Simone's Kitchen

Shadowing a Pro Photoshoot for Olive Magazine by Janie

I met Janie from the wonderful blog Hedgecombers in 2013 when I was visiting London for Foodblogger Connect and she is one of those persons that you cannot help but like immediately. She has a sparkling and wonderful personality and the greatest thing about her is her sense of humor. You cannot help but laugh when she is around. I didn’t spend enough time with her during foodblogger connect, as well you know how it goes, there are just too many people. And it is virtually impossible to really spend in depth time with everyone. But thankfully there is such a thing as a blog so I have been faithfully reading her blog ever since. Her personality shines through in her posts which are funny and delicious. Janie also has a thing for photography and she studies it at the moment as well. So go and have a look at her blog for more good stuff.

I was happy that she agreed to do a guestpost while we’re out and about chasing Orang Utan’s… 🙂 She was lucky enough to be given the chance to have a peek at a pro photoshoot and here she share’s her experience!

So here’s over to Janie!

If, like me, you devour Simone’s regular posts on food photography and her photo tips in general then this post is for you.

I was visiting London in June for Food Blogger Connect and emailed my favourite foodie magazine Olive to see if I could gatecrash one of their photoshoots whilst I was in the city. Happily they agreed and on the Tuesday following the conference I turned up at a studio in Camden where all the magic was in full swing.

I arrived just as this Lime & chilli Chicken Sandwich was being prepped.

Lime & Chilli Chicken Sandwich

The precision that went into getting the perfect shot was pretty mesmerizing! Anna, the cookery writer who created this recipe, was trying to tilt the bun lid at a jaunty angle to show off the fresh goodies inside the bun, but it kept sliding off. Rather than pierce it with a cocktail stick to hold it in place, she scooped out some of the bread from inside the ‘lid’ and persevered until Ant, the photographer, got the perfect shot.

Page Photo Number 1

I guess there was about 20-30 minutes spent on getting this one photograph right, and that’s just one of four pictures on a page.

I had no idea how much time went into a professional shoot. When I’m taking pictures for my blog, it’s rare that I spend even 10 minutes on one image. Since hanging out with the Olive team I have tried to be more relaxed about how long it takes and just keep going until I get it right, although admittedly it’s not always possible when people around me are ravenous!

Making Strombolig

This was my favourite part of the day, where Janine (food editor) is snapped doing a step by step on how to make Stromboli. I thought the ingredients, and especially the bright green basil leaves looked magnificent against the sauce, salami and mozzarella. There was mild panic halfway through the cooking time as the back opened up and leaked cheesy sauce, but the split wasn’t visible in the final image.


I really liked the honesty of the food and photos Olive use. They want to know that the recipe will look the same when you make it at home so they never use anything artificial to make the photos better. They rely on the quality of the food and the skills of the photographer to make the food look perfect just the way it is.

Page photo number 4

This two page photo was the last one of the day and unsurprisingly took the longest to prepare and shoot. Ant and Mike (designer) laid out the empty dishes, pans and accessories on a big pale blue board ensuring there was enough room for Mike to add in the words later.

Meanwhile Anna and Janine cooked and styled the various dishes and brought it all together. It looked (and smelt!) fabulous.

I have to say, by the end of the day I was exhausted, and all I’d done was watch! It was great to see how a professional team worked together to create some of the yummiest food images around. If you’d like to see some of the tips I picked up on the day, please check here and if you’d like to read the blog post I wrote for Olives blog Lulu’s Notes, please visit here

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  1. Very interesting! a fantastic experience.



  2. Fun post! I need to slow down. 😉

  3. My problem is that I hurry because people are waiting to eat. I need to earn enough that I don’t have to eat the food I photograph. Off to read the other links.

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