Recently, we spent a day experimenting with suspension test shots in the studio. There are many fun things about doing test shots in the studio — here are a just few of the ways our team lets of some steam from time-to-time:
Getting creative: Test shots are a great opportunity to experiment with different lighting, backgrounds, and compositions. We can get really creative with our food styling, props, and set design to come up with unique and visually stunning shots.
Collaborating: Working in the studio is a team effort, and test shots provide a great opportunity for us to collaborate in a more laid-back setting and experiment with new ideas.
Seeing the transformation: Test shots can be a lot of fun because you get to see the transformation of the food and drinks from their raw state to a beautiful, polished final shot. It's always exciting to see how the food stylist and photographer can elevate even the most basic ingredients and turn them into a work of art.
Playing with food: Let's face it, playing with food is just plain fun! During a test shoot day, we can get messy, experiment with different textures and colors, and have fun creating new and exciting compositions. It's a great way to let our creativity run wild and have fun at the same time!
For our most recent test shoot, we decided to experiment with “suspension” shots. Our stylist was Lissa Levy, and the recipes she chose were a margarita, nachos, and a caprese salad.
Suspending food items is a technique that a food stylist uses to create a visually interesting and dynamic shot. Suspending food items on fishing line or wire requires careful attention to detail and precise execution.
Our photographer, Kim, used his woodworking skills to create a custom wooden dowel system to make it easy to rig the food. Next, the stylist attached the line or wire to the hero food, either by tying it around a stem or using a small pin or hook to secure it in place.
Once attached, the stylist carefully positioned it in the shot. Throughout the process, the food stylist had to be careful not to damage the food or cause it to fall off the line (not always an easy task!). She also had to consider the weight and balance of the food to ensure that it stayed in place and didn't swing or move during the shoot.
But that was just half the battle… (or half the fun!). Next came post-production, where the process of “removing” the wire and assembling the shots to create the illusion that the food items are floating in mid-air was done.
Once we selected the final images for composition, we then did the post-production retouching to create a seamless and natural-looking composition. Just a few of the things we look at in post are color correction, contrast, brightness, and shadows to ensure that the final image looks cohesive and visually appealing.
As you can see in the finished samples below, the team created some compelling examples of “suspended” photography and the best part was they had a blast doing it! Thanks again to Lissa Levy for taking part in this fun day in the studio with the Deforest team!
Photo testing days are a great way for the team to learn new skills and techniques that we can apply to our everyday craft. Not only is it a fun exercise, but we develop new and exciting techniques that benefit our clients and expand our creative capabilities.