“Carve out time for personal projects” was the advice I heard repeatedly from professional photographers when I first started out in food & lifestyle photography. I’ll admit I don’t do it often enough since I’ve been traveling a bit but really enjoyed the personal project my friend Krissy & I worked on for Chinese New Year. Instead of using these projects as practice I prefer to use the opportunity to try explore new styles, methods and point of view. So when Kathy, a food stylist & home economist whom I traveled to Paris with, suggested we collaborate on a test shoot together for her portfolio I was more than keen.
The concept for our photoshoot was very loosely based on a diner concept but only stripped to its bare basics: milkshakes, burgers, ice cream and lemonades. We wanted the photos of food to look loose, approachable and of course irresistible. The fact that we were able to inject a bit of personality (see ice cream photo) in was also a huge bonus. Kathy did an amazing job styling the food for our shoot and I had too much fun playing with different lighting.
For those who want to work on their own personal project but don’t know where to start, I’d recommend coming up with one subject you’d like to photograph then conceptualize a theme around it. For example, I really wanted to shoot ice cream (mostly b/c I wanted to eat it of course) so Kathy suggested burgers and milkshakes to tie it all together. I also always try to identify a colour palette to work with that corresponds with the look I have in mind and will usually create a Pinterest mood board to keep me on track. From there it’s all about sourcing the appropriate props to suit the mood.
I’m hoping it won’t be too long before my next personal project but until then I hope you liked this series of photos.