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How a Photographer and a Food Stylist Stretch Their Creative Muscles with Test Shoots

We often talk about the importance of self-assigned projects. Photographers need to constantly stretch their creative muscles by shooting what they love– whether or not it’s something they are currently being hired to shoot. Personally-driven work also helps show clients what kind of work a photographer produces without a script, and how well they might collaborate with a creative director of an art department in the future.

Sometimes, if you want to work with a certain stylist or model, you’ll need to hire them the same way you would for a client-based project. But other times, test shoots are mutually beneficial, and everyone will donate their time to end up with a final project each of you can add to your portfolio.

There are different levels to test shoots, from a full studio filled with assistants, stylists, and models to a quiet kitchen with a few strategically placed lights and a close friend or two looking to collaborate.

Inspired by some of the props Lindsey Lower, their stylist from the Publix job, suggested, they decided to focus on texture and stick with a monotone palette. With a direction to head, the shoot unfolded naturally, and the success of the final results speak for themselves.

Our team has continued to work to develop ideas that serve as great conversation starters with new clients. One shot left them hungry for more, and another test is already in the works, so keep an eye out for more delicious dishes!


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