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.”
What a fun week working with Gorton’s Seafood again and food stylist Helen Jones. We got to photograph some of Gorton’s signature fish products with new photography and updated design. Overall the imagery was beautiful, fresh, and natural feeling. A great product you can enjoy for dinner or even lunch. Can’t wait to see the final shots in stores! Check out our B.T.S. from the shoot.
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
What a fun project to see grow from beginning to when it hit shelves! When I get to work with new clients on packaging it’s really my favorite thing to do! You get to shoot the product and immediately see it in the design layout through tethering the camera and see the project come to life. It’s really great when the product is of high quality and taste; which of course this was! It’s a new product line Gorton’s was working on. Delicious allergy-friendly recipes and quality of fish. It’s a step away from their traditional cut and styled fish you may be custom to seeing in stores. This had a more authentic approach in the styling and props. We got to use bright light that created more shadow and depth, the packaging was overhead, and the fish fillets we used were broken open showing the meaty fish flakes inside. Yum! The three types of fish were beer battered cod, black bean crusted haddock (personal favorite), and a citrus ginger salmon. They all had a crust to them and side sauce used to drizzle over top. Make sure to find this in the freezer section next time your shopping. Check out the B.T.S. from the shoot!
See their website too! http://www.hooklineandsavor.com
Make sure to read their story! http://www.hooklineandsavor.com/about.html
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!
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/
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!
Any food that encompasses the style of Italian cuisine I’m all ears and appetite. It was great to work again with New Jersey Monthly on their July feature for Osteria Radici in Allentown, NJ. Owners Randy and Ally were great to work during the photo shoot. The dishes we got to photograph each had their own personality and flavor that was amazing to see. It was great to see their different plate ware and table dressings to incorporate into the photographs. Also the interior had a warm welcome. Check this place out!! You can read the article and see more of my photos here:
It was so fun to work on this photo shoot for The Village Voice covering the new all-day cafe La Mercerie. You walk in and immediately feel a cool energy surrounded with clean design. Chef Marie-Aude Rose was great to work with. The dishes seamlessly were brought to us to photograph. Just getting back from France I felt like I was on my honeymoon again! All the food was delicious, fresh, and unique! I loved the cantabric anchovies with vanilla butter. The specialty butters were also amazing. What was unique about the location was it was connected to Roman and Williams Guild. Everything hand picked without any corners cut. It really helped set the tone of the restaurant. Read the whole article here: https://www.villagevoice.com/2018/06/29/gallic-grandeur-at-la-mercerie/
This past shoot for Finlandia Cheese was so much fun. When your given the freedom to create the best sandwich using quality cheese the possibilities are endless. We got to spend the day making tasty heroic sandwiches using a variety of Finlandia’s new line of pre-sliced cheeses. They had great varieties and of course swiss! Working with Lisa Russell at her new studio was a great experience. The kitchen to shooting space is seamless. We had Apple TV wireless connection to show the shots large as we were shooting. Also the cool thing about the space is it’s inside center city Philadelphia’s String Theory School. We had high school students who are currently majoring in broadcast come in throughout the day to see what we do. The students were engaged and anxious to watch us work. It’s really nice when you can create work and give back to students at the same time. So rewarding!
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/
Putting a video together isn’t simply picking up a video camera and shooting. Just like in still photography you sketch out the idea and start to visualize what you want. With a storyboard you sketch out how each scene will develop. Even if it’s 2-3 second clip, what is going into that visual? Also like shooting any production what’s most important is the planning and communicating it to the team. The more organized and planned you are for the day of the shoot everything will go smoother and no time or money is wasted!
Making a storyboard can be sketched out anyway, but usually it’s a number of rectangles(where you draw your vision) followed by lines or an area to write your specific notes on the action, if there’s script, lighting, and camera angle. You can sketch literally by hand or composite stock photos together or magazine clippings. Get creative! The rectangles ideally would fit the 16:9 ratio as video. I usually use the program Keynote, it’s a simple software that you can change and edit with by using text and images.
Despite the crazy snow we had the shoot must go on! Reynard; a great restaurant in Brooklyn below the Wythe Hotel, and steps from The Brooklyn Brewery. I got to work with the new chef Christina Lecki who worked under April Bloomfield in the past. The kitchen has an amazing wood-fired hearth perfect for photo backdrops. Chef Lecki is really experimenting with simple, meaningful dishes packed with honest flavors. Keeping it simple I feel is always best and not going crazy with 100 ingredients for a dish. We were there capturing all her new dishes which are seasonal. They are open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner so there was quite the array of food. My personal favorite was the Socca dish. Runner up was the bone broth soup poured table side. Delicious! Especially with the snow falling outside. The plates were made by Jono Pandolfi which had some weight and earthiness to them, tying in great with the food palate. If you haven’t been here in the past make sure to stop by soon!
I know we all love hummus but do you want to kick it up a notch? Use beets! Especially in the cold months where are body needs immune-boosting nutrients, beets are high in vitamin C, and potassium. We had a much earlier recipe posted using the greens of the beets which also are very healthy. So all around it’s a great vegetable to cook with.
This recipe is super easy and not much different than your average hummus recipe with chickpeas. What’s great about hummus is you can really cater it to your specific taste so have fun.
• 2 small roasted beets (peeled)
• 1 15-oz. can (1 3/4 cup) cooked chickpeas, mostly drained
• zest of 1 lemon
• juice of 1/2 a large lemon
• healthy pinch salt and black pepper
• 2 large cloves garlic, minced
• 2 heaping Tbsp tahini
• 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1. Roasted beets:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. loosely wrap beets in foil tossed with oil. Cook through for about 45-50 minutes. Let cool then peel and cube.
2. Once your beet is cooled and peeled place it in your food processor. Blend until only small bits remain.
3. Add remaining ingredients except for olive oil and blend until smooth.
4. Drizzle in olive oil as the hummus is mixing.
5. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed, adding more salt, lemon juice, or olive oil if needed. If it’s too thick, add a bit of water.
6. Will keep in the fridge for up to a week.
I try not to geek out when it comes to celebrity chefs, especially now when everyone is on some type of food show BUT to meet and work with chef Michael Symon was awesome. I was hired for a magazine to capture the new Italian restaurant by Michael Symon called Angeline at the Borgata Casino. The Borgata is probably one of the most well known and visited casinos in Atlantic City with great stores and restaurants within. This new restaurant the locals have been waiting and raving about to open! Whenever Michael would come by the restaurant to talk with front and back of house staff, fans of his would line the windows looking in trying to grab a picture of him.
When I visited they had already been open and had quite the momentum of customers. We stuck around that day for when they did open for dinner to grab photos and literally there was a line down the hall waiting to get in! I’ve never seen that before. I don’t blame them, the Italian fare I photographed and tried was top notch. The lasagna was perfect with its layers of meat and sauce, the artichoke heart appetizer was so tasty, the mozzarella was the freshest, the list can go on. Working with Michael was great, he was down to earth and a good honest cook. We captured some lifestyle shots of him slicing meat, and some environmental portraits of him in one of the dining rooms.
The staff of Borgata that helped with the shoot were very welcoming and clearly took hospitality seriously. I highly recommend checking out the Borgata casino if you’ve never been. Even if you don’t gamble go for the stores and stay for the food.
Chestnuts roasting on a open fire might work for some but the oven works just as good. I’ll get into that in a minute but first want to talk about these unique treats. Weeks leading up to Thanksgiving the holidays start filling our heads and seasonal dishes filling our stomachs. A favorite past time treat are roasted chestnuts. To some this seems like a foreign food and only know of it by the famous Nat King Cole melody but chestnuts and the trees they come from date back to the 1900’s in the United States. The American Chestnut Foundation in the early 1980’s wanted to revive the nut in all its glory especially since a terrible fungus earlier destroyed a large amount of the forests containing these trees.
Around the holidays in the US you can find street vendors roasting the chestnuts and selling by the bag. This method of using chestnuts is also vastly popular in Europe!
How I roast chestnuts is I start with the flat side down on a cutting board and make an “X” slit through the skin of the nut. Then I briefly soak the nuts in hot water then drain and dry. Once they are dried I toss the nuts with melted butter, salt, pepper, and sage. I lay them out on a foil lined cookie sheet gathering the edges to create a large opening around the chestnuts. I roast in the oven at 425 degrees for 35 minutes. The skin where you made the “X” should be peeling back. Once removed from the oven let rest till you can touch them and peel back the skin. You want to eat the meaty, buttery inside of the nut.
These nuts can go bad so when shopping for them make sure the skin doesn’t have blemishes. An ideal nut is a vibrant chestnut color, and smooth.
This was such a fun day and everything went smoothly. I can’t stress enough how important pre production to a photo shoot really is. The more planning, communicating with agency, client, and team the better the day will go. We finished our shoot on time if not a little early! Also it’s really nice when you have two amazing assistants on hand. This shoot for Stevia In The Raw was highlighting their newly designed packaging for print ads across many popular food magazines in addition some very tasty recipes using the product. The hero shot was really cool because we worked with Hinge; a 2D/3D animation studio in Portland that created a really cute gingerbread man character that they placed in my photograph for the final!
For the recipes they were all amazing, but I think my personal favorite was the chocolate espresso pizzelles. The expresso buttercream sandwiched between the two pizzelles was so good! Luckily Lisa my stylist made extras, haha! Lisa did a fantastic job creating the other recipes as well. She made the gingerbread butterscotch trifle cups that created these beautiful layers. The grand finale recipe was the chocolate peppermint truffle tart. She had sourced spearmint leaves fresh from a garden that topped the tart so perfectly. It made it picture perfect! Make sure to keep an eye out for my Stevia In The Raw shots and take a minute to see our B.T.S. video.
It’s amazing what you can learn right in your own backyard. I had an amazing experience learning about wild foraging and the “weeds” we see everyday are the beginning of a culinary journey. Cherry Grove Farm had an afternoon excursion on their land with a group walking the grounds, discussing the natural plants, what we can and can’t eat, and what we can do with these plants! It was a beautiful September day outside; the grasses were high so harvesting was easy and plentiful. Some of the plants we discussed were dandelions, elderberries, walnuts, pineapple weed, and thistle. After our walk we took what we harvested back to the farm house and cooked some of the greens we picked. We had ourselves a variety of greens, and worked with Chef Tamara who had some things prepped ahead then paired with. It was a great experience and very useful knowledge if you find yourself in the wild.