Scott Brooks, our Hong Kong-based commercial photographer, had the pleasure of making the promotional photos for Nobu Hong Kong’s upcoming wine dinner on June 21. Chef Erik Idos has created an eight-course menu showcasing Nobu’s nouveau style Japanese cuisine and the full range of Cloudy Bay wines. In attendance, to introduce each wine pairing, will be Arnaud Mirey, wine ambassador from Moet Hennessy Diageo.
While the lighting in this image is very simple – a gridded softbox on the left, to pick up the texture of the salmon and celeriac, and a white reflector on the right – the chef’s presentation turned this into one of my favorite photos.
To add some variety to a restaurant promotion shoot, I asked the chef to plate one of his dishes directly onto the table. He suggested a piece of slate that he had on hand and WOWED me with this presentation. Then, while I was shooting, he spritzed the dish with an atomizer to give it a clean, fresh feel.
It was awfully hard to keep myself from sampling…
Have you ever found yourself photographing something and no matter what you do it just doesn’t look right?
A little while ago I was getting ready for a shoot, to make images for a Kagoshima food promotion at one of our city’s award-winning Japanese restaurants. The client wanted something more than the standard ‘window light with reflector’ shot. So, in anticipation of the shoot, I eagerly tested a range of lighting setups over several evenings using fruit and vegetables from the local market…
…and the results were awful.
One-light, multiple lights, back lit, lit from overhead… all my attempts were successful in making the food look pretty unappealing. I like to think that I’m competent with off-camera and studio lighting, and I’ve photographed plenty of food before, so this was really getting under my skin. Come the day of the shoot, I was nervous about making more crappy images in front of the sushi chef, the restaurant’s executive chef and the director of marketing. They would have to organize a re-shoot, and I could pretty much kiss any future work goodbye.
Sometimes good light and technique isn’t enough – you still need a great subject. Lucky for me this was one of those times. The chefs prepared amazing dishes, and styled the raw ingredients so beautifully, that I think I could have photographed them with a flashlight and they would have looked delicious!