola has been a staple product for decades and you don’t see them slowing down in their marketing. They want their product on the top of your mind without any hesitation. When you hear soda what’s the first brand that comes to mind? Maybe Pepsi.. But then Coca Cola! hahaha! Consistent marketing will grow your business.

 Food Photography by Food Photographer Felicia Perretti, New York, Chicago

For myself I have come up with a marketing plan that I analyze every year. This is no secret and anyone can do it, it’s just who can do it consistently. I have my plan broken down by month and I list out my To-Do’s for the month. I make phone calls, I send an e-newsletter, I post to social media, I test shoot or update my website, I update my blog, I check out my LinkedIn page, I send out a printed promo piece, and a couple other things here and there. I don’t send an email or printed promo every month. I take into consideration my marketing financials as well as my audience’s email space and know they don’t want an email from me every month! You have to find the balance of keeping your work at the top of their mind but not to over reach and annoy them. Having the marketing plan written out helps keep you on track. With all the above itemized out over the course of 12 months I print it out and tape it right to my door in my office. It’s there to remind me what I need to do for the month. This works for me, but I know some people need more than that to remind them. Put reminders on your phone or computer, whatever works for you. Also what I have on my marketing plan might not apply to you. It comes back to your audience and how they like to see new work or to be followed up with. Whatever that plan may be 1 really great rule of thumb is to have at least 3 modes of marketing outreach.

When your new to business the funds might not be flying in so being budget conscience with marketing at first is fine. Social media is free, so is Facebook, and LinkedIn. Printed promos, and e-newsletters will have a cost. If your still on your family phone plan then make some phone calls to potential clients. Any questions? Email me: felicia@perrettiphotography.com

Photo Shoot BTS: Ketel One Vodka Botanicals

Beautiful design is the first thought that comes to mind looking at the new line of Ketel One Vodka Botanicals coming out. The illustrations of floral and fruit bordering the bottle remind me of Marie Antoniette and her beautiful, lavish parties. It was so fun to work with the Ketel One team and agency to create outdoor scenes with a freshly made cocktail. Sourcing mint, fresh fruit, and flowers in January seemed like a difficult feat but I was confident with my team we would get it all and the best quality. In addition to the environmental shots we did some simple on white product shots for them to be able to use on different platforms. Can’t wait to see these in stores! https://www.ketelone.com/vodkas/peach-orange-blossom-botanical/

Personal Series: Dollar Store Dining Stop Motion

This is new, this is fun, this is my latest personal project! I wanted to really have fun with this project and challenge myself by going with my gut instinct. In the process of adding motion work into my portfolio I always found the stop motion pieces interesting. Taking a series of still images and sandwiching them together to make a 15-30 second piece was bringing the stills to life!
    Going to the dollar store as a kid there are always the memories of the novelty toy section; you know the really quirky toys you could pull pranks on your friends or siblings with. Maybe these would be stocking stuffers. One really fond memory I have is getting silly putty and squishing it on top of newspaper comics and seeing the print go onto the putty. That was magic to me as a kid. How was I going to bring this back to food but still have fun with it?
    If you have ever gone into the dollar store you should also be aware of the off the wall food brands and item combinations you have come across. For example: Larry The Cable Guy; he has his own food line, some of which is frozen biscuits and gravy. You may have seen Twinkies flavored ice cream. Another one is those widely toxic colored drinks that come in the gallons. There are some weird brands of food out there and you could probably find them at the dollar store.
    The combination of novelty toys and weird branded and flavored foods brought me to my latest project on Dollar Store Dining. The stop motion piece of these really helps capture the life in the novelty toys but gives me the opportunity to take the setup farther and show more humor and relation between the toys and the food. I hope you enjoy; this is about having fun with food!

BTS: Aramark Photo Shoot

It was so exciting to get the call for a new push Aramark was doing for their annual report and other advertising outlets. They wanted something fresh and to really "raise the bar" on their offerings to potiental clients. They are the 2nd largest in the food business in North America and have clients all over in different capacities. We had a day of shooting food items on different surfaces creating unique environments. Debbie Wahl handled the food styling and Lisa Russell did props. The agency creative flew in from California and Aramark came to the shoot. We had a lot of fun and came out with really exciting work! You can see a little B.T.S. below.

BTS: Food Photography Workshop at The Art Directors Club

What a great event and turnout for this past weekend's food photography workshop. It was great to share my experiences and tips I've learned over the years to help the students improve on their own photography. We had a packed afternoon of talking lighting setups, camera programs, and the importance of styling. I did a live demonstration on set shooting and building a sandwich. I also discussed the importance of hiring and working with a food stylist as well as a prop stylist.

Everyone broke out to separate tables building their own sets with props supplied and also making their own sandwich to photograph! You can see a time lapse below of the days events.

I would love to continue this workshop at other locations in New York City as well as New Jersey, and Philadelphia. If you are a food or prop stylist and want to collaborate on this please reach out! Also any studio spaces that would like to host us.

Food Photography Workshop Saturday March 12th 2016

I'm so excited to be working with The Art Directors Club on a food photography workshop at their NYC headquarters. It will be an exciting day of shooting food discussing how to craft your shot providing tips and tricks! Also touch on the benefits of working with food stylists and prop stylists. At the end will have a fun critique looking at what everyone shot.

You can find more info here and register for the weekend workshop, it will be fun :)

Don't forget, ADC month of March is Photography month.

Recipe: Buffalo Wings

I don’t have a deep fryer at home and buffalo wings make me feel guilty enough so these baked buffalo wings were a good trade off. I was really craving the buffalo style wings with that real orange sauce so this recipe I didn’t need to add to much extra butter. You can buy this style sauce at any supermarket, it’s usually next to the Frank’s Red Hot Sauce which also offers an awesome wing recipe on the bottle.

 HyperFocal: 0

What you will need:

3/4 cup flour (this yields for about 20 wings, depending on the size and quantity of the wings you may need more or less flour)

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 or 1/4 cup melted butter (whatever your feeling!)

1/2 cup of the buffalo sauce


Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, and lightly grease with cooking spray. Place the flour, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, and salt into a resealable plastic bag, and shake to mix. Add the chicken wings, seal, and toss until well coated with the flour mixture. Place the wings onto the prepared baking sheet, and place into the refrigerator. Refrigerate at least 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F

Whisk together the melted butter and hot sauce in a small bowl. Dip the wings into the butter mixture, and place back on the baking sheet. Bake in the preheated oven until the chicken is no longer pink in the center, and crispy on the outside, about 45 minutes. Turn the wings over halfway during cooking so they cook evenly.

*I also had a grate between the foiled pan and the wings just so they could get a little crispier.


Friday Farm Follow Up

This mild winter has been great so far. I’ve been continuing my personal project photographing at the farms with weather I’m able to stand in for a few hours! However I would like it to snow at least once so I can get shots of the farms in a wintery setting.

Baby calf being fed milk and nutrients by Andrew the farmer at the dairy farm

Baby calf being fed milk and nutrients by Andrew the farmer at the dairy farm

Cocktail Recipe: Mint Julep

This was fun to photograph and also very challenging because it involved so much ice! I could see myself revisiting this shoot and re-doing it now knowing the difficulty of shooting so much ice at one time and it all looking good.

The history of the mint julep is interesting but the presentation to me is what really sparked my interest. The stainless steel cup and bright grouping of fresh mint drew my eye in.  After doing research and reading about the drink it was almost like a slushy for adults which I think any adult would be OK with.

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon Mint Simple Syrup
Crushed ice
1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons (1 ounce) bourbon
1 (4-inch) cocktail straw or coffee stirrer
1 fresh mint sprig
Powdered sugar (optional)

 Food Photography by Food Photographer Felicia Perretti, New York, Philadelphia