First Fresh & Easy Shoot

20140327 Fresheasy bread 68 600x450 First Fresh & Easy Shoot

Even in the most challenging situations, clients expect results, not excuses. A big part of photography is problem-solving. My first shoot for the grocery chain Fresh & Easy was in a less-than-ideal setting, to put it mildly.

I had the opportunity to meet with the creative team of VCG-Kestrel an advertising agency responsible for the Fresh & Easy brand and show them my work. Within a week, I got a call for an emergency image they need in the next couple of days. They wanted me to shoot it at the Fresh & Easy corporate offices so I packed up my gear and as many surfaces and props I could carry. I knew I was shooting loaves of bread but that was just about it.

When I got to their offices, I began scouting for the best place to shoot. I brought my lights but wanted to find natural light, if possible. Their packaging photo studio was a 6’ x 6’ room with no windows. No good. They had some test kitchens but the light wasn’t great and as the sun came around it would shine right in the room. The main office area was a huge room, mostly filled with cubicles. There was an area by an east-facing window that was free of people. I decided to shoot there.

fe bts 600x450 First Fresh & Easy Shoot

The first challenge was the overhead fluorescent lighting. They were all on one switch so we couldn’t turn them off. They were also not the kind that I could just twist the lights out of the socket. Fortunately, they had a pile of black foam-core so we taped squares over the lights to block them out. I blocked all the windows in the immediate area except one and was able to control and diffuse the sunlight with the blinds.

I brought several surfaces and we settled on an aged-looking green one. I had also brought a selection of cutting boards. There were five loaves of bread that needed to be in the shot. The scene was assembled loaf by loaf using three different cutting boards to give the scene some depth. We tried different rolling pins and even had a honeycomb in the scene but decided it was too much. I further shaped the light using various scrims and flags until I got the look I wanted.

in store 600x450 First Fresh & Easy Shoot

Files were delivered that day and, within a couple of weeks, the sign showed up in the bread section of Fresh & Easy stores across the country. I was happy with the shot, especially under the circumstances. But, more importantly, the client was happy with the final image and appreciated the fact that I could work it out and deliver what they needed.

Presenting steamed mussels and clams.

Mussels and Clams

I love all seafood, but I love shellfish the most. Whether it’s oysters on the half shell, king crab legs, whole Maine lobster or good seafood chowder. But nothing says Fall like a big pot... Continue reading »


Cooking at a Cookbook Fair

I finally got called up to the big leagues. Well… not really “called”. It was an email. Ok, it wasn’t really the big leagues. But it sounded like fun. Let me explain. The printed version... Continue reading »

Grilled Shrimp and Lobster

Grilled Shrimp and Lobster

Grilling is the special province of man. There’s something very satisfying to a man about cooking over open flame. I didn’t make the rule, I just know that it emasculates a man if he can’t... Continue reading »

Adam Perry Lang

Adam Perry Lang’s Serious Pop-up BBQ

You might not think that the Jimmy Kimmel Live backlot in Hollywood would be a great place to get BBQ. Until early September you’ll be wrong thanks to Adam Perry Lang’s Serious Barbecue Backlot BBQ.... Continue reading »

Summer Salad Picnic

Two Simple Salads

I don’t have a lot of family recipes that were handed down from generation to generation. Both of my parents grew up in times and places where people would eat to live and not the... Continue reading »

Watermelon Salad

Spicy Watermelon Salad

Most things I cook and recipes I create are either inspired by something I’ve seen or tasted, with my own take on it, or reverse engineered from something I’ve eaten at a restaurant. Lately, I’ve... Continue reading »

Heirloom Tomato Salad

Baby Heirloom Tomato Salad

It’s simple. It’s tasty. It’s pretty. And it’s healthful. There’s really no reason not to make it. My local Trader Joe’s has had packages of heirloom cherry tomatoes for a little while. I’m not sure... Continue reading »