Connecticut is a beautiful state and I’m so lucky to work with my client Fine Cooking Magazine there! That is also the home of Taunton Press where beautiful food stories are published. The team I get to work with is very passionate about food and cooking which makes the photo shoots all the better. I don’t always get to see my work in print so these projects have been really special to me. Also it’s great to work with the talented food stylists Nicole Twohy and Heather Meldrom! Pick up the latest copy of Fine Cooking today!
What a great time shooting with the In The Raw team! This concept was so fun incorporating identical cakes made slightly different using In The Raw products. Also we had the opportunity to work with talent posing as bakers. BLOC NYC was a great agency to work with and several models to choose from. There was great energy and discussions on set making the shoot a hit! In the end we walked away with a great variety in poses and expressions. Bringing ideas like this to life reminds me why I love what I do. Can’t wait to see this out in the wild.
A favorite and challenging thing to photograph is chocolate. My team and I are always up for the challenge and love the sweet shots we walk away with! John and Kira’s a gourmet chocolate client of mine wanted to create some new imagery for their catalogue and website. The look and feel for this project was to convey moodiness and drama using the chocolate. Telling their story through high end imagery and propping is always our goal. The chocolate itself is always the hero! Working with Lisa Russell and team we were able to capture a beautiful variety of their chocolates over 2 days. We had layouts to reference while we were shooting to make sure they fit within. Having the client and chocolatier on set is always a plus because they get to help bring the photo concepts to life and they know their product best. Of course we taste tested along the way and their chocolate never disappoints.
It was great to have them on set and I can’t wait to see our final shots out.
It’s so exciting to be apart of a great community of women photographers working in the commercial field. I met Keren Sachs when she was at Offset and was wonderful to work with. She recently started TheLuupe which I’m so happy to be apart of! They recently featured me on their blog. You can see the whole interview here! https://theluupe.com/blog/2019/08/27/felicia-perretti-breaks-food-photographys-cliches-with-pure-imagination/
Another great year in the books for the Summer Fancy Food Show held at the Javits Center in New York City. I only had time for 1 day this year, but managed to hit almost every aisle. By the end of the day I walked about 8.5 miles…. not bad, snacked along the way too! ;)
As always there are so many innovative and amazing products being introduced and displayed at the show. Things already on shelves and items just being released. I could write a novel if I discussed every single item I saw from National to International! My post will consist of some of my personal highlights and products that peaked my interest.
I started the morning with breakfast; booth #274 had fresh, tasty Mina shakshuka at the ready. Sunny egg with dipping bread! The shakshuka was hot, a little kick at the end, but a great earthy flavor. This product was made by Casablanca Foods. They also had harissa to try but I had a lot of things ahead of me.
I came across a lot of companies selling coconut water, which has its audience (not me) but there was 1 company Eliya that had a great presentation with the slickest bottle I’ve seen. Very dynamic and peaked my interest to try their coconut water. Other than coconut water there was a spike in oxygenated water brands showing. Being an avid exerciser I’ve seen and read about these brands but never decided to try them. I know it has its benefits, it’s better for you than Gatorade, but I still need to do more research on my part.
On the topic of drinks, today’s consumers are drinking less alcohol. The market for non-alcoholic drinks is climbing. Consumers want to enjoy the drink, socialize, and not leave with a buzz. The show usually has companies promoting their drink mixers, but also a handful of companies were playing off the flavorful drinks without the alcohol. One company showing was called Mingle Mocktails. I believe they were at the show before? Either way, this is a great time to be in the market. Their flavors were great and I felt worked really well in this marketplace. Also their drinks are available on Amazon!! Perfect for our generation. A new vendor showcasing their sparkling drink was Spindrift Beverage Co. Again, a great stand along sparkling water with real fruit. Their website does offer drink recipes but this can be consumed as is. I tried it and really loved the flavors they offered.
The list goes on with drink vendors, coconut water, and cold brew coffee. If I had more time I would love to talk more about the drinks.
Overall I’m a healthy conscience eater and I do love cauliflower. So it was exciting to see the company Caulipower at the show. I believe they have showed in the past. I got to try their pizza and chicken tenders, boy were they amazing! Coming to stores in September, I think they are going to do really well. I highly recommend checking out their products. YUMM.
Some buzz words shown around the show were KETO, Protein! Nothing wrong with that, and they were great products to back up the names. These products relate really well to today’s consumers so it is important to see those and try them. Dang Foods was premiering their new keto bar which was amazing. The right chewy texture and bite your looking for. Will keep you full and feeling good. A product under Elma Farms was The Protein Ball Co. Again that was really tasty. A good amount of chewiness and flavor. To wrap up my post I was lucky enough to try BNutty! Beyond peanut butter, gourmet peanut butter. I had irresistible pretzel and was hooked. Check these guys out!
Already planning for next year. If you want me to come by your booth and check out your latest products just let me know. In the meantime, send me an email or connect on LinkedIN!
It was great to be featured on Shutterstock’s lastest post about running a photography business. “It’s time to take your freelance opportunities to the next level. Check out tips from thirteen industry pros on how they run a successful photography business.”…
Shutterstock, “Each month we bring you the top inspirational images in Shutterstock’s collection. Explore new content and beautiful photographs in our March roundup.”
If there’s something I’m really passionate about in New York City it’s a good bagel! Once I came upon B.B.C.C. I knew I was hooked. I’ve had my fair share of bagels and hit up the “hot” spots but a true kettle boiled bagel was the answer. NYC knows that’s the only way to make a bagel and anyone that has had a bagel this was they wouldn’t forget it. Here’s a couple brief articles about the science of it:
I really am writing this because it was so exciting to work with them to create a amazing bagel piece I could use for my portfolio but something they could also use for their advertising. I arrived ahead of the shoot to sit down with the owner to discuss my idea and vision and to make sure he was on board. Once that was settled I had some interview style questions to ask that would be sliced over the visuals in the end. When we agreed on a date my team and I shot for the good first half of their shop being open capturing the beautiful kettle boil process, their coffee being made, some of their signature sandwiches, and of course the happy customers. It was all about the beauty in the food so we had our cine prime lens on the entire time. In addition to that we had a tungsten light back lighting the steam and certain shots. Also we staged some shots at the front of the store and incorporated the natural light coming in. It was a fun day and flew by! The final product came out great, see it in my motion portfolio
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
Get comfortable because marketing isn’t going anywhere. Beyond that you always want to be pushing the boundaries with your work. You cannot get complacent in this business or you will drown. I don’t want to scare anyone but you have to be on your toes always seeing what’s new out there, what you can be doing better or different. I feel that’s part of the fun! It keeps things exciting and it makes for a fulfilling career. This industry is full of changes so keeping an eye and ear out for it will only prepare you. I look to continue to grow and add to my business. Always be networking with new prospects, and enjoy the ride!
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.
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: email@example.com
Catchy title right?! :) I can’t say my post is actually from a diary but the idea of my real thoughts on the business in writing remind me of my diary I had when I was little. The "real deal" moments you had growing up that just had to get written down; documented, so you can look back and remember when… Since the recent closing of my college The Art Institute I know I won’t be able to visit the school and talk with photo students anymore. My post reflects my own experiences and opinions and were discussed with students at school.
I wanted to be a commercial photographer in 11th grade. I remember attending my local technical school that had an amazing commercial art program with the best teachers! They are still working there today and still inspiring students. They had a photo studio where I could shoot products, study advertisements, understand graphic design, and learn everything I could about photography. My first job at 13 was working at the local supermarket, so I was around food all day. Not a bad thing! :) When I would face off the shelves or be a cashier I would ring up items that had food photos on them. It was that moment I knew that’s what I wanted to do! I enrolled in college attending The Art Institute where it also had a commercial driven curriculum. During school I interned and assisted with commercial photographers in all genres and still came back to food photography.
Any advice I can give current photo students or someone looking to change careers, assist for as many currently working photographers as you can. This career is very much a learn on the job pace. You can’t just open shop without watching and learning from other pros, you are going to waste your time and money. The first impression you have on a potential client is your last impression so you want to make sure your best foot is forward. I know in today’s world everything is online where you can “learn.” There’s a huge difference in watching someone and actually being there and doing something, so don’t think there’s a quick fix or easy way out.
In addition to working under professional photographers you want to make sure and give yourself creative freedom. This is your career and it’s going to change a lot over time. You need to make sure and remember why your doing this in the first place. Let yourself be inspired by other photographers alive or deceased. Doing creative exercises like this will help you understand what you enjoy photographing. Have fun!