The June and July issues of Essence each have food shoots that I styled back in March. It's so exciting to finally see them in print. I'm going to describe how it all went down, from start to finish so you can see what's involved in working on a food shoot. First I received a color palette from the Art Director, Pinda. The one you see here was for the June story, a summer cocktail party with hors d'oeuvres, ice-your-own brownies and chicken wraps, yum! The July story, with a color palette of blue and neutral whites and ivory, was a BBQ story of steak, burgers, grilled veggies, and slaw. I pulled out the pantone chips to bring along while shopping for props. I received swipes and rough snap shots from their food show of each dish in the menu. My first stop was Prophaus.
Pulling for two stories at once can be confusing, so I brought along well organized shopping lists, swipes and swatches for each. I start by setting aside an area to work in at Prophaus. I pull an assortment of dishes, trays, flatware, linens, glassware, and any other special requests, like a bucket for sodas or cocktail toothpicks. I pull a lot, leave to check out some other prop houses, in this case Good Light Props and then return to edit and settle up the next day. For the June Cocktail party, I planned to use fabric to cover the surface, so I looked for interesting textured fabrics. For July I looked for a picnic table surface. Good Light had a white washed weathered wood surface that wasn't the obvious red picnic table look, so I went with it. For the brownie shot, I visited NY Cake and Baking Distributors on 22nd St. to buy some different mini spatulas.
I took was going for dishes with a hand thrown pottery look glazed in washes of pale aqua, mint green and yellow.
The photos below were for the July BBQ story.
Ok, I'll cut to the chase and show you the finished shots for the June story. Can't show July until it's published. (That's just common courtesy not to reveal before the issue drops). I will post those shots soon.