In January I joined up with an inspirational group of photographers to follow through with a monthly challenge for food photography. Each month we are all shooting the same type of food for the challenge then posting a blog circle so that readers can click all the way through to see them all.
This month the theme was barbeque. Since I am from Texas you would think this month would have come easy for me. But, being a vegetarian most of my life means that I didn’t spend a whole lot of time eating that barbeque that Texas is known for although I have great memories of eating with friends and family at places like The Salt Lick.
It was even more exciting this month because I had plans to meet up with some of the other food photographer and stylists from the group who live right here in Southern California including Kim, Laurie, and Valeria.
We planned to meet up at the beautiful Aliso Creek Beach which has these great fire pits right in the sand. I had gone beforehand to stake out which fire pit would make the best backdrop for our groups cooking and food styling photography. Unfortunately because it is summertime the pits were already taken the morning of our shoot.
All worked out when we moved the shoot to Laguna Niguel Regional Park. We set up all our gear, food, and props then got busy trying to light the fire. This process took all of us and finally we found success.
The night before the shoot I had picked up a grilling basket from Target for the vegetables since I knew we were cooking over an open fire pit. I was still glad to have the basket for the grill we used at the park. I don’t think the grill lines came out quite how I wanted but at least it made it easy to hold them over the fire for cooking. I used a herb mix from Giada DeLorenzo that I found to give the veggies a good flavor after grilling.
The other vegetable I wanted to throw on the grill was lettuce. I know it sounds crazy. What is better on a hot summer day than a nice cool crisp salad? How about a nice crisp grilled salad? I was super excited about this one. Turns out that the grilled lettuce made a really tasty salad. I pulled off some of the leaves that got super charred then chopped the lettuce. I added some tomatoes, shaved parmesan cheese, and dressing. So good. You should try it & let me know what you think!
Then right before sitting down to eat, I grabbed a nice cold soda that had been sitting in the bucket of ice, cracked it open and poured it into one of the super cute plastic but looks like glass glasses I picked up at Target.
I feel like I faced some challenges with this shoot and I thought of some tips that helped me overcome them, have a great day, and end up with a yummy lunch including photos to prove I grilled! What are some of the challenges you face when grilling and how do you overcome them?
Three things I learned from this shoot were:
1. It is important to have a plan but it is more important to remain flexible when that plan doesn’t fall into place like you thought it would.
2. If you are shooting in the middle of the day it is always a safe bet to find an evenly shaded area to help avoid dappled lighting in the photo (unless you want to use the dappled light to enhance the mood of your photos). If you have a large umbrella you can even set up under the umbrella to get that nice even lighting.
3. If you cannot find shade then be aware of where the sun is and watch for blowing out the highlights in the brighter areas of the photo.
It is such a perfect time to get outside and get grilling so make sure to visit Tammy Bilodeau, Whitecourt AB Photographer next to see what she has been cooking up and styling!