Tips on Combined Beverage and Food Lifestyle Productions
Tips on Producing Shoots with Beverages and/or Food and People Together
I work on a lot of projects photographing people with food and/or beverages all together. It's always a fun time being on set with models enjoying food and beverages! But, is it an easy combo to pull off? Not necessarily. Lot’s of moving parts, ie. models, props, food and/or beverages on set all at once. That makes for extra styling, which amounts to extra time and extra budget. And how do you make that happen when the shot list you are presented isn't the most practical to get done in a day? Here are some tips for a successful shoot I’ve learned from working on many of these productions:
Be Clear on Timing - We list out the timing for the day and how long that leaves us for each shot. There are 600 minutes in a standard 10 hour day. When you subtract at the very minimum 90 minutes for setup and 60 minutes for wrap, then at least 30 minutes for lunch, you're down to 420 minutes. On an 8 shot day when you divide 420 by 8 that's 52.5 minutes per shot. Some shots can easily take an hour and a half or more or less time too. Some factors to keep in mind include developing and fleshing out the styling once the food or beverages are on set, making lighting changes as we move food/props/beverages around, remaking beverages or food if they have melted or sat for too long, or moving the set and positioning of models.
Producer - I bring on a producer who has done similar shoots and has experience with all of the different types of styling. While every shoot brings with it such different variables, someone more experienced with these types of productions can make a big difference on how creative we get with the decisions being made.
Small Variations - If we want to add extra shots they are small variations from each main setup/shot vs. expecting to completely move or change the setup more than is realistic. Accomplishing 10 shots may be a lot for one project while not on another depending on the level of difficulty of each shot. Small variations can include shooting the same scene from different angles as well as coming in tighter than the original setup, swapping bottles, changing up models' body language and positioning in the shots, to name a few.
Prioritize - Simplify and/or take out any shots that aren't a priority. If for instance the food isn't the hero element on set we may make simpler recipes and the same goes with beverages, wardrobe, hair and makeup, and models.
Get More Support - If necessary we will add an extra stylist or stylist assistant to help with styling if we foresee any of the styling holding up any shots.
Create a Second Set - This could also include having more crew and equipment to help get more done in a day. I mostly will create second sets on studio shoots, but can surely be done on location too.
Make OT an option - Going into overtime will always be more economical than doing another day. If this is the case we're always making sure everyone on set is well fed and paid!
I didn't even begin to cover incorporating motion elements into a shoot like this, but this is a good start! Feel free to drop me a line to discuss this more at firstname.lastname@example.org.