Pizza Cafe Shoot for Blenheim Palace
In any job, there are good days and there are bad days, then there are amazing days when you get to combine multiple passions, which in this assignment were pizza, beer, ice cream, plus food and architecture photography, all at a stately home!
I'm a huge pizza lover and so I jumped at the chance to work again with the Searcys and Blenheim team, I was asked to shoot a new renovation to the Pleasure Gardens, which they have now developed into a new pizza cafe, with a brand new pizza oven and an overhaul of the rest of their menu, plus a completely redesigned interior - it looks amazing and having tasted the pizza, it's really good too!
For this assignment, I was asked to produce a series of different images for use on the Blenheim and Searcy's websites, plus images which can be used in printed promotions, as well as in social media. The brief covered pictures of the pizza being prepared, food photography of the finished pizza and a series of interior images, highlighting the impressive overhaul.
For the food preparation photography, it was really quite fun to step through and capture images of each stage of pizza being made, I particularly love the images I was able to capture of the pizza in the oven and I enjoyed watching it change before my eyes from its pre-cooked to cooked state.
The second part of the assignment was to capture some finished images of the pizza, beer and ice cream which was a really nice challenge and a great opportunity to break out the macro lens, speed-lights and get serious! I set up a little station in front of a window and luckily had a lot of natural light to work with, which made things a lot easier. Still, it was a process to establish the best angles and lighting to really show off the different foods, each with its own challenge of balancing highlights (glare) and shadows (dark spots).
I'm really pleased with how the images of the finished pizza and other foods turned out, here are some hightlights.
The final part of the assignment was to capture some images of the new interior of the pizza cafe, which gave me an opportunity to indulge an area of photography I particularly enjoy - design/architecture. I captured a series of images, which I then processed in Photoshop to remove distractions such as wires or signs, creating nice clean images. I also blended a series of exposures to capture and balance the natural light on the interior and allow the image to show parts of the exterior as well. Blending multiple exposures and fixing small details is quite a challenge in Photoshop but it really has become a fun process for me now.
Overall, this was a really good assignment and it has been great seeing these images being used on the Blenheim Palace website and in some of the social media posts.