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
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
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
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:
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/
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 was great to be back at Le Bus Bakery! A long time favorite client of mine needed some new photography for new brochures AND they have grown so much since I’ve seen them. Their facilities have amazing new oven equipment expanding their capabilities on creating fresh bread. They have always had a variety of artisan breads from loaves to macaroons, and burger buns. The talent in their bakery is unreal! No wonder they have such a large spread of clients to the restaurant industry and right to consumers. If you make it out to the King of Prussia area make sure to stop at their outlet store. Yum!
It was a fun day packed with shooting their fresh bread working with their marketing department seeing their newly designed brochure and taking shots to help fill their needs. After we finished with shooting their products we got to visit the updated bakery where they have all their new bakery equipment, updated loading dock, and packaging area which overall makes production smoother, quicker, and easier for the bakery employees. Still putting out that quality hand rolled dough. It’s really great to see.
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!
Here’s a re-cap from my recent shoot at The Standard in the East Village. This bar was gorgeous and just steps from The Cooper Union, another site to see. It’s always great when working with The Village Voice because they really let you be creative with the subject matter for their stories. This was a fun shoot with bartender Natasha Sofia mixing the drink “No Problem” from the menu. I’m not a huge mixed cocktail drinker but if you can mask the taste of the alcohol i’m good to go! Also what I loved about this drink was the garnish. The vibrant slice of orange dipped in a red salt really completed this drink. Read the whole story here: http://www.villagevoice.com/2017/05/17/mezcals-moment/
Right after Easter weekend I was on a flight to sunny Tampa, Florida for a week shoot at the new Features Gastropub inside the Riverview movie theater apart of Goodrich Quality Theaters out of the midwest. I was recommend for this job by friend and celebrity chef Brian Duffy. I was so excited for this job, not just because it was in Florida but the concept of the restaurant by Brian had some delicious entrees and beers on tap to try. Something I’ve rarely seen before is they had wine on tap! What?!! I got to work with the local and talented Marlene Forand for the week on executing the dishes and really bringing the ingredients to life. We had fun incorporating the wall signage in the background and making the dishes feel heroic. One of the coolest offerings they had was their Feature Fry Tower. This was stacked high of fries, shaved ham, provolone cheese, bacon, mozzarella and side sauces, yum!! I hope to go back soon and catch a movie in the theater. If you find yourself in the area for vacation make sure and stop by.
This past photo shoot we were doing some new advertising work for Don Julio; a true tequila brand. Having the client there and explain the true authenticity and story behind the brand was really great. The images we captured were really introducing the use of Don Julio tequila with a very popular Mexican drink; the Paloma. It’s a great mix of the Reposado and grapefruit juice. A very refreshing drink on a hot summer day. What was important to the client was getting across the grapefruit in the drink. We tried grapefruit peels and wedges. My food stylist was able to source really pretty grapefruit that weren’t too overbearing in the shot. I was able to enhance the pinkness in the fruit so it didn’t look like an orange. They really like the authenticity in the environment so we added water, condensation, and loose salt.
Food Stylist: Lisa Homa
Prop Stylist: Deb Donahue
With beverage work comes pours and splashes. I’ve found I was lacking some of that in my portfolio and have lost out on projects because I didn’t have that aspect. Getting this integrated into my work was no easy task and there is a lot of trial and error in getting that perfect pour or splash. There are ways to accomplish this type of photography with sound and laser triggers getting it exactly where you want it when you throw your liquid into the air. For my first time I was concentrating on using the right strobe equipment and keeping my setups simple but conceptual that still showcased my creativity but showed an understanding how to get that shot. If you want your pours midair with little to know ghosting on your shots using the Broncolor Scoro’s were the way to go. I used 2-3 heads per shot giving a nice fill light without washing out the clear liquids. Water was the most efficient way to practice and get neat shots midair. I really enjoyed how the final image came out after post processing. The other great thing with Broncolor was I was able to use the Profoto modifiers (personally are better than Broncolors) on Broncolor heads. They had speed rings that could adapt to Profoto softboxes. If you plan to try and capture pours or splashes I’d advise buying tarps from Home Depot and having extra towels because you will make a mess.