Behind the scenes at a sweet photoshoot
I know I always keep blabbing to you about photoshoots and how that works but I thought for a change to give you a small behind the scenes look at one of the shoots we did this week. In a lot of cases I cannot share the photos with you as it’s for a publication or a customer who doesn’t want the photos to be strewn all over the internet, but this time the photos were for stock and therefore I can share with you whatever I want…. 🙂
The idea for the shoot was to give the feeling of a girly (kids) birthday party with lots of pink, lots of cupcakes and lots of other sweet treats. We had planned the shoot for a while now and we is Femke (and Eddy in the morning) from sfeercatering Heeerlijk. As guest helpers we had Pauline from Uit eigen streek en Vivian Hulsebosch so it was full house. I think Eddy escaped the girly atmosphere after making us lunch… 🙂
I’ve met both Femke and Pauline on twitter and when Femke and I had the first photoshoot together, we got on really well so I’m sure there will be lots more joined ventures in the future. Now a photo shoot like this requires some planning as we wanted to have lots of treats, so I made caramel apples (recipe below), Pauline baked some cake layers and made butter cream and Femke provided the cupcakes, most of the accessories and the other treats.
Styling a large table and making it look fairly natural is not really simple and without a stylist present it posed some challenges. I think we did a lot of different takes before we arrived at the final shot which is above. I’m sure there could be some improvements to this but hey, I like it….! 🙂
With these kinds of setups I like to work with daylight. Even though I have all the lights in the studio I might ever need, I still strongly prefer natural light. And I have a corner in the studio that is perfect as it has side light and backlight and no direct sunlight so in most cases that corner is my perfect spot for shoots like this. From the right I need a fill still to lift some of the shadows as this shoot was all about light and fun and almost summery feeling.
We usually start with one element and add pieces to it. Because I was shooting from above I had to climb on the ladder everytime to check the setting. Obviously you can also work on the floor and in a lot of cases that is easier except that you have to have a background you want on the floor and since we wanted to use the table that was not an option in this case. I have to collect some larger backgrounds that I can use on the floor. Your light will change if you do that so you have to be aware of the direction of the light.
Because we had so much stuff we did table settings but also closeups and details on some of the cakes, cupcakes with both the table, another older and darker wooden board and my little white garden table (which is the first shot you see)
Overall I think we were all pretty happy with the end results of the shoot and we’re already planning the next one! (which is gonna be outdoors and awesome, I’m sure!) Now for the recipe of the caramel apples; there are a lot of different recipes out there and this one is the more simpler one. The trick is to get the caramel right as I found out myself, since the first time went very wrong and the second one could definitely have been better too. I might try a couple more caramel recipes which I will share too.
- 500 g sugar
- 4 tbsp of water
I guess the recipe is so simple that you can hardly call it a recipe but with caramel it's all in the execution and not so much in the ingredients. Now when making a large batch such as this it becomes critical that you keep a close eye on your saucepan with the sugar in it. What will happen if you have a lot of sugar is the bottom will caramelize and the top will still be solid sugar. In order to avoid this you will need to stir a tiny bit. Stirring too much will results in crystallized and hard sugar (as I found out in try number one) and not stirring will result in half burned and half raw caramel.
Put the sugar on a very low heat giving it the change to start the process slowly. Make sure you use heat proof tools as the sugar becomes very very hot. Make sure you have a bowl of cold water nearby to cool of the caramel once done as it will otherwise keep on cooking and get too far. As soon as the sugar starts to caramelize, very slowly move it a bit around with a spatula (heatresistant one!) and make sure it browns evenly. You can choose to add the water or not. I added water in the first try and did not add it for the second.
I think without works maybe a little better but I have yet to give it another go.
As soon as all the sugar is lovely and brown and you can smell that it is the right color. (you can really smell if it is done or not!) cool the pan quickly in your waterbath and then dip your apples in the caramel one by one. Put them on a sheet of baking paper and make sure you do not get in touch with the caramel yourself!