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/
A day in the life with Rachel Fontana, strategic communications for Sagamore Spirits. What a job! It was a amazing shoot walking around Manhattan with writer, David Ransom visiting various bars and restaurants where the whiskey can be found. Coming up on their 2 year anniversary the spirit has gained national recognition as well as winning the best rye whiskey at the San Francisco world spirits competition! I’m not a whiskey drinker but Rachel introduced me to their signature whiskey in a cocktail recipe and was blown away. Another unique trait to the brand is the attention to detail in the making of their bottle. They are proud to be born in Maryland and designed the bottle with state representation in mind.
See more here:
Experience the Distillery:
My idea was showcasing stoner's nostalgic snacks they crave after getting high. I re-created the environments using psychedelic colors, lighting, and camera angle. The discussion around marijuana is becoming more accepting as we have seen states approve use for recreational purposes but also see it being used in medical circumstances. People are cooking with the drug, restaurants are adding it to their menu, and the entrepreneur is creating a new market for it.
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.
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!
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/
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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!
Running a business can be challenging, scary, but exciting at the same time. You start to grow and opportunities arise that really can elevate your work, and brand. I'm excited to take a step toward working with an amazing group of people at CANTEEN. A premiere video food table top production company working with brands like Burger King and Bonefish Grill. Their current roster of talent is amazing and it's really an honor to be there with them. Can't wait to see what comes down the pipeline. This is a reminder to work hard, dream big, and keep an open mind!
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!
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.
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.
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 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!
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.
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.
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.