NY

Diary of A Commercial Photographer: How I Got Started

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.

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

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!

 

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/

First Look: Motion Reel

This year has had such a great start. One of my new endeavors has been reconnecting with an old and very talented friend who has developed an extensive business in the video production world.

The photography industry has been evolving so much so quickly taking a back seat would not be the best move. I need to continue to grow my team and work I produce while adding value to what I offer in the end. Motion work seemed like a natural next step. It’s still in the works and plenty of ideas to be story-boarded but were getting there! This is our first full feature video on pasta making. Not a quirky “how to” but more about the romantic view of making pasta by hand. Sourcing the right food stylist, color, and sound really brought this idea to life. I’m excited to continue this and see what myself and the production company come up with.

Video Production: Savvy Video

Food Styling: Harry McMann

Soft Pretzel Month! Recipe

TRIVIA ANSWER: B. BALDIES

1. In a small bowl, dissolve yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar in 1 1/4 cup warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.

2. In a large bowl, mix together flour, 1/2 cup sugar, and salt. If the mixture is dry, add one or two more tablespoons of water. Knead the dough until smooth, about 7-8 minutes. Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl, and turn and coat with oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

3. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Grease 2 baking sheets.

4. In a large bowl, dissolve baking soda in 4 cups hot water; set aside. When risen, turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide into 12 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a rope and twist into a pretzel shape. Once all of the dough is shaped, dip each pretzel into the baking soda-hot water solution and place pretzels on baking sheet. Sprinkle with kosher salt.

5. Bake in preheated oven until browned, about 8 minutes.

Ingredients

4 teaspoons active dry yeast

1 teaspoon white sugar

1 1/4 cups warm water

5 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup white sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1/2 cup baking soda

4 cups hot water

1/4 cup kosher salt (for topping)

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

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.

National Pancake Day- March 8th

It’s National Pancake Day on March 8th! IHOP in the past has had it as today so I'm not sure...

http://www.ihoppancakeday.com/

This form of batter that was fried and considered a flat cake dates back 30,000 years ago. Amelia Simmons’s was the first known American to have a cookbook published which included pancake recipes back in 1796.

My personal favorite style of pancakes are buttermilk pancakes. Please see recipe referenced below from Bon Appetit. Recipe by Jessie Damuck

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

Ingredients
Servings: Serves 4 (Make About 8 Pancakes)

    1⅓ cups all-purpose flour
    3 tablespoons sugar
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1 teaspoon kosher salt
    2 large eggs
    1¼ cups buttermilk
    2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
    Vegetable oil (for griddle)
    Pure maple syrup (for serving)

    Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Whisk eggs, buttermilk, and butter in a medium bowl; stir into dry ingredients until just combined (some lumps are okay).
    Heat a griddle or large skillet over medium; brush with oil. Working in batches, scoop ⅓-cupfuls of batter onto griddle. Cook pancakes until bottoms are golden brown and bubbles form on top, about 3 minutes. Flip and cook until cooked through and other side of pancakes are golden brown, about 2 minutes longer. Serve pancakes with maple syrup.

 

How I Shot It: Wine Still Life

For this shoot I wanted the wine to feel very sophisticated and moody. How I created this image was I had a main light streaking in from the far left side of set just to hit the background burlap. From there I was able to angle my off camera mirrors and reflective paper in front to spot light individual labels. For the right side of frame I wanted a clean strip of light so I had my large 3x4 softbox just hitting some of the bottles and panning the head toward the back of set for less light to hit it. Working with the mirrors and reflective papers for shoots is always fun and experimental. I have so many different cuts and a handful of colors to work with. It can really add a level of mystery to the light.

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

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.